Thursday, April 11, 2013

Walmart Plans Store for Central El Paso Neighborhood

Chel-Mont Chico's Tacos May Be Demolished to Make Room

Walmart is eyeing the corner of Montana Avenue and Chelsea Street in central El Paso for a new Neighborhood Market location, but it may have to overcome a rezoning hurdle in order to construct the new grocery store. And construction could mean the razing of a Chico's Tacos location. 
Walmart would like to build a 35,500sf Neighborhood Market
at the corner of Chelsea Street and Montana Avenue.
The retail giant has planned a 35,500 square foot store that would squeeze into a narrow 3.1 acre lot in the Chel-Mont area and has submitted a rezoning application to the City Plan Commission that would allow construction. Under the current plan, the building would be located on the northern side of the property with a parking lot facing Montana Avenue.

Four different parcels make up the combined property, and one of the current property owners that could lease or sell to Walmart is the owner of a Chico's Tacos restaurant at the site. The famed fast food joint will be demolished if the proposed Walmart is constructed as currently planned. 

The plan, however, may need modification to receive approval for the rezoning request. The Planning Division has recommended denial of the rezoning application in the agenda item, stating that "the proposed development will not promote a harmonious relationship with surrounding adjacent and nearby properties, developed and undeveloped." The Division also cites the coming bus Rapid Transit System (RTS) in its comments, indicating that the project will not "support or promote" the RTS route.

A Chico's location currently takes up a corner of the proposed Walmart site.
The Neighborhood Market is a smaller version of the Walmart Superstore and is focused mainly on providing groceries. There are currently six other Neighborhood Market locations through the city. The proposed location would be across the street from an Albertson's grocery store.

The item will be heard at the April 18, 2013, City Plan Commission meeting.