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Wal-Mart going up quickly

July 18, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Wal-Mart being built at Charles Town Plaza is expected to open before Halloween, General Manager Clinton Miller said Thursday.

The store can't open too soon for customers and other business owners at the shopping center.

"I think it'll be good for everybody," said Dominic Colandrea, owner of Brother's Pizza near the new Wal-Mart.

He said he hopes business picks up at the shop, which as been at the plaza since 1980. The landlord notified the shopping center tenants that the rent will go up when the Wal-Mart opens, he said.

Business had been hurting since an anchor department store pulled out of the shopping center about five years ago, he said.

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Wal-Mart shoppers might come over to his restaurant for a slice of pizza or a steak sandwich, he said.

Bob Hanni, 35, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said that the store's opening will mean he won't have to travel as far to go shopping.

He now travels to Martinsburg, W.Va., or other surrounding towns, he said.

"I'm glad it's going up so quick. It means it'll open sooner," Hanni said.

Ground was broken in January for the 144,000-square-foot Wal-Mart, which will be part department store and part grocery store.

In recent weeks, passersby have watched the exterior walls go up quickly as sunny weather has sped construction.

"It looks like a plane just dropped it there," Miller said.

Construction should be complete by Sept. 22, he said. "That's when they'll turn the keys over to me," he said.

Preparation of the store's interior will take about six to eight weeks, he said.

The store will employ 300 associates, although it's not known how many will be hired when the process begins in two weeks, Miller said.

Other workers from area Wal-Mart stores can transfer to the Charles Town store, he said.

The Wal-Mart is just one of the changes taking place at the Charles Town Plaza off U.S. 340 outside Charles Town.

A new Golden Corral restaurant is being built to replace the existing one in the shopping center.

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