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While the new Wal-Mart store under construction at the southeast intersection of County Roads 486 and 491 is scheduled to open in early 2013, the future of the entire shopping development is moving ahead.
“Right now there is no specific opening date,” Wal-Mart manager Tom Cooper said. “It will be at the beginning of the year.”
Cooper has been manager of the Brooksville Wal-Mart for the past three years and has 12 years with the company.
“I am getting familiar with the area,” he said. “We are starting up a hiring site here and I am getting to know the community.”
“We will be hiring up to 200 associates,” he said.
Cooper described the new Wal-Mart, the third in Citrus County, as a medium size-store, not a Super Wal-Mart like the store in Inverness.
“It is right in line with other Wal-Marts,” he said. It will be a little over 116,000 square feet and is comparable to the store in Homosassa. That store opened last April, replacing an older location.
The new store will have a drive-through pharmacy, which Inverness does not have, and a Subway restaurant inside the store.
And there is one feature that will be unique among Citrus County Wal-Marts. “We will carry long guns (rifles and shotguns),” he said.
He said a grand opening is being planned, and that members of the community will be invited.
The new Wal-Mart will anchor a shopping center development called Central Ridge Plaza located on just over 40 acres. Gulf to Lakes Associates Inc. sold the Wal-Mart site to the chain retailer and is co-developer with it for the infrastructure. The pace of the development has been planned to coincide with road construction and offsite drainage.
Development plans called for the Wal-Mart and at least seven outparcels for smaller stores as well as interior outparcels. While the site work is close to being done, as of Oct. 24, no additional building permits had been issued.
But there is strong national interest in the location, according to Joe Cappuccilli, executive vice president of Gulf to Lakes Associates Inc. He said they have gone under contract with a national developer to buy the entire site. Details on the arrangement are under a confidentially agreement. But it could happen in 45 to 60 days.
“There has been a lot of interest in a variety of users for the site,” he said. “The buyer is deciding what is best. It’s the simple thing to do to be all handled and controlled by one entity.
“We’re excited,” Cappuccilli said. “It’s an opportunity for a lot of growth for that area.”
Contact Chronicle reporter Pat Faherty at 352-564-2924 or email@example.com.