Wal-Mart closes deal to build Laurel store

February 18, 1993|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County's second Wal-Mart store will open this fall as the anchor of the new Russett Square shopping center in West County.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer, bought 50 acres Jan. 25 from Russett's developer in a multimillion dollar deal completed after a year of negotiations and reviews.

Wal-Mart and Russett officials declined to disclose the price.

Site work has begun for a 132,482-square-foot Wal-Mart and a 134,900-square-foot Sam's Club, a members-only discount warehouse, at the northwest quadrant of Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 198 in Laurel.

The new stores will sandwich a retail complex of three to five smaller stores that will back up to the parkway and be accessible by Russett Green East, which leads to the 613-acre Community of Russett.

Leasing agents expect to draw stores of 20,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet, said Adam Miller, an agent with Kayne, Levin, Neilson & Bavar Realtors.

He said he expects retailers to sign leases within four months.

Wal-mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., chose the Laurel site for its size and easy access to the parkway, said Sandy Brummett, a company spokeswoman.

The chain, which started in rural southern areas with few stores, launched a Maryland expansion in 1991, opening the state's first Wal-Mart in Easton.

The discounter now runs eight Maryland stores, including a Wal-Mart in Glen Burnie and a Sam's Club in Annapolis, and is building stores in Bowie, Salisbury and Lexington Park in St. Mary's County.

Ms. Brummett said the new Wal-Mart will have a garden center, pharmacy and snack bar, as well as the chain's typical array of apparel, household goods, hardware, sporting goods and beauty aids.

"It's going to add some real convenience, a one-stop shopping area," said David Adler, a partner with Coscan-Adler Limited Partnership, which, along with Lovell Land Inc., makes up Russett Center Limited Partnership.

"It'll be a convenient spot, not only to drive to, but a fair number can walk to it."

The Russett partnership is developing the community of single-family homes, town houses, condominiums and apartments, but will have no further involvement in developing the shopping center, Mr. Adler said. Russett has sold nearly 500 residential units and completed about 400, he said.

Russett developers will plant some 20,000 trees and seedlings throughout the residential area to compensate for trees that will be cleared to make way for the shopping center, Mr. Adler said.

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