By Pat Maurer
Clare City Manager Ken Hibl announced Tuesday that City staff has met with Walmart representatives about a proposed new store on Colonville Road.
Hibl said Tuesday, “We met with an engineer and architect today representing Walmart. They informally presented draft plans to us for preliminary review and comment regarding the planned construction of a new 158,000 square foot Walmart store on the commercially-zoned property along Colonville Road on the north side of the City (formerly the Bicknell property).” He added, “The preliminary plan also includes a separate gas/fuel station.”
Hibl said the representatives have planned a public open house in Clare outlining the project in late September or early October and will be presenting a site plan to the Clare Planning Commission in October.
He said, “They indicated they wish to commence construction in 2015 with a tentative store opening date of early 2016.”
Rumors of Walmart’s interest in locating a store on the north end of Clare several years ago met with stiff resistance from most of the business community in Clare. After hearing of the Walmart meeting with the City, Tom Koch, owner of Ideal Theatre and another business in Clare’s downtown, said in an email Wednesday, “Wow! That was depressing. What’s next, a nuclear waste dump or how about we begin to treat Ebola patients at the hospital?”
Hibl added that there was no additional information available yet on the project.