Questions and rumors abound about the recent clearing of a parcel on U.S. 441 in Mount Dora. The land is located immediately south of the RaceTrac station at Wolf Branch Road.
On April 19, planning staff at the City of Mount Dora met with a civil engineering firm for a standard informal meeting about the parcel. Preliminary meetings are normal when a developer is inquiring about a proposed project, according to a city official.
The land is outside of Mount Dora’s city limits and would require annexation before any development could be approved. To date no formal application or site plans have been submitted to the city. Although the name of the project will remain conjecture until formal paperwork is filed, of the 14 projects the engineering firm lists as current or completed projects, eight are Walmart Neighborhood Markets. A Neighborhood Market is consistent with much of the recent speculation about some type of Walmart store on the site. The firms lists neither Walmart Supercenters nor Sam’s Clubs as projects.
Walmart Neighborhood Markets compete with grocery and drug stores by offering fresh produce, meat and dairy products, fresh baked good, deli items, household supplies, a large wine section, health and beauty aids, plus a pharmacy. Each store employs up to 95 associates, according to the company.
Neighborhood Markets are one-fifth the size of regular Walmart Supercenters. These smaller stores average approximately 38,000 square feet, while the Supercenters average 182,000.
According to Walmart’s 2017 annual report, the company has over 4,600 total stores across the U.S. Those locations are within 10 miles of 90 percent of the country's population.