A groundbreaking is planned for Friday, July 17 at 11a for a 150,000+ square foot Wal-Mart Super Center, a little larger than the one in Scottsburg, that will be constructed on East Hackberry Street in Salem.
In fact, according to Randall Hake, VP of Commercial Development with Cedarwood Development, the store will be the largest Wal-Mart in Southern Indiana.
Randy Hake, Director of Cedarwood Development, Inc., will be on hand along with Salem Mayor David Bower, Greg Fitzloff, Salem Marketing Director, along with other city and county officials.
The public is invited to the event and lunch will be served at the Future Development Building on Progress Way.
Although the timeline – which originally called for the store to be open by this fall — has been pushed forward. Further details will be provided next week.
Employment is expected to be 300-400 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.
The project hasn’t moved along as fast as some in the public have wanted or expected and earlier this year, 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 earlier this year. “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.”
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.
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 director Fitzloff have developed in the past two years – the first being the Cobblestone Hotel, Salem’s first major hotel. The city has also added new jobs through a seed company opening this spring.
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.