Mayor David Bower is confident the Wal-Mart project is moving forward after another meeting with Cedarwood Development today at City Hall he’s more hopeful than ever.
Bower responded to questioning and negative comments made on social media with positive remarks on the development.
“I just got out of a meeting with Cedarwood Development and everything is going great with the Wal-Mart project. Most of the permitting is finalized” said Bower. “They have to have permits for IDEM, road permits….it takes a while for Wal-Mart to cross these hurdles. We also have to get the utilities on to the property so they are able to hook into them.”
The planned retail store is expected to be more than 150,000 square feet, making it the largest Wal-Mart Super Center in Kentuckiana.
Employment is expected to be 300-400 for the new Wal-Mart with additional employees for restaurants and ancillary businesses located around the facility.
There will be approx. 640 parking spaces in the parking lot.
The store will feature a garden center, tire and lube center, pharmacy, full grocery selection as well as general product lines.
Other plans for the site include a Murphy Oil Fuel Center (located across the street from WSLM) and several retail outlets in a mini-mall setting as well as restaurants – both fast food and menu-style.
Bower said dirt work would begin soon to begin the work of moving water and sewer lines to the property.
Bower said that nay-sayers would be disappointed when the store finally opened its doors.
He noted the building should be under construction in 2015 and should be completed by the original estimate of Fall 2015. “A lot of things depend on the weather.”
Mayor Bower is excited about the benefits the store will bring to the community – a shot in the arm of getting an additional $18 million per year in tax revenue.
Bower has been operating the city in a very frugal manner with decrease in state and federal revenue as well as lower local revenue.
He has mentioned several times the way to combat this is to add brick and mortar retail structures in a community.
The Wal-Mart project is the second large retail venture he and new city marketing coordinator Greg Fitzloff have developed in the past year – the first being the Cobblestone Hotel, Salem’s first major hotel.
The hotel is located on the city’s eastside and near the planned Wal-Mart construction.
“The eastside of the City of Salem is ripe for development and you will be seeing a lot happen there over the next few years,” said Bower.