Walmart preps for November opening

Hiring process already underway for the first store of the SmartCentres development.

Under construction: Workers prepare the parking lot for paving.

Under construction: Workers prepare the parking lot for paving.

As the Walmart takes shape at the west end of Salmon Arm, an opening date is becoming more definite.

Sandra Kaiser, vice-president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres, says she expects the Walmart will open in early November.

“The road construction is on schedule, with the public road through our site being paved by the end of September and the highway paving to be complete by the end of October,” she wrote in a Sept. 5 email.

Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, said SmartCentres is moving along the anticipated construction timeline.

“They are working towards fulfilling the outstanding requirements of the phased development agreement, including the drafting of legal instruments, the monument sign that will direct people to Downtown Salmon Arm and trail construction. They are also working on completing most of the landscaping required along all street and highway frontages, around Walmart and along the trail.”

Phase 1 includes the Walmart as well as changes to the Trans-Canada Highway and the frontage road.

Construction of the anchor store has involved some aerial acrobatics. The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) units were placed on the roof by helicopter.

“This is a more expedient method as opposed to setting up a crane,” Kaiser wrote.

Meanwhile,  Walmart Canada has been hiring workers, either via phone or online, or at their hiring centre in the former Honda dealership at 720 Trans-Canada Highway.

When the store was formally announced in June, Brent Savard, land development manager, posted on Facebook that the Walmart will anchor the Salmon Arm shopping centre.

“The new Walmart SuperCentre will be approximately 96,000 sq.ft. and will include a full range of groceries. Walmart, which will open later this year, is expected to create up to 200 full and part time jobs,” he wrote.