Walmart Submits Plan for Northeastern Chatham County

This press announcement has been making the rounds today:

Walmart Submits Plan for Northeastern Chatham County Location
Posted Date: 3/2/2012

Chatham County received a site plan today for a second Walmart location in Chatham County, a 148,400-square-foot, full-service store off of US 15/501 just south of the Orange County line. Walmart's official statement said that the store will be part of its Buildings Sustainable Value Network, with a focus on energy-efficient design and operations.

"Walmart's announcement of a second store in the county means approximately 300 new jobs and we need every one of them," said Commissioner Chairman Brian Bock. "Given how many of our residents must commute outside the county to work, often for long distances, this is very good news."

According to Walmart, the average hourly wage for its regular, full-time employees in the state is $12.39 per hour, as of October 2011. This does not include benefits. Walmart's statement said that more details on job opportunities will be available toward the end of the construction phase.

Bock said that the store will be a much-needed boost to the county's sales tax revenues and the property tax base. "Given the store's location, it will attract shoppers from nearby counties."

Dianne Reid, president of the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation said, "In developing our Economic Development Strategic Plan, we found that approximately 64 cents of every retail dollar spent by Chatham County residents is spent outside the county. This project will help us stem the resulting leakage in retail sales tax revenues."

The Buildings Sustainable Value Network means that Walmart will focus on such energy and water efficient methods as using solar-powered lighting. Walmart reports that it has two companywide environmental goals: to be 100 percent supplied by renewable energy and to produce zero waste.

Bock said, "For every acre of land developed, Walmart purchases and preserves one acre of wildlife habitat through a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This is a very different Walmart than it was five or 10 years ago."

Walmart's statement said that it will be "a full-service store with a range of general merchandise, including fresh produce, meat and deli items, at affordable prices. The store will also include a pharmacy and a garden center."

Bock said, "Walmart has been significantly involved in the movement to buy local food products, so we see opportunities for local farmers, including organic farmers, to benefit from the new store. A Walmart store can make these products available to a broader range of customers."

County Manager Charlie Horne said it is too soon to estimate the timeframe for the planning and permitting process. "We may have a better handle on that in a few days once we see the specifics of the site plan." The site is nearly 63 acres, with 20 acres zoned for business use (B-1) that Walmart will develop.



Today, Walmart submitted a site plan to the Chatham County Planning Department for a second Chatham County store to be built on US 15-501 just south of the Orange County line. This store will be part of Walmart's Buildings Sustainable Value Network, through which we design and build more energy-efficient and water-efficient stores throughout the US.

We plan a full service store that will offer customers a wide range of general merchandise and groceries, including fresh local produce, meat and deli items, at affordable prices. The store will also include a pharmacy and a garden center.

We plan to hire approximately 300 associates, and details about job opportunities will be made available toward the end of the construction phase of the project. We look forward to being an engaged and contributing member of the community, strengthening our ties with local suppliers and helping our customers save more.

William C. Wertz, Director, Community & Media Relations East



Whew thank god for the 500 feet of Chatham County buffer that stands between the residents of Orange County and this evil influence.  

... but Carrboro's pumpkin chuckin team ought to have no problem hitting it at that range from safely inside Orange County.

You can find previous OrangePolitics posts about Walmart dating back to 2005 at

"But Kinnaird, one of the most liberal members of the N.C. General Assembly according to the John Locke Foundation, said Costco is different."Costco paid $18 an hour some years ago, and I suspect pays more now," she wrote in a letter to the Carrboro mayor and Board of Aldermen. "Every employee, full and part time, is provided with health insurance. Costco has committed itself to be socially accountable to its workers, the environment and the area where it is located.""

Whatever happened with this old idea from some years back?  I kind of liked the idea of a Costco maybe around the old empty volvo lot near Rams Plaza.  It's an area within walking distance from where I've lived for the last 6 years, and though I don't get to vote for everyone who lives in this part of town, I'm not turned off by the prospect of dealing with construction/traffic.  I like that they've got high ratings from HRC.  Kinniard makes the point that they treat their workers better than a lot of box stores.  And 15-501 leads right into Durham where we have a Walmart, Target, and Sams Club all near the edge of Chapel Hill, so us having something on the edge might help prevent some of the spill over, and maybe prevent other box stores from trying to line the edges of Chapel Hill. It's not that I actively want a Costco here, just that I wouldn't object to the right store in the right location, done in a thoughtful way, and it's something I'd like more than more Walmarts.

And if not Costco, something else.BIg box scores have made some inroads into developing stores which fit better into brownfield/more densely populated urban areas than the typical model ala the Target/Sam's Club assemblage on the old South Square Mall site. I'd think something like that could definitely work in a place like Chapel Hill. 


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