New Walmart Supercenter on Monocacy Blvd?

There are plans floating around to close the current Walmart on Monocacy Blvd. and open a new Walmart Supercenter at 2421 Monocacy Boulevard, Frederick, MD (where the Wonderbook & Video warehouse and this abandoned house are located).

I’ve heard the abandoned Walmart could become a Sam’s Club or some other club store (a library would be better).

Here is the plan (pdf) from the Worman’s Mill Civic Association detailing the Walmart Supercenter.

For comparison, here is the plan (pdf) from Matan’s site (the developer).

They’re virtually the same, but one names the “Big Box Retailer” as the Walmart Supercenter.

Sigh.

I suppose I should be happy that any development is re-using already developed space, but another Walmart, even at the expense of an existing one just isn’t appealing to me.

Another concern is traffic at that intersection. It’s already busy, but at least that side of 26 has relatively lower traffic with the warehouse space taking up residence on that corner of 26/Monocacy.

I’m always torn about development in Frederick. I like new and interesting retail and restaurants coming to Frederick, but hate the loss of green spaces. I know I’m a hypocrite to. If that space was being used for an REI, or some other store I like better than Walmart, this post would have a different tone.

I’ve rambled on long enough, what do you think?

P.S. thanks to Joe D. for the tip on this.

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31 thoughts on “New Walmart Supercenter on Monocacy Blvd?

    • Are you really surprised? Considering Barnes and Nobles, and Border’s are closing all around the country, I was actually surprised to hear they were still in business. I always assumed it was abandoned already. With all of the audio books and e-books, the printed books are becoming obsolete.

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    • That is not a Wonderbook store over there. That is just a warehouse. And I thought the post meant it would be in that area, not taking over the warehouse space. Am I wrong? I have not heard of any plans for Wonderbook to close. That would make me so sad!

      Not even going to touch on the whole e-books will make printed books obsolete thing. Ridiculous.

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      • Wonderbook is still open. The location is where their warehouse/offices are which are moving to a new location. From what I hear they are doing just fine (not everyone dislikes “old” books. 🙂

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  1. We need a Target on this (north) side of town NOT a new Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart doesn’t like that store then they can remodel it, the same way the one on the south side of town remodeled. We don’t need a huge abandoned building sitting there. Wegmans shoppers aren’t going to shift to a Wal-Mart grocery store, and there’s already a Giant over there.

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  2. I bet Giant is unhappy with this development, especially since they closed their store on 40 to compete better with Wegmans.

    I prefer shopping at the current Walmart on Monocacy over the crazy circus of a store that is the one on Guilford, so this news disappoints me.

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  3. No, please NOT another Walmart. I agree, Target would be a much better choice. I would really love to see a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc. come to Frederick in any of the empty retail spots.

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  4. I saw this happen in the town where I used to live. The old Walmart store sat abandoned for years before being re-purposed by another retailer…who promptly went out of business and left an empty big box store to rot for 10 years. (I think the city eventually tore it down.)

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  5. The abandon house in the field is not a house at all, but rather a small one-room ‘getaway’ cabin. It has/had a fireplace, small sink, and a toilet. It had electricity, but no cooking or refrigerator. It was built in the 1960’s and was known as “Houck’s Knoll”. Maybe the historic preservation commision needs to get involved to save us from the Walmart! : )

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  6. I emailed the Worman’s association asking them how those of us outside of their area can complain/fight this. We’ll see what I hear back. I have a feeling it’ll be the standard “we feel this will highlight/enrich/liven up/blah blah blah our area” kind of crap response. You cannot email Matan. There are no email contact addresses on their website. How convenient.

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    • Hi Gypsy,

      You could check with the city’s Planning Commission or Department for when this is up for public comment, though I do believe it has already been discussed at least once recently. It is my understanding that Walmart owns the land where they are on the “right hand side” of Rt 26 and want to be on the “left hand side” because of Wegmans. The troubling part is that as I understand it their rules( not sure if that is right word) doesn’t allow any competitor to lease in their space, which since Walmart sells so many different items rules out just about any other store, perhaps office space would be allowed rather than have it sit empty.

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  7. I guess the idea of a low cost leader, which can allow people of all incomes to get more for their money and make the other store watch their costs and markup is somehow wrong. I mean really, if you don’t like Walmart, don’t shop there. But just remember you benefit by their being in the vicinity and keeping prices lower. Also remember they were the ones who started the $4 generic prescription, and many others followed suite. Remember that complaining is always easier than actually making and executing constructive plans.

