After 10 years of controversy and more than a year of construction the Walmart in Westerville Square opened with early morning ceremonies greeting first-time shoppers, city officials, and charities receiving $51,000 in oversize checks.
The 88,000 square foot building replaces three abandoned stores in the center that was once home to Lazarus, Big Bear, Loew’s movie theater, and Joanne’s Fabrics.
Although smaller than other Walmart super centers, the company promises the store will have everything sold in the larger stores including groceries, clothing, and recreational gear. Missing from the Westerville store are vendors such as Subway and a nail salon because the store is smaller.
The missing nail salon will be one of the new tenants in Westerville Square which has undergone a significant upgrade with new parking, additional green-space with sculptures and picnic areas, and a new facade. Revol Wireless has already opened a store joining Catalina Pizza which replaced Rofini’s Pizza almost a year ago. Smashburger opens its second Columbus area restaurant in the center on August 28.
Walmart first attempted to build a super center store on the other end of the city in 2000 but the city council denied the permit. After proposing the new store in 2010, construction was approved after city council required changes to the company’s original plans.