SUISUN CITY — A longtime dream takes another step toward reality Thursday when ground is broken for the Suisun City Walmart.
“We can’t wait,” said Suzanne Bragdon, city manager.
Bragdon, the City Council and Suisun City residents have waited for several years.
An application was filed in 2005 with the Suisun City Community Development Department for a Walmart super center. The development was approved in 2008.
Challenges followed, and the project was in limbo.
A sign was placed on the store site in September 2012, facing Peterson Road. The plan was for the store to open in July 2014. That was delayed when bids were too high, because prospective contractors factored in a number of unknown costs. The project went out to bid again in November 2013.
The tipping point was the $2.4 million check from Walmart for fees.
“That was the icing on the cake,” Bragdon said.
Councilwoman Lori Wilson said she is excited about the sales tax revenue the retail giant will bring to city coffers. Once opened, it’s predicted the city will see an additional $1.1 million annually.
“We need that,” Wilson said.
A portion of that money helps fund basic city services such as police, fire, parks and community services.
The 177,535-square-foot store is at Walters Road and Highway 12. It will be open 24 hours a day and is expected to employ about 300 people.
Wilson said she hopes to see some of those jobs go to local youth. When the Great Recession hit, many entry-level jobs went to adults who had lost their employment, she said. Wilson has heard from opponents of the store. She tells them to remember what it’s bringing to the city in terms of revenue and employment.
“When you don’t have a robust economy, Walmart has a purpose,” she said.
The city has been betting its financial future on Walmart for more than six years.
The store should open in March or April 2015 and will include a full line of groceries, general merchandise, electronics and an outdoor garden center.
The public is invited to the groundbreaking ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. at Peterson and Fulmar roads.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.