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.