Wal-Mart eyes Supercenter at Stanford location

February 29, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Several new businesses could be looking at Lincoln County locations, though no definite plans have been made, according to Judge-Executive "Buckwheat" Gilbert at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting Tuesday. Included in the list of possibilities are a new Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sonic Drive-In restaurant.

The Supercenter could be located on U.S. 27, less than a mile north of Stanford city limits on 11 acres currently owned by Tommy Owens.

"They have been surveying and core-drilling, and have been to planning and zoning," said Gilbert. "They haven't bought it yet, but they've taken the option on it."

According to Wal-Mart's Web site, a single Supercenter can employ between 200-550 associates and range from 109,000 to 220,000 square feet. Supercenters include a grocery section, general merchandise and in some cases a vision center, pharmacy, and tire & lube center. Currently, Stanford's closest Supercenter is in Danville.


The possible Supercenter would replace the current Wal-Mart, located in the Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center. It employs approximately 100 associates. Management at the store said if the location changed the employees would be moved to the new store.

Wal-Mart's Plaza location is leased to the company through 2006. Representatives of the chain told local officials they would help fill the vacant retail space if they moved, said Stanford mayor Eddie Carter.

"They assured me that they (Wal-Mart) would try to get somebody in that building," Carter said. "That's the most important thing for us, to get somebody back in there."

Carter said the city would hate to loose the company's taxes, but hoped another retail chain would fill the vacancy. He said a list of possible business, gathered by Wal-Mart, had been shown to him and included some exciting possibilities.

A fast-food chain has also shown interest in a Lincoln County location. Sonic Drive-In has been rumored to be considering building a new store on U.S. 27 outside of Stanford, near the First Southern National Bank branch.

Sonic Drive-Ins feature car-side service of the 1950's. The franchise chain is based in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Additional businesses have looked into Lincoln County, said Gilbert. "I have heard of more businesses coming down into the Waynesburg area, but nothing's definite." Gilbert attributed the rise in interest to the recent Fiscal Court approval of countywide planning and zoning.

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