Wal-Mart to buy 24 acres in Monroe

MONROE— Wal-Mart will not only be coming to the city, it will own a part of it.

Wal-Mart plans to buy the 24-acre part of the North Kelsey street territory from Sabey Corp.

This is something the Seattle-based real estate development firm does not usually do.

“Sabey likes to protect their investment by being the landlord,” Sabey spokesman Jim Kneeland said.

Sabey decided to sell the land to Wal-Mart because that is what the client wanted in order to make the deal, he said. This has not happened in the 12 years Kneeland has been with the company.

“First time in my memory this has been done this quickly,” he said.

Sabey Corp. is now helping Wal-Mart through the permit process. Kneeland said he didn’t know other details of the agreement, including the price Wal-Mart will pay for the land.

Calls to a Wal-Mart representative were not returned Thursday.

In trying to find a tenant for the land over the past 10 months, Sabey Corp. talked not only with Wal-Mart but with other big box stores like Costco and Target. It was Wal-Mart that showed more interest to expand their stores, Kneeland said.

Of all the territory, only 18 acres are usable for development. A Wal-Mart press release said a 155,000-square-foot store, or about 3.5 acres, is planned for the land.

The store will offer the sale of general merchandise and food, including fresh produce. There are 49 Wal-Marts in Washington, including stores in Arlington, Everett, Tulalip and Lynnwood.

Plans for the site can be viewed at City Hall, 806 W. Main St. The next step is for the City Council to approve a development agreement with Sabey Corp. within the next 90 days, City Administrator Gene Brazel said.

The City Council last week sold the land to Sabey Corp. for $7.5 million. This was $2 million less than a previous offer the council rejected last year, saying it did not want a Wal-Mart in town.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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