CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper wants the county planning department and officials with the Charleston Area Alliance to work with executives for Walmart to find a suitable location for a store in northern Kanawha County.
Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre said representatives for the retail giant contacted county planning officials in mid-September about the possibility of locating a Walmart Super Store at Coonskin Park.
Walmart executives offered $2 million to buy land at Coonskin as part of a proposed $10 million to $15 million project to build a 150,000-square-foot retail store to employ about 300 people.
County officials said Walmart is interested in locating a store in the northern part of the county to supplement stores in Southridge Centre in the south, Nitro in the west and Quincy, in the eastern part of the county.
Walmart is not publicly confirming any plans to build a new store in Kanawha County.
"While we have no plans to announce regarding a store in Charleston, we are always evaluating new opportunities to bring jobs and new, affordable shopping options to West Virginia communities," company spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in an email statement from the company.
However, Carper said planning officials have been talking with Walmart executives about the possibility of a new store in the county. "I can assure you, we were contacted," he said.
"We went through this same thing with [Walmart] for a couple of years in the eastern end of the county," Carper said. "I've done this with them and other companies for the past 12 years, and this is how it works."
It would be up to the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission to decide to sell land at Coonskin Park, but Carper and fellow commissioners Hoppy Shores and Dave Hardy don't think the park would be a good place for a Walmart store.