Wal-Mart may open in Eldersburg

March 18, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

An article in Friday's Carroll County editions of The Sun had erroneous information about the State Highway Administration's

plans for widening Route 32 around Sykesville.

The SHA said the work would only include widening the road shoulders along Route 32 from the Howard County line to Springfield Avenue, if money is available.

The Sun regrets the error.

Wal-Mart, the retail chain that inspires fear in its competitors and shopping frenzy in its customers, is said to be coming to Carroll County -- again.


The chain, which opened a store in Westminster in November 1992 and has more than 1,800 other outlets across the United States, is negotiating with a Howard County developer for 17 acres at the northeast corner of routes 26 and 32 in Eldersburg.

"We have a signed contract," said James R. Moxley, president of Bevard Farm Corp., which purchased the Eldersburg site last year from Acme Markets. "Once certain approvals have been obtained, Wal-Mart will buy the site."

Mr. Moxley said he would not discuss the purchase price until the sales contract is final.

Wal-Mart officials in Arkansas would not comment on information released yesterday by Bevard Farm Corp.

"We can't confirm or deny," said spokeswoman Betsy Reithemeyer from the Wal-Mart corporate offices in Bentonville, Ark. "I have no information that we are pursuing a site in Eldersburg."

Mr. Moxley said he has been negotiating with Wal-Mart since an independent broker contacted him with a proposal about three months ago. He expects to go to settlement within a few months, he said.

"This is an opportunity to turn this long-vacant and unused site in the middle of Eldersburg into a major asset for South Carroll and the county," said Mr. Moxley.

He said a recent traffic study found that the surrounding roads can accommodate expected traffic. The State Highway Administration plans to widen Route 32 from south of Sykesville to Route 26 this summer. The intersection recently was widened.

Bevard Farm Corp. already has applied to the county Board of Zoning Appeals for a conditional-use permit to allow construction of the store on the industrial-zoned land. Business use is an accepted variance, Mr. Moxley said.

Bevard Farm has built the Normandy and Columbia Junction shopping centers in Howard County and the Twin Arch center in Mount Airy.

"We have never worked with Wal-Mart before, but we are glad to be working with them now," said Mr. Moxley.

A new branch of Carroll County Bank and Trust Co. will share space in the proposed new center with Wal-Mart, he said.

In an economic impact analysis, the Legg Mason Group estimated that the new outlet would generate jobs for 158 people and more than $110,000 in annual tax revenue for the county.

Wal-Marts sell a wide variety of merchandise, from clothing to major electronics, and entice customers with a sales program that guarantees the lowest price for each item.

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