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11-20-02: Celina Wal-Mart gets super-sized
Commission approves new store's site plan at increased size

The Daily Standard
    Though it will be at least two full years before a new Wal-Mart Supercenter opens its doors across the street from Celina's current Wal-Mart, the store to-be already has increased in size.
    The Celina City Planning Commission on Tuesday approved the site plan for the proposed shopping center near the intersection of Ohio 29 and Havemann Road, and granted a request to allow a fast food restaurant to open in it.
    Bo Gunlock, of RG Properties, the company handling the development plans for Wal-Mart, said Tuesday that Wal-Mart executives gave his company real estate and corporate approval to move ahead with the project. Because the current Wal-Mart does well and pre-leasing activities went well, Wal-Mart increased the planned store's size from 184,000 square feet to 203,000 square feet, Gunlock reported.
    The Wal-Mart Supercenter will be comparable in size to the Lima or Greenville Wal-Mart, Gunlock confirmed.
    On the 50-acre site, RG will construct a Wal-Mart Supercenter, two adjacent buildings and a Wal-Mart gas station. The site plan shows room for future development on four undeveloped "out-lots."
    The site is laid out so the parking lot entrance to the future shopping center will be directly across from Irmscher Boulevard. On the Havemann Road frontage will be out-lots for future development and the Wal-Mart gas station with another exit to Havemann Road further west. Further back on the property will be the supercenter and two adjacent buildings, with more than 1,000 parking spaces.
    Gunlock said the shopping center will be unique because Wal-Mart insists on owning the building and property where the store will be housed. RG will own the remainder of the center and rent out lots, or possibly sell them.
    Gunlock did not say whether there are any specific deals in the works to bring in a fast food restaurant, but he said that type of business typically vies to be near a Wal-Mart.
    Gunlock said he hopes to close the land purchase deal with Huffy Inc., which currently owns the land, by the end of the year and construction could start next year. The store would not open until 2005, Gunlock said. After the building is constructed, it will take nearly a year to prepare the interior of the store before opening.


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