YUMA, Ariz. – On Wednesday, shovels dug up the first bit of dirt where Yuma’s Wal-Mart market will soon open its doors.
Mayor Doug Nicholls said, “Wal-Mart’s come in and has made a large investment on rebuilding this area and helped revitalize it.”
Not everyone has shared Mayor Doug Nicholls’ enthusiasm. Initial plans to bring a supermarket to Avenue B and 8th Street unearthed opposition leading to a petition and eventually a special election. In March, Yuma’s voters said yes to another Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart representative Phil Serghini said, “That’s what we’re doing here today is celebrating the approval by the voters and the beginning of construction for this new facility.”
The store is expected to open up early next year and will employ almost 100 people.
Mayor Doug Nicholls said it will also bring more businesses to the Yuma area.
“This will be the anchor for some heavy investment. We’ve already seen at the City some interest in some additional development around the area,” Nicholls said.
During the ceremony Wal-Mart reps awarded the Yuma Community Food Bank with two checks totaling more than 50,000 dollars.
Yuma Food Bank President Mike Ivers said, “If every elected official and every corporation invested their time and money the way Wal-Mart does, we wouldn’t have a hungry person in America.”
There are currently three Wal-Mart’s and a Sam’s Club in Yuma.