Homestead - South Dade

Walmart prepares to open store in Naranja

Come early July, residents of Naranja can expect to welcome Walmart into their community.

The 150,000-square-foot store, located at 14600 SW 288th St., is the product of an initiative by the company to increase its presence in South Florida, especially within Miami-Dade County.

Sometime early in 2012, Walmart executives set out to invest $380 million in South Florida, bringing 12 stores to the area, including an $8.2 million deal for a Midtown site that is still ongoing.

The Naranja location, which began construction over a year ago, is already stocking its selves and training employees for its grand opening next month.

“We’ve already hired over 380 people so far,” said Kirby Green, 58, the Naranja store manager and Homestead resident.

Green, who’s been with Walmart for over 22 years in locations in Ohio, Wisconsin and South Carolina, says he’s done his homework, addressed the needs of his diverse customer base, met with city leaders, and is ready for his store to be a “store of the community.”

Along with the Midtown and Naranja sites, a Fountainbleu location is still underway. It has begun its hiring process, according to Green.

The grand opening date for the Naranja property has not been set.