Construction of Palm Coast’s New Wal-Mart is On Hold

A non-existent bond market cannot finance the second phase of the Old Kings Road widening plus Wal-Mart’s own business model challenges have combined to delay a promising construction project.

Palm Coast, FL – June 8, 2011 – The much anticipated (at least by most) commencement of construction on the new Wal-Mart on Old Kings Road is on hold. One major reason for the delay is the inability to fund the second phase of the 4-laning of Old Kings Road. Old Kings Road property owners, including Wal-Mart, and the City of Palm Coast had counted on selling bonds to raise the money needed to 4-lane Old Kings Road from State Road 100 to Palm Coast Parkway.   
A unique agreement between the City of Palm Coast and property owners set up a special purpose taxing district to pay back the anticipated bond money that was going to pay for the road widening, estimated to cost as much as $50 million. Property owners will pay about 80% of the costs. Palm Coast will pay the balance.
Before the anticipated bonds could be sold, the financial markets collapsed. In order to begin the most complex portion of the road project, the city agreed to lend existing money from the Utility Fund. Property owners would pay the city a higher rate of interest than was currently being earned on the money.
Phase one of the road improvement, from SR 100 to the Lehigh rail-trail, was completed April, 30, 2010. Wal-Mart closed on the 31-acre parcel purchase, paying $5,894,400 in February 2009. Bond financing remains unavailable.
The new SuperCenter will be Palm Coast’s second for the world’s largest retailer. Its delay is caused in part by Wal-Mart’s struggle over the past few years to maintain annual store-on-store sales. The retailer is trying to recapture its reputation as the "Lowest Price – Always" store while fending off broad gains by an expanding group of Dollar format stores. Wal-Mart has amended their development order, reducing the planned square footage from 187,000 SF to 150,000 SF. It is unlikely that the new SuperCenter construction will begin before phase two of the Old Kings Road widening is completed.
From an earlier story:
February 25, 2007 – About three years ago, the City of Palm Coast identified a need to improve and widen Old Kings Road between SR 100 and Palm Coast Parkway. Even then, the road was deteriorating. Working with the city, the owners of land fronting Old Kings got together to pass an ordinance forming a special taxing district, geographically defined as all property fronting Old Kings. The purpose of this taxing district is to sell 30-year bonds to finance the road improvements, to be paid off by the land owners over 30 years.

In accordance with the agreement between the land owners and the city, the land owners would pay the amount necessary to upgrade the existing road to a 4-lane rural highway. A rural highway has no shoulders, curbs, gutters, or sidewalks. The city would cover the additional costs of upgrading the road to an urban highway, which would contain these added features.

Two years ago, the design contract was let. The city had to acquire the right of way, taking the additional land to allow the 4-lane road. Now, two years later, the design is still not completed. New requirements for storm water ponds will require land owners to give up more land. Land owners are displeased with the pace of progress of the engineering firm performing the work. The new City Manager, Jim Landon has lots of planning experience and the parties involved with the process expect the pace to quicken under his guidance. Construction on the southern end of the project should begin late this year.

The southern end of Old Kings, the portion south of the canal and old railroad track will be relocated as well as widened. For that section, Old Kings will be shifted to the west, towards and paralleling I95. This relocation and construction will be financed by Wal-mart. Relocation of Old Kings westward will allow a larger parcel on the east side of Old Kings for the new Supercenter and afford it greater visibility from I95.

Tied into this project are additional road improvements. First, the SR 100 DRI/PUD*, a large mixed-use development by JX Properties will include a 4-lane road from Rt. 100 (east of Old Kings), through JX’s development to intersect with Old Kings at the east entrance to Town Center at Palm Coast. JX will be responsible for adjusting the intersection so that the road from SR 100 DRI/PUD aligns properly with the Royal Palm extension near the canal. JX has DRI and PUD approval and has filed for preliminary plat approval. Second, Palm Coast Holdings, the developers of Town Center at Palm Coast, are committed to continue the four lane road westward under I95 to US 1, following Royal Palm.

6 replies
  1. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    All wet

    The city was wrong in the first place to swap properties with Walmart. The drainage work and new roadway should have been done by Walmart, but we the tax payers paid for it. The agreement that Walmart was to start the same time we did with the roadwork should have happened. When it didn’t we should have suied them for non conformance. Walmart was smart and did there homework on the economics, and the city dumb for not.

    This was another confermation of the incompetent city manager and the mayor and council people.

    I’m glad to see some of the good old boys lost there shirt on the properties they bought near the non existing Walmart. They were the same ones that pushed for the city to do what ever it takes to make Walmart happy, as they we counting on making money on their properties down the road.

    The same thing is happening on Bull Dog Drive where the tax payers are paying for a $10,000,000 entrance to a non existing Town Center developement that is going nowhere fast. They might as well plant victory gardens there for all the starving Palm Coasters who were robbed for the new roads cost that should have been paid for by the developers of the Town Center and the Super Walmart.

  2. Charlie
    Charlie says:


    Late last year I was told by Walmart’s regional construction manager that the construction start date for the Old Kings Road store had been delayed till April or May 2012. He also advised that they were considering building a 150,000 sq ft store instead of the 200,000 sq. ft. store currently permitted, but the final decision had not been made. We also discussed that additional City approval would be needed if the plans changed.

    I spoke this morning with Walmart’s engineer regarding the current status of the proposed Old Kings Road store. He advised that the proposed start date has not changed and that Walmart has not resubmitted to the City for a revised (smaller store) site plan review. Further, he denied the rumor that the delay in 4-laning Phase 2 of Old Kings Road has in any way impacted Walmart’s anticipated construction start date or any other decisions.

  3. Charlie Kane
    Charlie Kane says:

    Wal-Mart Fiasco

    I don’t know who the other Charlie is, but he seems to have the facts. Taking his reply and George Meegan’s reply together they show the incompetence of the current city administration, their favoritism towards certain developers at the expense of the tax payers, and their continued propaganda campaign to mislead the public.

    (As an example of the latter, take the ridiculous claim that they can build a new city hall without using taxpayer money. Do they not realize that every penny they spend comes from Palm Cost taxpayers in one way or another.)

    We have a chance in September to make a difference in the city government. I hope you will ask each candidate this questions: Do you plan to retain the current city manager?

    Another Palm Coast Charlie

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