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story.lead_photo.caption An artist rendering shows the redesign of the Walmart corporate campus in Bentonville, with design and construction to begin in 18 to 24 months. More renderings of the plans are available at arkansasonline.com/518walmarthq/.

BENTONVILLE -- Walmart Inc.'s new global headquarters will be energy-efficient, tech-enabled and connected to the community, company executives said Friday as they revealed the design plans for the campus.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon at a news conference for the long-anticipated release of the plans for the construction project. The new home office campus will cover 350 acres in Bentonville on the east side of J Street, between Central Avenue and Arkansas 102.

Demolition at the site will begin in July, along with infrastructure and utility construction, said Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs. Over the next 18 to 24 months, he said, the support and office buildings will be designed and construction will begin.

The project is expected to be completed in 2024, Bartlett said, though no timeline has been set for construction of its various phases. "Each year will see big chunks of the campus coming to life," he said. "We want to get it done as quickly as possible yet as thoughtfully as possible."

Bartlett declined to estimate the cost, though he said it would be "substantial." He also said the costs will be spread out over the period of construction, so no single quarter or fiscal year will bear the brunt of the expense.

A 3-D model of the new campus, displayed at the news conference at Walmart's current headquarters, shows buildings laid out in four quadrants, called "neighborhoods." Each quadrant has parking and is surrounded by green spaces, courtyards and trails. Food trucks will be parked near the office buildings.

At the center of the campus is a large activity hub for meetings and other events. A food hall sits nearby, although coffee bars, food trucks and other dining options will be scattered throughout the campus. Other amenities, such as a child care center, fitness center and hotel, are on the campus's periphery.

Hutchinson called the project "an example of Walmart's loyalty to the state and to Northwest Arkansas." At a time when major corporations are scouting locations nationwide to build new headquarters, he said, "This is not something we take for granted."

Economic benefits of the project include all the construction jobs that will be created, Hutchinson said.

In a conference call Thursday with reporters, Bartlett said the retailer didn't seek incentives from Bentonville or Benton County.

"We collaborated with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission on the project, and they've approved a state investment credit based upon the project's eligible expenditures, which is something any Arkansas company can apply for," he said. "There were no special packages or tax breaks or anything like that on this project, and we're very proud of that."

Gallery: Design plans for new Walmart headquarters

Walmart's decision to use Southern pine for the cross-laminated timber will be good for the economy of southern Arkansas, Hutchinson said.

Bartlett said the headquarters will be the largest cross-laminated timber project in the state, and that Walmart will release more information about that as construction moves forward.

Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman said Walmart's new campus will make the city competitive with any other worldwide in drawing the best talent. She said the city is working with Walmart on such matters as traffic patterns, infrastructure and greenways for the project, and will continue to do so.

McMillon said the campus will reflect Walmart's values of sustainability and environmental stewardship, and its design will emphasize light, natural beauty, health and community.

The company's goal, he said, is "to create something that's going to last for multiple generations."

"I'm hoping it'll set the stage for something that will be here for 100 years or more."

A Section on 05/18/2019

Print Headline: Walmart unveils its campus vision

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