HARKER HEIGHTS — A Walmart grocery store is one step closer to being built in Harker Heights.

After months of commotion and piles of dirt moved around by heavy machinery near the intersection of Farm-to-Market 2410 and Stillhouse Lake Road, Wal-Mart Stores inc. filed for a construction permit Feb. 18.

The retail giant is constructing a 41,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market that will offer fresh produce, meat and dairy products, bakery and deli items, household supplies, health and beauty aids and a pharmacy.

The construction costs are valued at $5.5 million, according to the permit.

“Walmart coming to Harker Heights gives us an increased opportunity to purchase goods at a different location within our city,” said City Manager David Mitchell. “The convenience it will serve for the surrounding neighborhoods is a big plus.”

Erica Jones, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman, said the store will open in late summer and employ up to 95 associates.

Neighborhood Markets were introduced in 1998 as smaller-footprint options for communities in need of a pharmacy, affordable groceries and merchandise.

The Heights location will be the first Neighborhood Market in the greater Fort Hood area and the 47th in Texas.

Now that the project is underway, City Council members voted Tuesday to authorize Mitchell to execute and deliver a cost-sharing agreement for road improvements on FM 3481 and FM 2410 with the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business and Trust.

In addition to providing declaration lanes at each driveway entrance, Wal-Mart agreed to participate in the FM 3481 left-turn lane improvement project.

Mark Hyde, director of public works, said the city will construct and install a center left-turn lane on FM 3481, relocate the traffic signals at the intersection and install traffic signals at the intersection of FM 3481 and Prospector Trail.

Wal-Mart’s participation in the project will not exceed $100,000.

The remainder of funding for the road improvement project will be shared between the city and the Texas Department of Transportation.

vlynch@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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