Staff: Walmart project possible, but on hold

Published 3:53 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Atmore Mayor Jim Staff this week silenced rumors of a possible Walmart location coming to Atmore, but said the project may be only on hold and not dead in the water.

“We’ve been talking with Walmart and they were interested in several possible lots,” Staff said. “But, for whatever reason, they have decided to put the project on hold for six months to a year.”

Staff said he and city officials have been working with the retail giant in hopes of landing a full-scale store in Atmore’s Rivercane development site, which, he added, would likely attract other retail and food business to the area.

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“They were talking about the possibility of an experimental store,” Staff said. “That’s what they called it. They only have one other and it’s in Georgia. It would have been 6,500 to 7,500 square feet, where a full-scale store is about 120,000 square feet.”

Staff said, while negotiations are currently on hold, he believes a Walmart location would be good for Atmore’s overall economy.

“We wouldn’t be totally dependent on it like some places are,” he said. “I’d love to have the revenue that’s been going to other towns like Bay Minette and Monroeville.”

Staff said the Bay Minette Walmart had already begun posting job openings for the Atmore location on their bulletin boards, and is hopeful those positions will ultimately be available again in the near future.

“They were looking at us hard and they still are,” he said.