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May 14, 2003 05:39 PM

Wal-Mart Supercenter Is Coming To Brookings

One KELOLAND city will soon have a new look. Wal-Mart, a long time Brookings business, is planning to close it's current store and build a new super center at the corner of 6th and 22nd. With an empty K-Mart building across the street Wal-Mart is now planning to close its doors to build a new super center in a nearby lot. Brookings City Manager Michael Williams explained "They want to expand and I think that's a compliment to Brookings and that they want to expand." But the expansion means moving the store from it's current location to 22nd Avenue across the street from the popular McCrory Gardens. "Once we made it know to them that it was a critical part of the city, they have been very receptive to us," said Williams That's why Wal-Mart plans to build a natrual buffer zone between the store and the gardens. But the store will have a bigger impact on the community than just the gardens. Williams commented "The process is a little unusal they've really only gone through the preliminary stages, but that forces them to get in front of the council." Promting downtown business owners like Jerry Miller to re-evalutate their own stores. Owner of Wink's Jewelry Jerry Miller said, "What we have to do is provide better merchandise, higher quality merchandise, and larger amounts of merchandise that we do already and a lot better service that the Wal-Mart stores do." But Miller says people will continue to shop downtown Brookings because of the friendly atmosphere. "Downtown Brookings is thriving with many many new and old businesses doing extremely well." Miller said, "Not many places can you go in and talk to the owner and you can't do that it the big box stores." Wal-Mart's relocation leaves a second empty lot on th east side of Brookings. It was right next to the K-Mart store that closed a month ago. The city of Brookings is looking into new uses for the buildings.

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