Wal-Mart brass approves east side store - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wal-Mart brass approves east side store

October 31, 2007

Albany -- East Albany is getting a major economic boost. After months of speculation, Wal-Mart officials announced today they'll build one of their largest stores in the country in that part of town, creating new 350 jobs.

And city leaders hope it will help clean up a blighted area and lead to other growth in an underdeveloped part of town.

It's been months since economic leaders first announced Wal-Mart was coming to East Albany and that Georgian Mobile Home Estates, an area riddled with crime would be cleared out for the spot. And then the rumors began that it was all a farce. 

"We've had a couple of wolf calls over the years and Glen [Wilkins] made this real. He is Wal-Mart," said Jeff Sinyard Chairman of the Dougherty County Commission.

Wal-Mart's Senior Manager of Public Affairs, Glen Wilkins, turned what had been mere speculation into reality.  "I wanted to let you know today, we are committed to this town, we're committed to that site and we're committed to this community."

The plans for the new East Albany supercenter are impressive-- 187,000 square feet on 38 acres -up to 350 new jobs -$110-$150 Million in annual revenue -45,000 square feet of additional shopping space -Four out parcels for development

"There's a change to replace a crime area to a business area like a Super Wal-Mart,"  says Martha Corhen, who has lived in East Albany for more than 30 years.  "This is the biggest announcement that I know of that has come to East Albany," she said.

She's not just excited about a new place to shop, but about the boost it will provide to the people who live here. "Hundreds of people are going to have jobs, you have 401-Ks coming, you have insurance coming. We have so many different things coming that can benefit people that need jobs."

But it won't happen overnight. It could be several years before you actually see any development at the location.  "It's going to take a little while before you start to see the dirt turn and the walls come up, but we want to let people know there has been a lot of work done in the past and it is not just in fact a bunch of people crying wolf and speculating," said Wilkins. 

It could take as long as two years before you see any work on the new store site. Developers plan to begin rezoning requests at the beginning of 2008.

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