Work begins on new Wal-Mart

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Let the countdown begin: Demopolis’s new Wal-Mart SuperCenter is now officially less than a year away from opening its doors.

Although some frustrated Demopolis residents would say progress on the SuperCenter has been slow, it took a big step forward this week when ground was finally broken on the new building’s construction.

“The time between ground-breaking and the opening would be approximately 10 months,” said Wal-Mart Community Affairs official Glen Wilkins. “So it should be opening in the Spring of ’06.”

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If things remain on schedule, a 10-month construction process would put the grand opening at either the end of January or the beginning of February of next year. Wilkins said Wal-Mart is happy to have the ground-breaking behind them and is anticipating a smooth transition to the SuperCenter.

“We’re very excited,” he said. “We’re looking forward to opening the new building and better serving our customers in Demopolis.”

Already a platoon of backhoes, bulldozers, and other construction equipment has descended on the SuperCenter’s future home on Highway 80 West, moving dirt and tossing up chunks of earth in preparation for the next phase of construction.

The current efforts towards the building’s construction are being handled by general contractors J.A. Fielden of Knoxville, TN, and construction firm RanCo, Inc., of Tuscaloosa. On-site officials with the two companies confirmed Tuesday morning that the SuperCenter should be ready to go by the end of next January.

Although next January will be plenty soon enough for many residents, some may still feel disappointed the SuperCenter will not meet the timetable estimated when Wal-Mart first announced the move, which had the new building opened by late 2005. In addition, the businesses that will open on the SuperCenter’s “outparcel” lots have yet to be publicly confirmed, and Blue Ridge LLC, future owners of the current Wal-Mart, have not as of yet announced a tenant for the building.

Regardless, the whirr of bulldozers means that Demopolis shoppers can go ahead and begin marking their calendars.