Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will open its first local Walmart Neighborhood Market, the retailer’s small-format grocery store, this year in San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood. The store is expected to open by fall, although a company spokeswoman said the date has not been determined.

A March 1 statement by the Arkansas-based company said the 48,800-square-foot store will occupy the former Farmers Market building on Imperial Avenue, between 21st and 22nd streets.

“The size and scale of this new store is reflective of the surrounding area, and our affordable grocery offerings help serve a real need in the neighborhood,” said Steven V. Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Walmart. “As we continue to evaluate opportunities to open stores across the region, we also will continue to be flexible in our approach to local communities.”

The retailer said the store will help revitalize a vacant abandoned property, while preserving the building’s historic character. The store will employ approximately 65 people.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said in the statement that the market “will encourage more economic activity, create jobs, and increase access to fresh and affordable food in an underserved community.”

Wal-Mart Stores recently announced plans to open 11 of the Neighborhood Market locations in California. The format, about a third the size of the retailer’s traditional large stores, debuted in 1998 and has 167 U.S. locations.

The stores’ offerings include fresh produce, meat and dairy products, dry goods and staples, with pharmacy, deli, and bakery departments.

— Lou Hirsh