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First came Walmart, then came Sam’s Club.
Now Harker Heights is getting a Walmart Neighborhood Market on Stillhouse Lake Road.
Erica Jones, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman, said the 41,000-square-foot store will open in late summer and employ up to 95 associates. It will offer fresh produce, meat and dairy products, bakery and deli items, household supplies, health and beauty aids and a pharmacy.
Neighborhood Markets were introduced in 1998 as a smaller-footprint option for communities in need of a pharmacy, affordable groceries and merchandise.
Jones said about 300 Neighborhood Markets operate nationwide, with 47 in Texas. The Heights location will be the first Neighborhood Market in the greater Fort Hood area.
During a Sept. 3 Harker Heights City Council meeting, Councilman Spencer Smith expressed concerns that the retail hub would congest traffic on Stillhouse Lake Road, causing safety hazards.
“There’s a stacking problem coming from the south,” he said. “I think this is going to exacerbate that.”
Project engineers graded the intersection’s current traffic flow as a “D,” with “F” being the lowest score, said Steve Carpenter, former city manager.
The city will ask the Texas Department of Transportation to further analyze the roads, he said.
Although the new store means an increase in the city’s tax revenue, some residents are not pleased to see another Walmart coming to town.
“When I found out that’s what was going in there I said, ‘You have to be kidding me.’ Why, of all things, do we need another Walmart? We are already saturated with them here,” said Fuller Lane resident Mark Perry. “That intersection is already terrible because of the high school, and it’s only going to get worse when the Walmart grocery store comes in.”