Since Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced last month it was closing 154 stores in the United States, Gentry Mayor Kevin Johnston has been on the phone and sending emails trying to attract a grocery store to the Benton County town.
Jason Pullman, through his Refined Retail LLC, paid slightly more than $1.2 million for a 1.9-acre lot in front of the Walmart Supercenter at Hall Crossing on Elm Springs Road in Springdale. Bear State Bank of Rogers assisted the purchase — and presumably the construction that will soon start — with a loan of $2.65 million.
When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville announced a few years ago it planned to open a prototype 13,700-SF Express store in Gentry, Mayor Kevin Johnston said concerned citizens feared that the coming of the retail giant would crush competitive commerce in the city. Johnston said there were town meetings with small-business leaders to discuss the situation.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it has eight projects in some stage of development in northwest Arkansas, and that’s not including a planned neighborhood market in Bentonville and a convenience store prototype that recently opened in Bentonville.
Lance Eads, vice president of economic development for the Springdale Chamber of Commerce, hints that an announcement will be made in the next few weeks — the fruit of new interest in the new Walmart Supercenter coming to Elm Springs Road and the current work on Interstate 540.