KENAI - Following years of rumors, speculation and closed-door negotiations, the world's largest retailer is coming to the Kenai Peninsula.
Wal-Mart has signed a lease application with the city of Kenai to build a 235,000-square-foot Supercenter on a parcel of land near the Kenai Spur Highway, according to interim city manager Chuck Kopp.
Kopp said the lease has a 20-year base term with 14 five-year options to extend. Wal-Mart also would have the first option to purchase the 37.28-acre parcel.
The arrangement will now go through the public process for approval by the Kenai Planning and Zoning Department and the Kenai City Council.
The proposed store would include general merchandise, groceries, a garden center, a six-bay tire and lube express shop and a gasoline station.
The complex also would include six "out-lot parcels" for other businesses. Wal-Mart would manage the parcels.
Parking space for 1,129 standard-size vehicles is included, along with 29 handicapped-accessible parking spaces, 26 spaces for recreational vehicle parking and 20 spaces for shopping cart corrals.
Kopp said the city and Wal-Mart are still involved in "in-house legal discussion" on when construction would actually start, but added that construction should begin within the next two years.
A store the size proposed by Wal-Mart could bring "a couple hundred jobs" to the city, as well as $1 million a year in tax receipts, said Kopp.