Walmart continues process of relocating workers out of future corporate campus footprint

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 5,470 views 

As it begins the years-long task of building a new corporate campus in Bentonville, Walmart Inc. continues to make arrangements for temporary office space for hundreds of employees.

The company’s newest destination is the corner of 28th and J streets in Bentonville. Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said the retailer is planning to relocate a few hundred employees to two existing office buildings owned by Crossland Realty Group, a privately owned real estate investment firm based in Kansas and a division of Crossland Construction.

Mattie Crossland, the director of real estate for Crossland Realty Group, said Walmart will occupy all of an approximately 88,000-square-foot building built last year. The company will also lease roughly 30,000 square feet of a 130,000-square-foot building built in 2017.

“We are presently under construction on the interiors [buildouts] of those spaces,” Crossland said.

Hatfield said Walmart is developing a parking lot next to the two office buildings to accommodate its employees. That land — approximately 7.5 acres — changed hands twice in the past three months. Walmart assembled the property in two separate deals for a combined $2.39 million in June.

On Aug. 1, the company sold the property for $2.42 million to an LLC owned by Crossland Realty.

A few weeks ago, the Business Journal reported details of a lease agreement between Walmart and a private developer for a 90,000-square-foot building at 2303 S.E. J St. in Bentonville. The three-story building will be the anchor property of a 15-acre commercial real estate development called RedBird. Construction of the building just recently started.

Walmart will lease all of the building as temporary office space for its training and development teams, plus a few hundred additional employees, who all now work at the Sam Walton Development Complex on Southeast 10th Street in Bentonville.

Walmart officials announced almost two years ago the company was going to build a sprawling new corporate campus in Bentonville, between Central Avenue and Arkansas Highway 102. Walmart inhabits a patchwork of about 20 buildings around Bentonville. A new campus will consolidate that.

There is, however, a significant challenge to the development plan: the construction site is not a blank canvas. In the 350-acre footprint where the campus will be built, there are several Walmart-owned buildings and operations. Walmart is in the process of moving employees to new locations so it can raze the buildings, build new structures then move employees back in.

The company has already moved its call center to a 130,000-square-foot former Sam’s Club in Springdale and will relocate its sign shop to a 61,000-square-foot warehouse in Lowell.