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OKOLONA, Ky. (WDRB) -- One of the country's largest retailers is trying to expand even more throughout the city of Louisville.
As city planners say, this is not the first time Wal-Mart has opened its doors in the same spot. After around a half decade of changing hands, Wal-Mart officials asked to come back to Okolona at the same location. Officials are saying if this goes through, they are hoping the new store will be bigger and better.
The retail giant with famous white and blue letters faced Jefferson Mall for several years until it closed in 2008. The store closed years after talks of a 200,000 square foot Supercenter never came to life.
"There was a plan for Wal-Mart SuperCenter to exist approved in 01-02 and it was never built," said Christopher Brown, Planner II with the Louisville Metro Planning and Design.
Councilwoman Madonna Flood of Dist. 24 says she believes the plan fell through for a reason. "It never came to fruition, there was a turn in the economic climate at that time and Wal-Mart quit building anything," Flood said.
The property has since been home to a grocery, nursery, church and auto shop. Wal-Mart officials want to take over the entire property and open a 155,000 sq. ft. SuperCenter.
Brown said they are planning to combine all of the lots that exist out on the property at 4840 Outer Loop and demolish what's existing to build the SuperCenter.
Brown said there is already another SuperCenter on Outer Loop, but the proposed location would be larger. "It would be comparable to the one in Bashford Manor," Brown said.
Flood said this new opening doesn't indicate another closing. "They told me at the public meeting is they would not be closing other stores in the area," said Flood.
She said Wal-Mart officials told her it would create around 150 part-time and 150 full-time jobs. "I would like them to be jobs that pay a lot more," Flood said. "But when the economy is this slow we take what we can get."
The proposal will be presented to the Land Development Transportation Committee at a public meeting at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Brown said the meeting would take place at the old jail building at 6th and Liberty Streets.
"It has to go through the preliminary planning in order to get to the next stage which would be construction permits review," Brown said, adding, "It is going before a subcommittee to go over the development plan that is being proposed."
Erica Jones Senior Manager of Communications for Wal-Mart released this statement to WDRB:
"We're always looking for opportunities to serve our customers in Louisville and we think this store can be a part of the solution for folks who need a job or want more affordable options close to where they live or work."