City: Walmart out of Keizer Station talks

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By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes 

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

While a grocery store may anchor Area C of Keizer Station, it’s looking like Walmart won’t be the one.

Walmart has notified developer Alan Roodhouse in writing that they are no longer participating in the Area C project, said Nate Brown, the city of Keizer’s community development director.

Walmart had been cited as the most likely tenant for the development for several years, but had never confirmed plans to occupy for a 116,000 square foot building at Keizer Station, south of Lockhaven Drive and east of Chemawa Road NE.

And while the plan was approved by the Keizer City Council, the Land Use Board of Appeals ordered the city to reconsider it due to flaws in the traffic study and to hold true to a requirement that adjacent, mixed-use property be constructed at the same time.

The “large discount grocer” referenced in site plans may not be part of the new proposal that could come forth from developers as early as next week, Brown said.

“They would like it to be grocery, but they don’t have any contract or anything,” Brown said.

The possible store was cited by Michael Roth, president of Roth’s Fresh Markets, as one reason that their Keizer location was set to close next month.

The possibility of a Walmart in what has traditionally been the edge of a residential neighborhood set off a firestorm of controversy, including a special election that would have banned stores of its size outside the currently-developed portion of Keizer Station. That measure failed by less than 50 votes citywide.

Roodhouse didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry from the Keizertimes.

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