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New Walmart store set to open off-island

November 5, 2015
Bob Petcher - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

One of the largest retail stores in the world is inching closer to opening in the once abandoned Summerlin Square property off of San Carlos Boulevard.

The new 24-hour Walmart store located near the corner of Summerlin Road and San Carlos Boulevard on the way to Fort Myers Beach is scheduled to open next week as associates have almost completed stocking the shelves in preparation for its grand opening.

The American retail corporation center will open on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 a.m. The Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at that time.

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The new Walmart within Summerlin Square is set to open Nov. 11. Employees have been stocking the shelves. BOB PETCHER

The Beach Walmart, located at 17105 San Carlos Blvd., is the ninth store to open in Lee County. It's slogan is 'save money, live better.'

"We are right on schedule to open," said store manager Melissa Simmerman. "We are looking forward to seeing people coming in, being part of the community and being able to bring low prices so that our customers in the area can live better and our visitors don't have to leave the local area to get supplies."

The store is almost fully constructed and will include a full line of groceries and a wide assortment of merchandise. Boasting 152,000 square feet, it will also house a full garden center, a liquor store, pharmacy and visions centers, a nail salon and a designated beach area that will offer all things needed for the beachfront, such as chairs, shovels and sand buckets.

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Call the store at 340-7074 for more information.

Back in November 2013, Lee County Board of County Commissioners granted zoning approval for the discount department store. Owners and developers rezoned 21.85 acres to commercial planned development to allow a standard shopping center with an intensity of up to 154,749 square feet of floor area and 3,086 square feet of additional outdoor garden center. The proposed maximum building height was 45 feet.

At the time, the project was predicted to involve six to 12 months or longer for the zoning process and concurrent applications for site development activity under a local development order and building permits before the existing buildings on the intended four parcels would be razed and a new building and center built. In August 2014, zoning approval was granted.

Developers moved quickly in erecting the building and getting the whole property ready before the majority of the snowbirds arrive this year. Traffic studies were completed regarding ingress and egress from the parking lot at the existing traffic light at the main entrance on San Carlos Boulevard. An expected increase in traffic was determined not to be detrimental.

"We're excited to be here," said Simmerman. "We are just looking forward to getting up and running and getting back to what we do best."

Wal-Mart is the biggest private employer in the world with more than two million employees, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 2012, Walmart employed 2.2 million associates worldwide, good for third highest employer overall in the world behind U.S. Department of Defense (3.2 million) and People's Liberation Army (2.3 million).

More than 200 million customers and members visit 10,700 Wal-Mart stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. Its fiscal year 2013 sales reached roughly $466 billion.



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