Wal-Mart looks north

The developer eyes new area for location of new supercenter.
Friday, May 7, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:31 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Representatives of developer Stan Kroenke are scouting locations for a Wal-Mart Supercenter along Range Line Street on the city’s north side.

Attorney Craig Van Matre said Thursday real estate agents are searching for a site for what would be Columbia’s fourth store, in the general area of Range Line Street, Smiley Lane and Brown School Road.

“They’re looking for a location out there and trying to figure out how to make it work,” Van Matre said.

That area of town is the logical place for a Wal-Mart because of the city’s growing north side, he said.

But, he added, the store is in the early planning stages and any construction is likely years away.

“They have to do demographic information and look at traffic counts,” he said. “Nothing is certain right now.”

Van Matre referred other questions to Kroenke business partner and local real estate broker Otto Maly.

Maly declined to provide any additional information Thursday. He earlier has said that Wal-Mart does plan to put a store in north Columbia.

Roy Dudark, director of planning for the city, said there is commercial property at both Smiley Lane and Brown School Road intersections that could suit a Wal-Mart store.

Dudark said a supercenter might make sense at the location because the north side of town has grown considerably over the past few years.

The store is the latest in a string of supercenters Kroenke has slated for Columbia. In the last two years, Kroenke and his development partners have proposed plans for two others — one along Grindstone Parkway in the south and another at Fairview Avenue and West Broadway across from Hy-Vee. Both will replace smaller, aging Wal-Mart’s located on Nifong Boulevard and Stadium Boulevard.

The Columbia City Council approved the Grindstone project last fall and developers are still working on the Fairview plans.

Dudark said if the north side Wal-Mart store is built before 2007, when the city plans to expand Range Line from two to four lanes, it could have “a pretty major impact” on the road.

The city is also working to connect Brown School Road to U.S. 63, which could bring more traffic to the area.

— Missourian reporter Ryan Smith contributed to this report.

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