Miami Gardens may soon have its third Walmart store.
Palmetto Gardens Plaza has signed a lease to bring a Walmart neighborhood market into a new shopping center at 3791 NW 167th St., just north of the Palmetto Expressway.
The neighborhood market stores are about 40,000 square feet on average, making them about a quarter the size of supercenters, like the current ones in Miami Gardens on Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest Second Avenue.
Additionally, the market stores focus on selling produce, grocery and pharmaceuticals, not other Walmart goods like clothing and toys.
The new store will serve as anchor for a 63,000 square-foot shopping center. Another 20,000 square feet will be rented out to other tenants.
The property only recently became available for use again after the Palmetto Design Center settled a 2010 foreclosure action from PNC Bank. The case closed in August and the property owners received a new loan from Hudson Financial Services for $4.5 million.
The property owners initially received a $19.8 million loan with PNC Bank and broke ground in 2008 with the promise of developing the largest shopping center in Miami Gardens.
Alan Macken, one of the principal owners of the plaza, said that as the market changed, he and the other principals had to adjust.
“We’ve had the marketing properties for a long time, we were exploring other significant projects and always searching for the most creative solutions,” Macken said. “The stores like Best Buy and others, their viability changed and we tried to remain flexible.”
The reduction of the shopping’s center size — from Palmetto Gardens Plaza’s initial proposal — is due in part to Walmart’s requirements for parking lot size and structure for their stores, according to Macken.
In addition to finding an anchor for the property, after five years of stagnation, Macken said he’s excited about the opportunity to bring more businesses to Miami Gardens. He says local business owners have already approached him about moving into the additional space in the centers as have other “big name” stores that he declined to name.
“In a lot of ways, you’re talking about a market that’s greatly underserved, and it’s a growing city,” Macken said. “You have to recognize that you’ve got a city that’s become a player in the market.”