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Ask the Times: Wal-Mart careful to choose store sites
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

I would like to know why they are building Wal-Marts on Ga. Highway 60 and Browns Bridge Road but they cannot put one on Limestone (Parkway).

Wal-Mart does its homework before deciding where to place a new retail center, officials with the company said, relying on thorough research to find areas in high demand of a Supercenter, Wal-Mart Express unit or Neighborhood Market. 

Amanda Henneberg, spokeswoman at Wal-Mart, said the decisions have everything to do with the customer’s convenience. But officials declined to give more information on the specific placement of the stores in Gainesville. 

“Our shoppers tell us they value having several shopping options, as well as the convenience of being able to shop close to where they live and work,” Henneberg said. “It saves them time and money.”

Wal-Mart is building Neighborhood Market grocery stores and accompanying fuel stations at Lanier Plaza, along Thompson Bridge Road, and at Lanier Commons at the intersection of Browns Bridge and McEver roads. Both are set to open in early 2015.

Tim Evans with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce said that office sometimes helps developers choose locations, but Wal-Mart typically works on its own.

The Limestone area has been lacking in grocery store options, but a 123,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace that opened earlier this year in the New Holland Market development has helped fill that need.

That 68-acre mixed-use development off Jesse Jewell and Limestone parkways still has space for smaller tenants, and developers were in talks this week with some possible tenants, Evans said.

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