NORFOLK, VA-Through its real estate arm, Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust, the giant store magnate has taken a big leap forward in the planned expansion of its Military Rd. store with the recent acquisition of nearly eight acres of neighboring land at the 1 million-sf Janaf Shopping Center. The current 114,500-sf store will be transformed into a 220,000-sf Wal-Mart supercenter, which will include all of Wal-Mart’s usual offerings, as well as a grocery store. Wal-Mart is not disclosing the terms of the property purchase.

Acting as Wal-Mart’s preferred broker, John Knibb of Divaris Real Estate Inc.’s Chesapeake office navigated the waters for the company after having decided that expansion on the current Wal-Mart location without additional land would not work. “There was a General Cinema complex on the land and within a week or two of its closure, we sought to attain the rights to the property,” Knibb tells “Parking spaces for the supercenter will be where the existing building is. They’ll do a slide–they’ll construct the expansion and then slide the merchandise into the new space. Then, they’ll retrofit the empty space to accommodate the grocery store.”

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