Walmart prepares to open its doors

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- A venture that is bringing approximately 300 jobs to Albany, and has been months in the making, is getting closer and closer to reality.

The Walmart in East Albany, known as Walmart 5797, held a preview event Monday evening in anticipation of the store's grand opening on Wednesday morning.

The event was attended by various community organizations as well as the facility's associates and their family members.

The store employees, at least, appear ready to make their debut.

"I think the result (of the store's development) is pretty close to perfect," said store manager Andy Carter. "We are excited about bringing this to Albany, especially East Albany. (East Albany) has not had a Walmart.

"The store was built to give back to the town."

The store includes a Subway as well as a pharmacy center, an expanded electronics department, a Walmart wireless store and a Game Play arcade. There will be a full line of groceries, more than 30 merchandise departments, a digital photo processing center and a hair salon.

In addition, the city of Albany is opening a new route -- the Silver Line -- that will make runs between the store and the transit system's transfer station every half-hour daily from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The facility brings in 250 new jobs to the area, employing roughly 300 total.

At Monday's preview event, $7,000 in grants were given by Wal-Mart to several area organizations. The check presentations were followed by a tour of the store.

The Lily Pad Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Center, the Dougherty County Police Department, the Albany Fire Department and the Second Harvest of South Georgia all received $1,000. The Mount Zion Community Reinvestment Corporation received $2,000, and the Albany Police Department Citizens Police received $1,500.

Children's Miracle Network is also expected to receive a check for $1,600.

The new Walmart, which measures 150,000 square feet, is located at 262 Cordele Road. The ribbon-cutting will take place at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, with the store opening to customers a half-hour later.

Once the store opens, its operating hours will be from 6 a.m.-midnight daily.