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Wal-Mart, Eyeing Valley Presence, Acquires Parcel


EAST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY — Retail giant Wal-Mart took its first step into the San Gabriel Valley last week by acquiring a Glendora parcel in hopes of building one of its megastores there by early next summer.

Meanwhile, the discount chain appears close to completing deals in three other valley cities--Covina, Duarte and Pomona.

"We are the new neighbors. We are definitely coming (to the San Gabriel Valley)," said Nick Fiello, Wal-Mart's regional manager.

Escrow was about to close late last week on 14 acres that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. bought for more than $5 million from Glendora's redevelopment agency. The planned 127,059-square-foot store, in the extreme southeast corner of the city on Auto Center Drive, will create about 245 jobs and pump about $300,000 annually in sales taxes into the city, officials said.

In Covina, the city redevelopment agency is trying to bring a 125,000-square-foot Wal-Mart to a center on the west side of Azusa Avenue between Grondahl Street and the Dalton Flood Control Wash.

City officials said the redevelopment agency will get a $10.8 million advance loan from Wal-Mart to make an offer to buy two lots of privately owned land next to Toys R Us. That land, plus another lot the city already owns, would be resold to Wal-Mart for about $6.7 million, with the city owing Wal-Mart $4 million, according to Colleen Falletta, administrative assistant for the city's redevelopment agency.

In Duarte, a 13-acre site is in escrow, with Wal-Mart hoping to open a 127,000-square-foot store at the intersection of Mountain and Evergreen avenues late next year. Officials said the city is helping with the sale by providing a $1.8 million rebate in sales tax over 18 years.

Pomona has been trying to lure a Wal-Mart to its planned "power center" near the junction of the Pomona (60) and the Corona (71) freeways. The city and Wal-Mart are still negotiating the price of the land.

The Glendora Wal-Mart will be one of the first half-dozen to open in Los Angeles County. Two stores are already open in Palmdale and Lancaster and two more--in Paramount and Cerritos--are expected to open by late spring.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, which has about 1,900 stores nationwide, had sales of $55 billion in 1992.

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