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'Cooperative' weather accelerates Cottage Grove Walmart construction, February opening planned

Crews continue to pour concrete slabs throughout much of the 180,000-square-foot Walmart, as well as paint the ceiling and install refrigeration systems. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)1 / 5
Crews continue to pour concrete slabs throughout much of the 180,000-square-foot Walmart, as well as paint the ceiling and install refrigeration systems. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)2 / 5
Cottage Grove city officials and several members of the public toured the construction site for the new Walmart on East Point Douglas Road last week. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)3 / 5
Cottage Grove City Engineer Jennifer Levitt explained the importance of the site’s stormwater pond. Rainfall totaling more than an inch will collect in the pond, which has a three-pond filtration system to eliminate sediment and phosphorus. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)4 / 5
Reid Charpentier, manager of the Cottage Grove Walmart, spoke with city officials and members of the public last week during a tour of the construction site. Charpentier said he is currently working mobile as he continues to hire employees but works at the Woodbury location. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)5 / 5

Another option for one-stop shopping for groceries, toiletries, clothing and electronics is just around the corner as accelerated construction at the Walmart site on East Point Douglas Road could have the store opening in February, rather than in the spring.

Cottage Grove city officials and several residents joined store manager Reid Charpentier on a tour of the 180,000-square-foot retail store last week and learned good weather was a key construction component.

“We got really lucky that there wasn’t a lot of rain this summer,” said Bob LaBrosse, chief building official for the city of Cottage Grove. “Things are moving along pretty rapidly.”

Earlier last month, crews finished installing the store’s lighting system, which provides added security to the construction site, LaBrosse said. All of the building’s framework is complete and coolers are being installed.

LaBrosse also explained the building’s state-of-the-art syphonic drain system, a feature that doesn’t exist on any other building in Cottage Grove.

Unlike a traditional commercial roof drain, the syphonic system flows into a single pipe, rather than multiple pipes, which is a cost benefit to the contractor. The system is designed to work at 100 percent full of water while consistently draining water off the roof at high velocity. It is routed horizontally throughout the building, which eliminates the need for drain pipes to be installed on a gradient.

While the construction of the interior continues to move along, sections of the store are not yet recognizable. LaBrosse said the interior will include an automotive area, lawn and garden section, full pharmacy, including a drive-thru, and a Subway.

“Things are really looking good,” Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey said. “We’re glad to hear things are moving along as quickly as they are, and it’s exciting to finally see this being built.”

Charpentier added the company will soon begin placing advertisements for new hires. The store is expected to employ nearly 300 people.

“There is a great sense of community here in Cottage Grove that isn’t found everywhere,” he said. “We’re excited to be coming here and we want to be a good neighbor and good citizen of Cottage Grove.”

The Walmart is located on the former Cottage View Drive-In site on East Point Douglas Road. The superstore is expected to anchor the proposed Shoppes at Cottage View retail center.