Wal-Mart will offer customer pick-up space for online orders

A pick-up canopy application was recommended for approval by the Grand Rapids Planning Commission following a Nov. 2 public hearing.

Shoppers at the Grand Rapids Wal-Mart will soon have another option for taking home their purchases.
At Monday’s meeting of the Grand Rapids City Council, officials approved an amendment to a conditional use permit (CUP) granted to Wal-Mart that will allow the construction of an 18 X 72 foot drive-up canopy structure for customers to pick up purchases made online or electronically.
The CUP amendment was filed with the city by WD Partners on behalf of Wal-Mart. In a letter addressed to city planners, company executives outlined the reasons for the request. 
“Ten designated parking stalls will be located on the south side of the building. The proposed canopy would be covering six of the designated parking stalls,” the application says. “The Pick-Up program is a new service where customers may order goods online and schedule an appointment to arrive at the store at a certain time to secure their purchases. The nature of this business necessitates designated parking stalls with a protective fabric canopy for identification purposes as well as safe wayfinding for customers throughout the parking lot.”
The pick-up canopy application was recommended for approval by the city’s planning commission following a Nov. 2 public hearing. Planning commissioners, however, recommended two conditions of approval: 1) The canopy would be removed and replaced at the owner’s expense if the city requires water line access; and, 2) Previously established conditions under the CUP remain in place.
The pick-up canopy and area would be situated on the southeast corner of the current Wal-Mart property, located on South Pokegama Avenue. In addition to the structure, the amended CUP allows for the placement of complimentary signage designating the pick-up area. 
According to information on Wal-Mart’s website, the pick-up program was launched to provide customers with more “convenience, choice and savings.” The pick-up service is free, but a $30 minimum order is required. 
Community Development Director Rob Mattei he did not currently know the total estimated value of the Wal-Mart addition project because company executives have yet to file a building permit. According to Itasca County records, the current Wal-Mart property is valued at $10.4 million.