Frederick, MD (FREDERICKNEWSPOST.COM) - A thick cloud of dust on Monday swirled above a dirt-mounded lot off Md. 26 in north Frederick as the sounds of construction blended with the roar of passing traffic.
The property at Md. 26 and Monocacy Boulevard is slated to house a Wal-Mart Supercenter and three other commercial pads. Progress was ongoing, but slow, said Tim Harmon, a superintendent with Carlson Construction, the project general contractor.
Harmon pointed to the sprawling 19-acre property behind him — equal to about 111,000 cubic yards of space to fill, he estimated.
“That’s about 10,000 dump trucks,” Harmon said.
The scale of the project, combined with weather and permit issues, were among the causes for the slow nature of work, Harmon said.
At the time the city Planning Commission approved Matan Cos.’ final site plans, in 2014, the 190,000-square-foot Wal-Mart was set to open in early 2016. The company has now targeted a November opening date, according to Brad Benna, of Matan Cos., who is handling the leasing for the property.
Matan Cos. bought the site in 2007 for $15.6 million.
Once the new store opens, the 135,000-square-foot Wal-Mart across the street will close and the property will be sold or leased. The new store will include an expanded grocery, plus a garden center and a tire and lube center that the current store lacks.
Representatives from Wal-Mart Realty, the real estate division of the company, did not respond to two phone calls on Monday requesting more details about the project.
The site also includes three smaller commercial pads, one of which has been leased to Chick-fil-A. The fast-food restaurant will open in the first quarter of 2017, Benna said in a phone interview on Monday.
The city Planning Commission on Monday also reviewed a proposal to build a 2,200-square-foot Starbucks on one of the two remaining pads. The commission may vote on the plans as soon as its August meeting.
Benna said he did not want to comment on the preliminary plans for the lease, but described leasing activity as “strong.”
Benna also declined to comment when asked about delays in the project.
Demolition of the former Frederick Trading Co. building began in June 2015. Site redevelopment work started in September, Harmon said.
Crews began foundation work for the Wal-Mart building in February, according to Harmon. With the outer walls erected, crews turned to interior work — installing utilities and pouring concrete, according to Harmon.
Roughly 12 to 15 construction crews — 100 people in total — were on-site daily, working on various components of construction, Harmon said.
“We’re going as fast as we can,” he said.
The north Frederick Wal-Mart will join a 207,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter on Guilford Drive. A third Wal-Mart — a 155,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter — has been approved for the Frederick Towne Mall site on the Golden Mile.