PATTERSON -- The area's newest Wal-Mart Supercenter quickly is taking shape in Patterson, with the construction crew "working like crazy," as City Manager Rod Butler put it. He also said the megastore is getting some company, with other retailers signing on to the center at Sperry and Ward avenues.
"We are eager to open the store and begin serving our Patterson customers," Delia Garcia, media director for Wal-Mart west, said in an e-mail.
In preparation for the January opening, the retail giant is hiring. Wal-Mart is operating a temporary hiring center downtown to take applications for the roughly 330 full- and part-time positions the company expects to fill.
The hiring center, at 11 Plaza, Suite B, in Patterson, is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Prospective employees also can apply online at www.careers.walmart.com.
Joining Wal-Mart will be a couple of smaller but popular retailers, Butler said. Panda Express, a Chinese eatery, and GameStop, a video game outlet, also will open in the center.
Several other sites have not been spoken for, Butler said.
Unlike some other communities, Patterson welcomed the retail giant with open arms. Community members flooded public meetings, with most people speaking in favor of Wal-Mart, and City Council members unanimously approved it.
A proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in Ceres has landed in court as a group of residents fights the city's approval. Turlock passed a law against supercenters several years ago and successfully fought a lawsuit to defend it.
Ceres and Turlock have Wal-Mart stores, however, and people there expressed concern about vacant storefronts if the retailer was allowed to relocate to a bigger site. Patterson does not have a Wal-Mart.
Employees will start work in December, officials said.
Store manager Troy McMahan said positions are available in all areas of the store and include supervisory jobs.
"We are excited to bring this Wal-Mart to Patterson," he said in a news release. "The store will bring good jobs with career opportunities to the area," he said.
Bee Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2343.