Home Depot Still On
Nationally, Home Depot is closing stores and cutting back growth, but the company still plans on opening one in Southern Pines.
Last month, the Southern Pines Town Council approved an architectural review for a Home Depot-anchored shopping center to take the place of the old Kmart building, which has been sitting vacant for years.
The town has been eager for a developer to take advantage of that property.
"Right now, that project is still moving forward," said Michael Kaney, development manager for Weingarten Realty, owners of the former Kmart property.
Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc., after reporting its first annual sales decline, announced plans to close several under-performing stores and scale back expansion plans. According to Kaney, Home Depot still wants to build the Southern Pines store.
"They are still pursuing this particular opportunity," Kaney said. "This is not one of those that has been identified in the cutback at this present time."
Home Depot plans to close 15 stores, laying off 1,300 employees and shelving plans for 50 new stores.
"Typically, this far out, we don't comment on new stores," said Craig Fishel, in public relations with Home Depot. "We're continuing to be interested in the Southern Pines area. We're going to continue to work with the town, but I'm not really going into specifics."
The Home Depot will replace the Kmart building. Demolition of that building has not begun.
"You and I both know that development takes a while," Kaney said. "The costs and everything else is always a factor that has to be continually worked on."
Home Depot has told Weingarten that the Southern Pines store won't be among the casualties of the cutback plans.
"From what we've been told by Home Depot," Kaney said, "this store is not impacted by the current plan for the scale-back, at this time."
Contact Matthew Moriarty at 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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