Walmart Inc. of Bentonville on Friday unveiled initial designs for its new headquarters campus in Bentonville, saying work on the massive project will begin this summer with an eye toward opening in phases between 2020 and 2024.
The retailer, which reported first-quarter earnings on Thursday and will hold its annual shareholders' meeting next month, said the design "reflects our values, honors our history and enables our potential."
"Arkansas has been good to us, and there’s nowhere else we’d rather call home," CEO Doug McMillon said in a news release about the company's plans. "When I imagine the next 60 years, I can’t help but smile at the possibilities."
The company said demolition, infrastructure and utility construction would begin this summer. The company's support and office buildings will be designed and construction will begin over the next 18-24 months.
"Our goal is to open in phases between 2020 and 2024," Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs, said. "As with any major construction project, timing may change."
Renderings of the new headquarters offer a marketed contrast to the retailer current patchwork of buildings. They depict a leafty office park with lakes, trees, bike and walking paths and green space. Office buildings boast big windows allowing abundant natural light — something famously missing from the company's current configurations.
Walmart also pointed to "expanded food offerings, convenient parking, fitness options and a child care facility." There's also an emphasis on environmental sustainability and responsible energy use, with solar panels on parking decks, energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and regionally sourced building materials.
"The new Walmart campus will showcase thousands of trees, shrubs and grasses to provide habitat for wildlife, shade paths and bike trails, and reconnect associates with nature," the company said. "We've been working for years to be a more sustainable company, and we want our new home to reflect that."
Walmart launched a new website about the headquarters project, which includes designs photos, videos and other information, including this video:
The publicly traded company (NYSE: WMT) first announced plans for the headquarters in September 2017. It aims to consolidate operations now spread among 20 buildings in Bentonville, including a main building at 702 SW 8th St. The company has said 14,000-17,000 employees will work at the new headquarters.
The headquarters will be located on a 350-acre tract on the east side of J Street, between Central Avenue and Highway 102. Wal-Mart already owns buildings on the site, and it's been acquiring more property for the project.