Albany -- City leaders celebrate, as a Wal Mart store for East Albany moved one step closer reality. The contract isn't signed, but a developer who works closely with Wal-Mart is clearing a 33 acre site at the corner of Clark Avenue and Cordele Road.
Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue are coming to East Albany, but for the people who live in the mobile home where the Wal-Mart will be built, today was a sad day- they've been told to get out.
Albany City officials say they are celebrating what they see as the beginning of a new East Albany. Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard said, "We are very excited about the possibilities, the potential of a Wal Mart being in East Albany."
The developer that builds Wal-Mart's in Georgia has bought the Georgian Mobile Home Estates on Cordele Road. Wednesday the 80 families that lease spaces for their mobile homes got eviction notices. Resident Eddie Smith said, "It's devastating. I don't know what I'm going to do."
Smith has lived at this mobile home park for 16 years. His trailer is so old, he knows it will fall apart if they tried to move it, even if he had enough money to pay someone to move it. Smith and his neighbors say they live here because they can't afford anything else.
Resident Timothy Lindsey said, "That's the only reason we are here. This is the last stop before homeless. When they do what they do, where are these people going to go? Where am I going to go?"
The mobile home park is known to police for crime, fires, and drugs. Mayor Willie Adams said it is, "An area that needs to be cleaned up. And with this new potential business being located in that spot, it will eradicate or get rid of that problem, plus create numerous jobs."
Resident Janie Brown said "This is my home, no matter what they think about it, this is my home."
A Wal-Mart could mean millions of dollars in economic development for East Albany, and hundreds of new jobs. But for the people who live where that Wal Mart will be built, all they know is they have to find a new home by July 31st.
City officials say they have been working closely with Wal Mart for close to two years on an East Albany location, and they feel very excited the deal will be finalized soon.