The largest WalMart in Southern Indiana will find its home in Salem come fall 2015. This announcement was made during a special meeting Tuesday morning at city hall to a room of eager county residents.
“We are celebrating today!” said Mayor David Bower, adding that five or six years ago, the city wondered if this would ever happen. “Now, here we are.”
Bower said he has been smiling for a week and announced the plans for a 151,000 square foot building as a “new day in our community.”
He said that while he loves the town square and all the small businesses in this town, “we cannot operate like we have in the past.” He said the community needs more sources of revenue to prevent an increase in taxes and this store will help.
The WalMart Supercenter will be located on Kimball Drive, off Hackberry Street (State Road 56 East). The company plans to employee between 300 and 400 people.
Rick Hayes of BRR Architecture said the firm is excited to be in the county and said the new store will be about the length of two football fields and will include an auto center, a garden center and a pharmacy that will have a drive up window.
Customers will enter the store off Kimball Drive and they are hoping to eventually have a traffic light at the intersection of Kimball Drive and Hackberry Street.
Randall Hake of Cedarwood Development, a national real estate company, told the standing room only crowd in the city hall council room that construction will begin in late spring 2014, with an open date of fall 2015.
He thanked the crowd of people who gathered for the announcement.
“Thank you for inviting us and welcoming us to your community,” he said.
The 27 acre site will also leave room for additional retailers, restaurants and financial institutions to build.
Bower is optimistic about what Wal-Mart will do for the city and county.
“Business brings business,” he said.