CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Walmart is taking the city by storm.
The company is set to build a new Supercenter across from the German American Social Club, and Thursday is the grand opening of the new Sam’s Club at Pine Island and Hancock Bridge Parkway.
That makes five stores, in an eight mile stretch.
After months of planning and construction, the new Sam’s Club is ready to open for business but the company has more big plans for Pine Island Road.
Two minutes from Sam’s Club, a Walmart Neighborhood Market already sits across from Kohl’s. Ten more minutes down the road, a second neighborhood market is set to open in fall 2015, near the Coral Walk Shopping Center across from BJ’s.
The biggest plan currently in the works is a new Walmart Supercenter less than three miles from the new Sam’s Club. It’s scheduled to open in fall of 2016 on Pine Island Road and bring about 300 new jobs.
“Cape Coral’s booming all over the city but Pine Island Road’s definitely one of our fastest growing corridors,” said Audie Lewis with the city’s Economic Development Office.
Lewis says there’s a number of factors that explain why Pine island road is attracting so much attention from Walmart.
“The demographic, I guess you would say, or geographic center of Cape Coral is gonna be the Santa Barbara and Pine Island Road intersection someday,” said Lewis.
However, not everyone who lives in the area is in favor of all the development.
“I think it’s a just a little but too much too soon,” said resident Richard Beggs. “There’s not enough people over here yet to warrant all that extra building.”
Lewis disagrees and expects the new Supercenter to get the ball rolling, prompting even more businesses to start building in northwest Cape. He also believes the new Walmart and Sam’s club will help increase the city’s commercial tax base which is currently well below the national average for a city this size.