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home : local news : local news July 8, 2020

1/15/2007 2:18:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Supercenter's contractor ready to start work

Sports Editor

Construction of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Robinson should begin next week.

S.M. Wilson & Co., which has offices in Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded the construction contract to build a Supercenter here. The Daily News learned Thursday that crews will begin building a construction access road off Mitchell Avenue as well as other site work next week.

According to Project Manager Mark Winschel, work will begin soon and the new building should be finished and operational by September. After the new store is complete, the old store will be demolished. That portion should be complete by the end of November, if all goes well. Winschel also noted the new store will be open while the old store is being demolished.

"Hopefully we'll have some good weather and we get off to a good start," Winschel told the Daily News.

According to preliminary drawings supplied to city officials last year, the new store would cover an estimated 153,000 square feet, about two and a half times the size of the existing store, but not as big as 200,000-square-foot Supercenters in Vincennes and Terre Haute.

Wilson has been awarded more than $234 million of construction contracts from Wal-Mart, Inc., which encompasses Wal-Mart Stores, Wal-Mart Supercenters, Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Clubs. The firm has provided construction services for more than 60 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas and Tennessee since 1988.

Wal-Mart corporate officials did not return calls from the Daily News seeking comment for this story. Despite its continuing contacts with city officials over the past year on infrastructure, permits, zoning and other issues, Wal-Mart has continued to refuse to comment publicly on its plans for the Robinson store.

Rumors that a Robinson Supercenter was in the works increased until the fall of 2005, when Wal-Mart purchased an option on the 18 acres behind the existing store and transferred ownership of that building to a division of the company that manages vacant properties.

Since no zoning change was required for the Supercenter, no public hearings were held on the project.

Wal-Mart opened its existing Robinson store in 1982.

Plans are in the works for other area Supercenters - a 104,000-square-foot Lawrenceville store, with construction also planned to begin early this year, and a Marshall store set to open in 2008.

Randy Harrison and Greg Bilbrey of the Daily News staff also contributed to this report.

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