The land underneath the Walmart in Oak Harbor is for sale, but discount shoppers need not worry.
“Walmart isn’t going anywhere,” said Oak Harbor resident Carl Freund.
Freund manages the property for his family trust, which owns about 60 acres in the area; it was once the site of the historic Freund family farm. Much of the property is currently on the market as he is trying to diversify the trust’s holdings.
The asking price is $4.698 million.
Walmart leases the property from the Freunds, which is common practice for commercial businesses. In fact, commercial properties buy and sell all the time and the public isn’t aware of it, Freund explained.
But this time, rumors about the fate of Walmart have circulated on social media.
Brian Mayer of Marcus & Millichap, a national real estate brokerage firm, agreed that Walmart is here to stay. He pointed out that the company renewed the 10-year lease two years ago and recently completed a renovation of the store.
“They will likely be there for much longer,” he said.
Under an agreement with the Freunds when the store was built in 1998, Walmart can continue to lease the property for 80 years, he said; that leaves 59 years.
Wright’s Crossing has an option to purchase 26 acres of Freund property on the hillside above Walmart. The developer is planning on building about 160 homes.
Another Freund property on the market is three acres of undeveloped land on State Highway 20, between 7-Eleven and Whidbey Island Bank. S.E. Grainger Development Group LLC of Bellevue has plans to possibly build a small shopping center on the property.
The cost is listed as between $457,000 and $2.9 million, according to the listing.