The store will be in the Forest Hills Shopping Center, near Baldino’s Subs. It will be smaller than most of the Walmart stores in the area and will not have an auto care center or a gas station.
Wilkins said the project would create up to 300 jobs, most of which would be full-time positions.
“We saw this as an area with dense population and an opportunity to better serve our customers,” he said.
George Patty, the director for Augusta’s planning and zoning department, said he was aware of the project but there has been no zoning requests or site plans submitted.
Wilkins said they hope to break ground in early 2013.
Alvin Ledbetter, vice president of the Forest Estates Neighborhood Association, said he has heard mostly positive feedback from area residents about the project. Residents whose properties are adjacent to the proposed site are more hesitant, he said, but there has been no vocal opposition as of yet.
“There’s not been a huge negative upswing or anything like that,” Ledbetter said. “We’re all looking forward to it.”
This would be the third Walmart in Richmond County, and within 6 miles proximity to the others on Deans Bridge Road and Bobby Jones Expressway.
It is not being built for consolidation, Wilkins said.
“This is not to build one just to move another one over,” Wilkins explained. “There are a lot of folks in that area, and we’re just wanting to provide a more convenient shopping experience. This store is in addition to, not in lieu of.”
The church that uses a building in the Forest Hills Shopping Center, New Life Christian Center, reportedly owns land in Grovetown.