110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Property owner: Land is under contract
By Jen Horton
posted Apr 25, 2014 - 5:23:37pm
For more than 40 years, the acreage at 921 S. Woodland Blvd. has been home to a flea market. Now it may become home to a Walmart.
Details about the plans are being held close to the vest, but a flier offering 14,000 square feet for lease in a shopping center at the site, anchored by a 42,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market, is being circulated, and residents are buzzing with the news of a second Walmart store for DeLand.
Lee Swallows of DeLand owns the flea-market land, just less than 5 acres.
Asked if Walmart bought his property, Swallows answered, "Not yet. I have a contract with a company that works with Walmart."
That company appears to be WRS Inc. Real Estate Investments of South Carolina, whose contact number is on the leasing flier.
WRS develops commercial parcels across the Southeast with Walmart stores and other national brands, and is currently developing a Walmart Neighborhood Market on Saxon Boulevard in Deltona, pending city approval.
Kevin Rogers of WRS, who is working on the Deltona project, said he couldn’t comment about plans for South DeLand.
“It’s, unfortunately, premature to talk about those things. I don’t think it’s useful for us to say anything at this point. I just think its inappropriate to talk about things we’re working on,” Rogers said, adding “Maybe I can say something more in a week or two.”
As drawn on the WRS flier, the shopping center and its parking area would wrap around four existing businesses at the southeast corner of the intersection, and would have entrances on Beresford and Woodland.
Swallows said he understood the store planned for the site would be smaller than DeLand’s Walmart Supercenter at 1699 N. Woodland Blvd.
"More like a grocery store than a Walmart," Swallows said.
George Demattio owns The Furniture Shoppe at 911 S. Woodland — next door to the flea market.
Demattio said yes, there will be a Walmart. He knew for certain, he said, because his property was part of the original discussions.
The plan didn't work out, and the development company decided not to purchase his site, Demattio said.
"They were trying to buy everything from the corner down. It didn't work out," he said.
In February, Walmart issued a press release that said the company planned to aggressively pursue the small-store market — now held by dollar stores and pharmacy chains — and hoped to open between 270 and 300 small stores this year.
A February 28 press release announcing the opening of a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Largo said the store would offer 95 full- and part-time jobs. Walmart said the Neighborhood Market format offers a full grocery department, including organic and natural selections, along with prepared foods, a bakery and a full pharmacy.
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