A site on the north edge of Storm Lake is being surveyed and soil sampled this week, reportedly as a potential site for a Wal-Mart Supercenter store.
"They have been in town to look at several sites, and they have spoken with us, but no official building permit application has been filed yet," City Administrator John Call said Wednesday.
He said that a Kansas City firm is acting as a broker to represent Wal-Mart in seeking a potential Storm Lake development.
No timeline for a Storm Lake Supercenter construction has been announced, and county officials say they have not been approached for zoning changes on the property.
The area being surveyed this week, near Storm Lake John Deere and the former sale barn site just off North Lake Avenue and C-49, is zoned as commercial and agland, according to county zoning official Kim Johnson.
Supercenters feature expanded product lines, grocery stores and other specialty services.
Wal-Mart officials could not be reached to confirm Storm Lake plans as of Wednesday, but plans for an aggressive period of growth for the company in the fiscal year starting February 2, 2002 were recently announced, calling for 180-185 new Supercenters, most
replacing existing Wal-Marts. The company has also called for accelerated openings of new stores. New Sam's Club stores and distribution centers are also being planned.
"The planned square footage growth for the coming year represents approximately 46 million square feet of new retail space, which will be the largest square footage increase in the company's history and a 9 percent increase over the fiscal 2002 total," said Lee Scott, president and CEO, in a recent statement.
As of Sept. 30, 2001, the company had 1,651 Wal-Mart stores, and 1,026 Supercenters, plus units in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Korea, Mexico), Puerto Rico and United Kingdom (247). Wal-Mart employs more than 962,000 associates in the United States and 282,000 internationally.