The recently completed Blue Earth County Road 12 interchange with Highway 14 was the final piece needed in the area, Anderson said.
“The infrastructure is in place out there. Everything is in play for this to take off.”
Hentges and Vogel said they’ve been wowed by Wal-Mart’s commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. “Their drainage plan for this site, for example, exceeds any local or state standards,” Vogel said.
Hentges said the amount of planning and thought the company puts into projects is phenomenal.
“They don’t just slap up a distribution center in a corn field. It’s amazing what they do.”
Delia Garcia, director of communications for Wal-Mart, commended the city.
“We’re excited about what this means for our presence in Minnesota and our partnership with the city — they’ve been great to work with,” Garcia said.
She said the construction schedule hasn’t been finalized and the company still needs to identify a general contractor and send out bids.
Wal-Mart has been on a building spree in the Midwest, adding super centers that include groceries. Garcia said having perishable products closer to Midwest stores fulfills two goals.
“It reduces the road miles and advances our sustainability program by reducing our carbon footprint. But it also delivers fresher products to our customers.”
Garcia said employees at the distribution center will get competitive pay, and eligible full- and part-time associates will receive a comprehensive package of benefits, including affordable health and dental insurance, company funded 401(k), and facility performance based bonuses.
“Wal-Mart’s significant investment in a distribution center is a positive development for the region,” Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president, said in a statement. “It means job creation and business growth — two things we want to encourage in Minnesota.”