Wal-Mart expands in Virginia

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Wal-Mart is having a busy year in Virginia.  The country’s largest retailer emerged the victor last night in Orange County in a controversial bid to build a new super center near a historic battlefield.

The county’s Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve a special-use permit for a 130,000-square-foot store near the Civil War Wilderness Battlefield. This is the site where generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant first engaged in battle and where thousands of Union and Confederates soldiers died during fighting in May of 1864.

The area, zoned commercial for years, already is sprinkled with stores. But there’s nothing as big as what Wal-Mart proposes — thus the need for a special permit.

Meanwhile, action is gearing up in eastern Powhatan County for what would be Wal-Mart’s 12th store in the Richmond region. The company wants to build in the high-growth corridor just off U.S. 60. Some local entrepreneurs oppose the presence of the discount retailer as a threat to their businesses. They’re circulating petitions and organizing opposition through a Facebook site.  Yet other Powhatan residents say they would welcome a store, because of the new jobs.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart opened a temporary hiring center in Fredericksburg to fill more than 300 positions for a store that opens this fall in neighboring Stafford County. Plus, the Arkansas-based company also is on the lookout for a new store in Washington, D. C.


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