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    • Interesting angle to the discussion, you bring up valid points. The thing that has struck me is that they are already there in the area, seems like a lot of money to be spent to move what amounts to a block or so in distance. Wonder where Wonder Book warehouse will wind up? It is like a domino effect with the Walmart change how it effects many others. Will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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    • There already IS a Wal-Mart on that side of town. They can remodel that store if they want it to have a grocery department. There is simply zero need to abandon it and move across the street. Moving over to be on the same side as Wegmans is not going to make Wegmans shoppers go to Wal-Mart for groceries. Target has a grocery section that is actually pretty good, so why not put a Target there instead? I already stay clear of Wal-Mart as much as possible for a whole host of reasons — building a bigger store isn’t going to get me, or a whole lot of other people, to shop there.

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      • I think some may be missing a few points. One is that there is already a Walmart in the area so there’s little chance there will be an increase in lost jobs or domino effect. I agree it would be nice to have a Target over there but for whatever reason it seems Target has decided not to build in this area. So the complaint or plead should be to Target and not condemning Walmart.

        I think I read 2-3 posts that said they should just remodel the existing one. I am not sure that is a possibility. while facing the building the area to teh left is a severe downhill slope and I believe the county owns the land and counts it as park land so its very low likelihood that the county would sell it. On the other side is the automotive and garden centers and then the Riverbend Road. So tI cannot see them having enough room to expand that way either. So truly they cannot simply renovate to make it s super center. Besides that they already do have a grocery section (albeit a small one) so my guess is they have statistics showing they need to make a larger one.

        Has anyone heard whether the rumor that the existing building would then become a Sam’s club is true or not? Alternatively perhaps the plans also include the demolition of the existing building? I think there are likely a lot of unknowns that we do not know that may make the whole issue a moot point.

        As for competing with Wegman’s, I am sure the marketing people in Walmart have done thorough Cost to Benefit analyses and determined it is a viable site despite whatever competition there is. Perhaps they heard that Target was going to buy the space and Walmart execs are doing it as a preemptive move to keep Target out? We just don’t know. But if you think about it Wegman’s and Walmart are likely two different demographics. To prove that point visit http://www.peopleofwalmart.com). And besides that if I am already in Walmart to buy other things I’d certainly take advantage of the grocery section to save me from having to go to multiple places.

        Plus with all of the development that is going on back on Monocacy and Gas House Pike, it may actually alleviate some traffic by having the Walmart on the other side of the highway.

        I know tone and inflection can be misinterpreted in written word so I’ll say that none of my comments above are meant to be snarky or harsh. Just trying to express my opinions. I fully respect those that may differ just as I hope those that differ will respct mine.

        But in the end I am impartial. I could care less one way or the other. My guess is it will raise my property value in the long run so I am all for it.

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      • Sam’s Club in the space would make sense it would be the same “family” and not a competitor. YOu are correct in that WM must have done the research to make the move. As an observer it just had struck me that it was a lot of effort and i suspect money to move what amounts to down the block from where they are now. But heck they have been in business forever so they must know their marketplace. I am not a Walmart shopper myself so I don’t know about their grocery selection or not, but take if from the comments that the current store is not a Super Center (what ever that is, i guess more groceries?) As an avid supporter of Wonder Books ( buying and reselling books back) I am curious about what will happen to their warehouse since it appears to be gone from the plans posted. The store on 40 isn’t going anywhere, maybe as someone suggested they could use the Giant space as warehouse space. that would be a win win. personally i wouldn’t think Frederick could have supported 2 Walmarts but from what I see they do… as i stated before it will be interesting to see how it all pans out….

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      • Target managed to fit in a grocery department without enlarging the building. They simply remodeled/reorganized and it fit in just fine. The only store I’ll consider buying some groceries in because “I’m already here” is Target. Never Wal-Mart. And even in Target it’s usually some simple quick things like bread, cereals, coffee, spices but almost never anything that requires refrigeration. If I ever found myself in a new Wal-Mart with a grocery store on Hwy 26 I’d still walk out and drive down to Wegmans. Every time. If I have to go in the one on the south side of town, I walk out and drive to either Giant Eagle on 7th or Wegmans. So no, being in there “anyway” never makes me buy groceries there. I don’t buy our weekly groceries in “department” stores and I don’t buy housewares/clothing in grocery stores.

