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Wal-Mart coming to Barnesville

Multiple reports over the past month regarding a development company visiting town to negotiate for property in Barnesville on which to locate a Wal-Mart Supercenter were confirmed at a special called meeting of the Barnesville city council Thursday afternoon. UPDATE: The council voted to authorize mayor Peter Banks and city manager Kenny Roberts to continue negotiations with Wal-Mart’s developer. Several conditions must be met by both sides. The developer is reportedly seeking city land at a price near $50,000 per acre. The agenda for the meeting included a vote on a resolution to reclaim the old city landfill on Goggans Road and an executive session to discuss real estate. The real estate vote concerned the Wal-Mart deal. A review of city-owned property on the Lamar tax assessors’ website indicates only one suitable site: the 67.22-acre parcel that was formerly proposed for the Ag. Expo Center on Roberta Drive across from the Lamar County jail. If that is the site, the developer will likely go after a 1.77-acre site at the corner of Roberta Drive and Veterans’ Parkway that is now owned by First Laurens Bank in Dublin to provide four-lane frontage. That parcel was previously owned by Sophie Blosser, Alan Hudson and Empire Gas in reverse chronological oder. Super Wal-Marts typically are about 80,000-square feet with acres of parking. Developers generally market out parcels and adjacent strip centers to other businesses which flock to the area to draw customers off the traffic Wal-Mart generates. Wal-Mart and its developer reportedly looked at two other parcels before settling on the city property. One was on the northeast side of the Thomaston Street-Veterans Parkway intersection. The other included the former Davis-Cooper Ford location and land adjacent to it.

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