$14M Walmart Supercenter Opens in New Orleans
- Aug 23, 2014
By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
A new Walmart recently opened at 4301 Chef Menteur Highway, making the Gentilly Walmart the second store the big-box retailer has opened this year in the Crescent City. The $14 million store features around 118,000 square feet and has created approximately 300 new full- and part-time positions.
“The residents in Gentilly deserve increased access to fresh food, pharmacy services and good-paying jobs – this Walmart will provide all of those things,” declared District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett.
Walmart originally approached the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority in 2008 to acquire the Katrina-ravaged site, but only broke ground in September 2012 due to several complications. As previously reported, Walmart proposed to pay $4.3 million for the 12.2-acre site in 2008, but talks fell through; the site remained blighted until 2012, when talks between the two parties were reignited and the property was acquired for $3 million. The site was formerly occupied by the Gentilly Woods shopping center, which sustained significant damage during Hurricane Katrina and was subsequently abandoned. As reported by The Times Picayune, the owners of Gentilly Woods, Thor Equities and Green Tree Realty LLC, received criticism for abandoning the property to blight. NORA, partnering with the state, spent $4.5 million in disaster recovery funds to purchase the site in 2008. According to The Times-Picayune, the site of the new Walmart Supercenter in Gentilly was one of the largest blighted sites in New Orleans and the largest in the neighborhood of Gentilly.
In June, Walmart opened the 177,000-square-foot New Orleans East Walmart at 6000 Bullard Ave., on the site of the Katrina-marred Lakeland Medical Center, bringing a much needed retail venue for the 70,000 residents of New Orleans East. (Additional coverage here.)
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Image courtesy of Walmart Supercenter New Orleans via Facebook