Late last year, a source informed me that a new urban-Walmart concept called “Walmart Express” was looking to open one of its first West Coast locations somewhere in Downtown LA. This new urban concept would be a lot smaller than their usual big box locations that are as large as 185,000 square feet–try a mere 15,000 square feet according to the WSJ.
At first I thought it was going to go into the Woolworth Building on Broadway, which I knew was in the process of transferring ownership. I contacted Paragon Commercial Group in early January–the new owners of the Woolworth Building–to ask them if Walmart Express was going into their new acquisition, but they declined to comment. About two weeks later, Ross Dress For Less was announced to go into the Woolworth space so obviously that’s not where Walmart Express would go if they are looking downtown.
Now another source has pointed me in the direction of Chinatown. After a lot of looking around, I have a feeling Walmart Express may go into the 302-unit senior housing mixed-use complex located at Grand Ave and Cesar Chavez, which is on the fringe of Chinatown. According to earlier reports, the space was supposed to be a Rio Ranch Market, but the vacant space has sat dormant for years leading me to believe that’s probably not going to happen.
According to Racked Chicago, Walmart Express opened up their second location in Chicago offering “health and beauty, meat products, frozen food, produce, cat food, magazines and some impulse gift items.”
Another large big box retailer, Target, also has an urban concept called City Target, which is also opening in Downtown LA this October.