Stop the rumors!
That’s because the Inver Grove Heights Walmart is not expanding the current grocery store as part of a current remodel. Employees of the Walmart located at 9165 Cahill Ave, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076, have been telling customers that the current store remodel was supposed to include an expanded grocery store – to include produce, or more items, similar to a Super Walmart. But that was never true, or part of any remodel plans.
A simple call to a Walmart store manager put the kibosh on that false claim. Last week, that store manager said there were never any plans by Walmart corporate to expand the grocery store. The permit for the current remodel is for a beautification of the store, and that includes updated lights, plumbing fixtures in the restrooms, and painting.
When asked if the remodel was originally intended to include an expanded grocery store, the manager said no, and that decision was made by the Walmart corporate office, and that office only. Not the city, as many have been incorrectly led to believe via Walmart employees.
The manager told Eat IGH “If our employees are telling customers we planned to expand groceries, that’s wrong,” she said. “We’ll make sure to discuss this in the next store meeting, to make sure this isn’t said anymore.”
In fact, Tom Link, Economic Development Director for the city of Inver Grove Heights, said WalMart officials have never approached the city council about any building expansion, or expanding the grocery store within the current building. And contrary to the rumors going around, the city would welcome the chance to review/approve an expanded grocery store at the IGH Walmart.
Link expanded further on the history of WalMart, Rainbow Foods, Rottlund Homes and the Arbor Pointe development, and how it all ties together.
Here is what Link said:
“Walmart never submitted plans or made any proposal for a full grocery store. As such the City never considered, took action, or denied a full grocery store. Rather, Walmart was prohibited from having a full grocery store by a private deed restriction.
The Rainbow grocery store was the first retail store in Arbor Pointe. Rainbow bought the property from the developer, Rottlund Homes. As a condition of buying the property, Rainbow required Rottlund Homes to place a deed restriction on the other commercial properties that prohibited the operation of another full grocery store. Thus, when Walmart subsequently bought their property from Rottlund, the private deed restriction prohibited them from operating a full grocery store. Walmart was aware of this private restriction when they bought the property. Essentially, Rainbow required Rottlund Homes to place a “non-compete” restriction on all other commercial properties in the Arbor Pointe neighborhood as a condition of Rainbow buying the property from Rottlund Homes.
This was a private restriction that involved Rainbow, Rottlund, and Walmart. The City was not a party to that restriction. In any case, that restriction has expired with the closing of Rainbow Foods. Walmart, if it so chooses, can now make application for a full grocery store. To date, they have not done so, though the City would welcome such an application.”
There you have it. The truth behind the current Walmart remodel, and history of how it all developed from the start.