Walmart plans progress

The project to build a Walmart store on the west edge of the city of Princeton continues.

One indication was the city council last Thursday approving a requested  modification of the developer’s agreement for the project.

The other was local contractor Steinbrecher Painting recently receiving an invite from a Twin Cities general contractor bidding on the Walmart project to submit a painting bid to that contractor. Steinbrecher Painting owner Lee Steinbrecher said that the invite states that the plans are to start construction of the Walmart store in April this year and be completed in January 2013.

The developer’s agreement that was modified at the council meeting was done to fit with the ordinance the council passed at the same meeting amending the conditional use permit (CUP) part of the city’s zoning ordinance. The most major change was to remove the portion stating: “If substantial completion (80 percent of construction) has not taken place within one year after the date of a CUP, the CUP is void except that, on application within one year, the planning commission may extend the permit for an additional period not to exceed six months.”

The council replaced the above with the following: “The applicant or property owner shall make a complete application for all permits necessary for operation of the CUP within 12 months of the CUP approval and the project shall be substantially complete within 24 months of issuance of the first permit. The planning commission has the authority to grant extensions where reasonably necessary.”

That first permit in many projects is usually the building permit, according to Princeton City Development Director Carie Fuhrman.

When the city planning commission approved the CUP for the Walmart project last Aug. 15, it granted it with the extended six months so that it would be good for 18 months. The new CUP is  good for 24 months.

Richard Snyder, an attorney working on behalf of Wal-mart Stores, Inc., and Dylan Howard, who is a realtor working on the land sale for the planned Walmart store attended last Thursday’s council meeting.

Plans are that the store will carry merchandise and groceries. Its main entrance will face Highway 95, with access from 21st Avenue which is the street that runs past the east side of the Madre Loca Mexican restaurant.

As of last Thursday, the land that Wal-mart has been planning to buy, had not yet been sold to Wal-mart. Dylan Howard said that the land sale closing was postponed until the developer’s agreement could be modified, as was done last Thursday.

As for the building permit, it has been processed, according to city hall staff, and is waiting to be picked up. Fuhrman said she understands that once the general contractor has been selected to construct the Walmart store, then that contractor will pick up the building permit.