There's a lot of talk right now about plans submitted to the city of Abilene for a third Walmart at Loop 322 and Oldham Lane.
On social media, hundreds of folks have commented on our story about a third Walmart, but also about the desire for a new HEB or a Super Target. We've been following HEB's interest in Abilene, and talked with their public relations department this week. We asked what they have planned for Abilene and their answer is "no comment."
HEB does still own land in Abilene at 6381 and 6401 Buffalo Gap Road; the old Lack's furniture store location and the lot next to it.
Wednesday on KTXS This Morning, we talked to Jon James, Abilene's director of planning and zoning. about whether the city has any control or influence over what kind of stores open up in town.
"In terms of the actual businesses that come, no - we really just work with whoever wants to come into the city and we really don't have a choice over who that is, the market decides that and which companies want to come here," James said.
He also added, "Often times developers in the city, property owners, will say hey, I've got a site that looks good for a Walmart, or HEB or whatever, and so those developers and land owners will contact the company directly but usually the city doesn't do that."
James said that by the size of the plans submitted to the city, it appears to be a SuperCenter. James said he's unable to estimate how long it will take for the plans submitted by Walmart to be approved by the city, as a number of factors play into that and can develop in the process.
As for a Super Target; we contacted several commercial Realtors in Abilene on whether they've heard of one opening in Abilene. They all tell us they have no current dealings with the company and have only heard rumors of a new Target for several years. However, there is now a Facebook page dedicated to bringing a Super Target to Abilene, along with a petition to the company on www.change.org. You can find links to them here and here.