San Ramon residents will soon have a new grocery store to frequent, despite protests of a few neighbors and anti-retailer advocates.
The Bay Area's first Walmart Neighborhood Market will officially open on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 9100 Alcosta Boulevard (inside the Country Club Village Center). The store is located in the building that once housed Le Asia Supermarket and will sell fresh produce as well as groceries.
"We are pleased to serve the City of San Ramon by being an involved partner, and offering a convenient, affordable, grocery store option for the community," said store manager Baltazar Garcia. "This is truly going to be their Neighborhood Market, and it's exciting."
Walmart first opened its Neighborhood Markets in 1998 and now operates approximately 200 stores across the country. The 50,000 square foot store will be open 24 hours day, 365 days a year and will feature self service deli and bakery, a full line of groceries, pharmacy and household items. The store will also offer a large number of Hispanic items.
"We welcome Walmart to San Ramon and are pleased that the Neighborhood Market will occupy the vacant anchor space in the Country Club Village Center," said Stewart Bambino, president of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce. "We look forward to working closely with Walmart to enhance our community."
Since the opening of the new store was announced in February, a handful of residents have expressed concerns about traffic as the result of additional signage and deliveries, noise and the loss of small businesses. Many complained about an alleged lack of transparency by city officials who said they didn't know a Walmart store would occupy the lot.
"We are upset because first of all we don't like Walmart because they don't treat their employees fairly, they've got a horrible reputation for treating the environment badly and they know what a bad reputation they have," a neighborhood resident and member of the group San Ramon for Smart Growth told the Express earlier this year. "I'd rather see that site empty. I'd like to see Trader Joes in there or something that had a more healthy bend to it."
The grand opening ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday and will feature grant presentations to local organizations "that serve the community and impact causes Walmart customers care about." The new store is expected to create 85 new jobs in San Ramon.