Wal-Mart officials showed the city a drawing of what the Highway 90 Supercenter will look like. Instead of its traditional blue-based building, the Pass Christian store will have more of a tan and red color scheme. Wal-Mart said it did that to blend into the community.
The store is supposed to be built along Highway 90, between Hayden Avenue and Holiday Avenue.
Holiday Avenue is where Mary Blackwell lives. On Tuesday morning, she had a garage sale. Family members joked that she better sell her stuff now, before Wal-Mart builds a Supercenter just beyond her backyard fence.
Blackwell can't wait to welcome her new neighbor. "I'm excited," she said. "We need a Wal-Mart here."
Holiday Avenue is the eastern border of the proposed Pass Christian Wal-Mart. Jay Bacon thinks the store will help his neighborhood and his city.
"It's going to be an improvement," he said. "We'll get rid of these woods and the mosquitos and everything. It's going to better the neighborhood I think."
Pass Christian's mayor told WLOX News step one in bringing Wal-Mart to his city is approving a zoning change for this property, where the Beachcomber Lounge sits. The planning commission unanimously supported the change Monday night. If the board of aldermen goes along with the request, the mayor said the lounge could be sold to Wal-Mart by the end of the month.
The mayor's anticipation about Wal-Mart's arrival isn't shared by everyone. An anti-Wal Mart sign was posted at Highway 90 and Hayden Avenue. That's the western tip of the Wal-Mart boundary.
It's also where Pat Myers lives. "I'm not at all happy about it," Myers said. "Our entire life is going to be turned upside down. I'm going to have the auto center right in my front yard."
Hank Plauche lives on Second Street, immediately north of the site. He said he'll also be inconvenienced by a new Wal-Mart.
"My whole thing is if I wasn't living right here by it, if I was 10 blocks down the road, 15 blocks down the road, I would definitely be for it," Plauche said.
Wal-Mart estimates that it will invest $12 million in the Pass Christian Wal-Mart. It expects the store to generate a million dollars a year in sales tax revenue.
by Brad Kessie
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