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PHOENIX-Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has bought 11.7 acres in Phoenix for its 11th store in the metro. The Bentonville, AR-based retailer is pushing an expansion plan that calls for 45 to 55 new stores and 200 to 210 new “supercenters” in its 2004 fiscal year.

The nation’s largest retailer purchased the land at the southwest corner of 79th Avenue and Peoria from TPI Land Partnership III for slightly more than $1.2 million. Wal-Mart was represented by RED Realty Advisors. Sharon Reeves of NAI Horizon bargained on the seller’s behalf.

The location to be used as a Wal-Mart supercenter will be the chain’s 11th store in the metropolitan Phoenix market. Construction and opening dates were not announced.The land acquisition news came a week after the City of Chandler rejected its second supercenter plan in two years. The stumbling block between the city and developer is a requirement that big boxes be positioned 1,500 feet or more from homes. Wal-Mart, though, has a second Chandler site in its pocket for a 203,000-sf project so the battle is sure to continue.

In a press release, Wal-Mart executives said the Phoenix supercenter plan “represents a continued acceleration of supercenter unit expansion and reflects the strong consumer acceptance and financial results from the format.” Wal-Mart’s 2004 fiscal year began Feb. 1. The retailer’s planned growth for the coming year represents approximately 48 million sf of new space and represents more than an 8% increase over the total built in the 2003 fiscal year, the company said. As of the beginning of the year, the company had 1,603 Wal-Mart stores, 1,179 supercenters, 517 Sam’s Clubs and 36 Neighborhood Markets in the United States.

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