        Maybe the County should be able to tell Wal-Mart that they will not approve the plans to build a new store until Wal-Mart can prove the old space has been leased out long-term. That would let them build their store and not leave behind a big empty abandoned building. It was Wal-Mart’s own mistake to have built on that site in the first place if they didn’t think it gave them room to expand later on. They have a massive parking lot that is never filled up – maybe they need to push the store front out into the lot to make more room. Or get rid of the nursery space. There are never many people in there buying plants and the bulk of their plants are sickly looking – at least at the northside store. I’ll go to the Lowe’s at Clemson Corners to buy plants and garden things. There are ways Wal-Mart can deal with the store that they have now.

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      • I have heard of (but never seen) Wal-Marts that are 2 floors high. The one is Gettysburg was rumored to become a 2 story store because the land around them is battlefield (or national park or something like that) so they could not expand.

        Has anyone here ever seen a 2 story Wal-Mart?

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  8. I am SO against having a super Walmart on Rt. 26. They already have a store and we have 2 other grocery stores and don’t need another one. I beg the developers to consider a Target instead. Do the citizens have a say at all? Can we do anything other than boycott the new Walmart? Seriously, is there anything residents on this side of town can do to stop this?

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  9. What is it about Frederick and duplicate locations? So far in Wormans alone – a second Sport and Health; a second wal mart (proposed second super wal mart); and now a new Ihop. Of all the restaurants that could go in the new shopping center why an Ihop? I can understand the 2 Chipotle locations because they are truly on complete opposite ends of town. What next, a second Waffle House? Maybe another Home Depot.

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  10. We need another Sport & Health–its going to be a AWESOME gym…I cant wait!
    We need a Old Navy!!
    With all the new stuff thats going on out that way–I hope that they have a plan in place for all of the extra traffic. Its bad already. I guess I will have to leave a hr early just to get to my job–which is CRAZY–considering I only work 15 minutes away. It already takes me about 30 mins (on a good day) to get from one end of town to the other…Should just be GREAT when all of the new places open…Lovley..just lovley.

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  11. If it helps I have been to a Wal-Mart that was built ontop of a 2 story parking garage. You can google the Wal-Mart in Grundy Virginia. There was not land to build it flat to the ground so it was done like that.

    I have been to the 2story Targets in Gaithersburg and Rockville and its not a problem to go between floors.

    I personally would like if WalMart moved for Sam’s to go there or take it over. The Sams on 85 is pitiful and does not do near the business it use to before Costco came to town. Heck you could put a Costco up there on 26 to allivate the crowds at the one on 85/355.

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  12. Walmart on 26 is not able to expand because of the agreement with the land developer that also owns Kingsbrook Crossing. According the the anti-competition agreement walmart on 26 is not allowed to be a supercenter because it would in turn rate as a grocer which is in direct competition with Giant, as it stands now Walmart does not offer a full array of grocery items that Giant offers and is limited to what merchandise they can sell. Utilizing an already abandoned property is a great idea and opens the opportunity for new real estate to quickly move in as 26 and Monocacy Blvd is more than premium real estate with the recent development and expansion of the Wormans Mill Area, I don’t hear anyone complaining about the new PetsMart that is opening why do we need two PetsMarts? We don’t. As to the comment regarding a 2 story Walmart in Gettysburg that is completely false, a new Walmart SuperCenter is in development in Gettysburg across from Sheetz slated for opening Mid to Late 2013, however again it would do the 26 Walmart no good as it is bound by the terms of the anti-competition agreement with the land developers. As to the woman complaining she wants a new Target, since Target would fit into the same category the current walmart does the building is up for discussion to be sold to target for a possible second location, the building itself would take a lot less modification and expense to convert to a target then the proposed location for the new supercenter, instead of boycotting a new walmart, embrace it because target does not have the capital that walmart does to invest in the kind of major undertaking tearing down and rebuilding a current location, you get the best of both worlds. Target is not even up for bid if in your world the developers pick which stores are going in than great in reality the stores place bids for the location and again target is NEVER going to outbid Walmart, just hope that Target wins the bid for the old Walmart building.

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  13. Target surpasses Walmart in every way. Better merchandise, better maintained building, and more knowledgeable employees. I think they also attract a different type of customer. We can have both to satisfy both customer types. Walmart built and moved into their current location, knowing that they could not expand. They should live with that decision and stay where they are. We already have a Super Walmart and don’t need another. Target would make much more sense as the new occupant of the old Frederick Trading Co. building. Plus, if Walmart owns the building of their location, there is no way they would lease or sell to Target or any other potential competitor. The building will be empty. That would be sad.

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