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Wal-Mart Considering New Centralia Super Center

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Wal-mart is once again eyeing Centralia for construction of a Super Center.  

Centralia Economic Development Director Kayla Lambert says the development is being proposed for two parcels of land on the northeast corner of West McCord and Jolliff Bridge Road totaling just over 17 acres.  She reports the store would contain 152,290 square feet, double the size of the current Wal-mart in Centralia. The proposed Super Center would also have a fueling station.  It would add 50 to 60 full and part time jobs to the current Wal-mart staff.  Construction is at least a year away and plans still need to be finalized.     

Lambert says the Centralia Plan and Zoning Commission Thursday night approved changes in the required number of parking spaces and the size of the spaces.   The commission agreed to reduce the number of required parking spaces to 620.  That's 310 less spaces than the city's building code requires.  The commission also approved making the parking spaces a half foot wider, but a foot shorter than required by Centralia's code.   The consulting firm Manhart, which presented the proposed changes, said the wider parking spaces were preferred by customers.   The approval of the changes by the planning commission is final.  

Four residents who live near the proposed new Wal-mart who are against its development were present.  However, they had no specific complaints about the parking changes. No zoning changes are needed, since the property is already in the highway business zone.   

Lambert says the next part of the planning process involves working with the Illinois Department of Transportation for highway access to the proposed new store.  That work is expected to take at least 12 months to complete.  

Lambert says at this point Wal-mart has not asked for any incentives from the city, but that could still come.  No estimate has been placed on the cost of constructing the new store.  

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