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Sam's Club

Sam's Club on the west side recently closed in Madison.


The head of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County said Thursday that Walmart officials have turned down his request to donate a former Sam’s Club building so that it can be turned into a youth sports and job-training complex.

Michael Johnson relayed the news in a morning Facebook post, saying a “Walmart executive vice president contacted me and said they would consider an offer for the building but can’t donate it.”

The Sam’s Club at 7050 Watts Road closed Jan. 26 after 30 years.

“The immediate goal for this location is to secure a market transaction which fits with the intended future use of this building,” Walmart’s JP Suarez wrote in a letter Wednesday. “We have determined that your current proposal is inconsistent with the defined parameters for the sale of this property.”

The Madison Assessor’s Office valued the property at $6.66 million last year, and it was assessed almost $162,000 in property taxes.

Suarez notes in his letter that Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated $28 million in cash and in-kind donations to Wisconsin nonprofits last year. Walmart’s net income in 2017 was $13.64 billion.

“Am I disappointed? Absolutely,” Johnson said. “But they have not said no (to an offer) and I feel they would be willing to accept an offer. I’ll talk to them today or tomorrow and see where it goes.”

Johnson contacted Walmart several weeks ago, asking the company to consider donating the building so it can be converted into a regional youth sports center.

Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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