Walmart is making an $800 million investment in Lancaster to build two e-commerce facilities totaling 1.9 million square feet to keep up with growing online shopping demand.
The City of Lancaster approved the facilities that will create more than 1,300 jobs once completed without disclosing the name of the “major retailer.” Walmart is named in economic development documents related to the project.
A Walmart spokeswoman declined to confirm the project, saying only that “North Texas remains one of our largest markets in the U.S. and we are exploring projects in the area.”
Walmart’s Lancaster investment comes as it said Wednesday it will build automated fulfillment centers inside dozens of stores to expand its ability to get grocery orders ready for shoppers to pick up in an hour or less. So far, two local stores in Lewisville and Plano will add the mini-warehouse operations.
Two huge parcels are under contract to purchase for the Lancaster project:
- 292 acres on the southwest corner of East Belt Line Road and Sunrise Road where Walmart will build a 1.2-million-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center. The cost of that project will be about $420 million and it will create more than 1,000 jobs within three years of opening.
- 162 acres on the southwest corner of East Pleasant Run Road and Cornell Road to build a 700,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse. That facility will cost an estimated $380 million and create a minimum of 300 jobs within three years after it opens.
City manager Opal Mauldin-Jones said during a special city council meeting last week that the new operations, after tax rebates, will bring in $2.296 million in annual revenue to the city and more than $34 million over 15 years. The City Council also approved a grant not to exceed $2 million for infrastructure improvements, mostly for water and waste lines.
The deal with the city includes property tax abatements of up to 65% for 15 years as long as the value of the property doesn’t fall below $800 million. There’s also a 50% rebate of the city’s 1% sales tax on merchandise shipped from the facility for 5 years.
Dallas-Fort Worth leads the nation for industrial building expansions. More than 26.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space was under construction in North Texas at the end of 2020, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Demand for warehouse space and e-commerce fulfillment is driving several projects in and around Lancaster and southern Dallas. A 615,000-square-foot distribution center for Pennsylvania-based retailer Ollie’s Bargain Outlet was just completed in Lancaster.
The new Walmart project is near another fulfillment center for online grocery orders under construction by Kroger in southern Dallas. Last year, Amazon opened a 855,000-square-foot center in Arcadia Park in West Oak Cliff that created 1,500 new jobs.
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