Cottage Grove gives Wal-Mart green light to replace drive-in theater

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The Cottage Grove City Council has approved a $2.97 million retail development project called Shoppes at Cottage View, the Pioneer Press reports.

A 180,000-square-foot Walmart SuperCenter will anchor the shopping center located on the site of the city's historic drive-in theater that closed this fall after 46 years in business. Construction is expected to begin next spring. The new Walmart store is scheduled to open by January 2014.

Wal-Mart also opened new stores in Burnsville, Lakeville, St. Cloud and Redwood Falls this fall.

As the Arkansas-based retailer continues to expand its footprint, Minnesota will soon have more Walmart outlets (including Sam's Club locations) than its Minneapolis-based rival Target, the Business Journal notes.

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Walmart proposes replacing historic Minnesota drive-in theater site

The discount retailer has submitted plans to build a 177,000-square-foot Sueprcenter in Cottage Grove. If the city approves the new store, movie fans should have one more season at the Cottage View Drive-in this summer before construction begins. Only a handful of drive-in theaters are still open in Minnesota, but even without the Walmart proposal the future of the Cottage Grove location is uncertain.