Tallassee Walmart set to expand; some neighbors not happy - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Tallassee Walmart set to expand; some neighbors not happy

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Land where Walmart is planning to build a Tallassee Supercenter Walmart. Land where Walmart is planning to build a Tallassee Supercenter Walmart.
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TALLASSEE, AL (WSFA) -

Brandy Lee has mixed emotions about the new Walmart Supercenter going up in Tallassee. Lee applauds the fact the new Walmart will be so much better than the old one which, by the way, is said to be one of the smallest Wal-Mart stores in the state.

Lee, however, worries the expanded Walmart could sweep away locally owned businesses such as the Super Foods grocery store and Herrin Hill Pharmacy.

"I know it will mean more jobs but I'm concerned they will not only match local prices but beat them as well. You have to wonder what effect that will have on local stores," said Lee.

"I just don't see that happening because the local stores will do what they need to do to be profitable," said Tallassee mayor Bobby Payne. The mayor may have a point.

Kayla Johnson, for example, plans to shop at the new Walmart and keep her business at Super Foods as well.

"I just think Super Foods has the best meats in town," said Johnson.

Unlike the old Walmart the new one will have new amenities such as a bakery, pharmacy, deli, grocery, electronics but no tire store.

Mayor Payne says there is little doubt the new store will increase sales tax revenues for the city by as much as 20 percent.

"We see this as a good thing and we feel we'll attract our friends and neighbors such as Eclectic and Notasulga," said Payne.

Walmart's management plans to hire an additional 50 people for the new store bringing the total to more than 100 employees. That figure includes current employees working now at the old Wal-Mart.

The owner of Super Foods declined an on-camera interview saying he's taking a neutral stand on the matter and WSFA 12 News was unable to reach the owner of Herrin Hill Pharmacy. The businesses are privately owned.

Despite some initial misgivings Brandy Lee along with Kayla Johnson are confident the Supercenter will be 'super' for all of Tallassee. Opening day is set for sometime in April of this year.

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