12/19/06 — Construction half-completed on Wal-Mart

View Archive

Construction half-completed on Wal-Mart

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 19, 2006 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Construction of a new Wal-Mart in Mount Olive is about half completed, said Town Manager Charles Brown, although company officials aren't having much, if anything, to say about the project.

Brown said that the company's reluctance to publicize its new 156,000 square-foot store is making it difficult for the town to convince other businesses to consider locating nearby.

"We can't get any job-creation money," Brown said. "We know it's going to bring jobs, and it's pretty obvious they're coming. In August they said they'd get us a press release, and three months later, they said they would wait until closer to opening."

Progress on the building on N.C. 55 has been rapid, Brown said. Much of the exterior work has been finished and crews are now working inside the structure.

Workers are on the job seven days a week, Brown said.

Brown said he speaks often with the general contractor, Helm Builders. And as far as he knows, work is on schedule for the store to open in the spring.

"They're just not very forthcoming with information. The contractors have been told not to talk to the media," Brown said.

He said he believes the hush-hush is because of the rumors that tend to follow each new Wal-Mart opening regarding the businesses that are considering locating nearby. He said he has heard several rumors circulating around town, from Bojangles to Outback to the Golden Corral and K&W Cafeteria.

But they're just rumors, he noted. There has been a lot of interest in the outparcels, but no takers yet, Brown said.

"Wal-Mart will probably make it come out so they announce first. Around May, we'll know."

The Wal-Mart project is a high-tech operation, he said. You can see sky lights in the roof to cut down on energy.

"You can tell Wall-Mart has learned something new every time they build a building," Brown said. "They put down 3,200 stone pylons for the foundation, and I would speculate every one of them is GPS-located."

Meanwhile, preliminary work on a Wal-Mart on west of Goldsboro is getting started. Company officials have not announced a scheduled opening for that store, which would contain more than 200,000 square feet of floor space, but the former property owner has said he was told the store should be open by next October.