Super plans stalled

Plans to convert the Bobby Jones Expressway Wal-Mart store into a supercenter have been pushed back to 2008.


Wal-Mart community affairs manager Glen Wilkins said the opening of the supercenter in the Village Plaza shopping center is planned for late spring next year.

He said the construction - which will add 71,000 square feet and amenities such as a grocery department - typically takes about 10 months. However, because the store would remain open during renovations, work could take a little longer, he said.

That would mean construction would start by summer.

Phone messages left with representatives of Columbus, Ohio-based U.S. Properties Group, which owns the shopping center, were not returned Wednesday. In December, company officials said they expected construction to begin in March.

New site plans were submitted in January to Richmond County's Planning Department, though certain fees and administrative approval are still required.

The project was to begin last summer, but was delayed because renovation plans also included the demolition of the Village Plaza Sam's Club, which would be rebuilt on shopping center property currently leased by Tractor Supply Co. and Sportsman's Link.

The lease for Sportsman's Link doesn't expire for another five years, and owner Sohail Abdulla maintains that moving out before the end of the lease would cost him millions.

He said Tuesday that the company has not contacted him about the renovations.

Mr. Wilkins said he couldn't comment on the dispute, but added that "we do intend to still have the Sam's there."

Reach Laura Youngs at (706) 823-3227 or