ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Midway Walmart in St. Paul is set to close next month, a company spokesperson confirmed in an emailed statement to FOX 9.
In that statement, the company said several factors, including store performance, were behind the decision to shutter the location off University Avenue near Snelling Avenue.
We're told the store is slated to close on September 20.
The shutdown leaves customers with one less option for shopping. However, the Midway area is still home to a Cub Foods, a Target store, and a CVS Pharmacy, along with other shopping spots nearby.
The store's pharmacy will shut down a week prior on September 13. Prescriptions at the pharmacy will be shifted to the Walmart on Twin Lakes Parkway in Roseville. But, employees will work with customers to move orders to a "convenient location."
Reacting to the news on Wednesday, a St. Paul city spokesperson said, "We recognize that the character of the Snelling-Midway area will be changing with the significant investments in rail and bus rapid transit service and the recent opening of Allianz Field. The green line station area plans for this area anticipate a mix of uses with higher densities, and we welcome conversations with property owner Kraus Anderson regarding their plans for the future of this site."
FOX 9 is told Walmart will work to transfer many of the 333 workers at the store to other locations. All workers will be paid through at least November 8 and, if they don't transfer, they will receive severance.
The city also urges anyone whose job is being impacted by the closure to turn to the State Department of Employment and Economic Development and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions for help. Employees can head over to the CareerForce Center at 540 Fairview Avenue North for assistance.
According to a sign posted outside the store, leading up to the closure, the Walmart location's hours have been restricted to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Some people who live in the area say people in this community rely on the low prices at the Walmart to stretch their dollar and rely on its convenient location along the light rail. One shopper said she worries all of the changes to the area surrounding Allianz Field will force people to leave the neighborhood to find more affordable housing.
“It’s going to probably force a lot of people who can’t afford to live in these high end apartment buildings out, and where will they go?” Shirley Loggins said.
“First of all, one of the things that when I learned about the closure of Walmart was where are the employees going to go? So that’s been our first priority working with them,” St. Paul Councilmember for the Midway neighborhood, Dai Thao said.
He said the area around Walmart and Allianz Field is part of a long term city redevelopment plan. He of the main goals of that plan is to create a mixed use neighborhood with more housing.
“In the Midway plan we call for more density, we call for more mixed use because of the light rail. This is a model that has worked in other parts of the country and we’re excited about that,” Thao said.
With the development changes around the field and along University, Thao recognized that some people could be displaced from the neighborhood, but he assures them there will always be a place for affordable housing in St. Paul.
“Gentrification is a real issue that’s happening and that’s why the city...one of our top priorities is housing options especially along the Green Line, and I think the city has done a good job with that,” Thao said.