Veteran Broker Says Walmart Looking for New Site to Replace White Plains Store

John Jordan | July 2018

WHITE PLAINS—While some city and business officials were surprised by Walmart’s decision to shutter its 180,000-square-foot Downtown White Plains location on Aug. 10, a veteran retail broker has seen it coming for some time.

Martin Deitch, executive vice president with retail brokerage firm Aries, Deitch & Endelson of Hartsdale, NY, tells Real Estate In-Depth that Walmart is currently on the market looking for another Westchester location that would support is super center concept.

The mega discount retailer had operated the location since it opened in 2006 and replaced a Sear’s department store, which had relocated to the nearby Galleria Mall.

The 275,169-square-foot building at 275 Main St. which also includes a Burlington department store and a six-story parking garage, is owned by Ivy Realty, which has offices in Greenwich, CT, Montvale, NJ and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Ivy also owns the adjoining twin-tower 712,131-square-foot White Plains Plaza office complex.

A spokesperson for Ivy Realty said the firm had no comment on Walmart’s decision and did not provide any information on the retailer’s remaining lease term at the property.

Walmart officials called the closure decision difficult, but said it was based on the store’s efforts to focus on supercenter-formatted locations.

Walmart spokesperson Phillip Keene said in a statement, “The decision to close our White Plains store is not an easy one. We opened the store in 2006 and we are as proud today as we’ve ever been with how the store leadership and associates have served and contributed to the local community over the years. We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them in White Plains. We look forward to continuing to serve them at other area locations and online at walmart.com.”

Walmart plans to close the store to the public by Friday, Aug. 10. The store pharmacy will close on August 7 (7 p.m. EST). Walmart is planning to transfer pharmacy records to Sam’s Club in Elmsford, NY.

At present, Walmart employs approximately 395 associates at the store. Associates will be paid until Oct. 26, 2018 unless they leave the company before that date or transfer to another facility. Walmart says it will be offering severance to eligible full and part time associates after that time and is hopeful associates will transfer to other stores and continue their careers with the company.

Keene says Walmart is committed to growing in New York State and expects to spend $52 million this fiscal year in the remodeling of 15 stores as well as the rollout of several in-store and online customer service innovations. The company operates more than 110 stores and clubs throughout New York State, employing more than 37,000 associates.

Deitch said that Walmart had expressed interest in a new site to replace the White Plains store several years ago along Route 9 in the Greenburgh/Hawthorne area.

The site eventually did not work for Walmart, but Deitch said he was informed that the layout of the White Plains store was not working out for the retailer. Deitch is confident that Walmart will eventually select a new location somewhere in Westchester to replace its White Plains store.

Deitch speculated that perhaps Walmart could opt for the National Amusements movie theater property in Elmsford as a possible location or could opt to undertake a project similar to Wegman’s in Harrison where the grocer demolished two outdated office buildings to build a new supermarket location there.

He said he is confident that Walmart will eventually replace the White Plains store with another Westchester location.

Walmart’s store at the Cortland Town Center in Mohegan Lake is not affected by the White Plains store closure.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth