WAL-MART EXPANDING PRESENCE ON L.I.

Byline: Mark Tosh

NEW YORK--Wal-Mart is set to open a second Long Island unit in August and reportedly is moving toward a deal on a third location.
Wal-Mart's second Long Island store will be a 120,000-square-foot unit on Middle Country Road in Centereach about five miles east of its Middle Island store, which opened in January.
An existing 250,000-square-foot shopping center in Centereach is "being knocked down and redeveloped," Wilbur Breslin, principal of Breslin Realty and a broker on the deal, said Thursday. Breslin said construction on the new Wal-Mart, which will be similar in size to the Middle Island unit, could be completed in four to six months.
The Middle Island store, based on typical Wal-Mart store sales, was projected to achieve annual sales of about $30 million. A store official said Thursday the unit has exceeded plan, but declined to comment on specific volume estimates.
Wal-Mart opened a Sam's Club warehouse in Medford in 1993, but until recently it has been unsuccessful at finding discount store sites. Officials at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., would not confirm the reports about new sites on Long Island.
Reportedly, a third site would be in Levittown, which would mark the discounter's long-awaited entry into Nassau County. Wal-Mart had planned to build a shopping center at the former Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury but pulled out of the deal in 1993 citing the high cost of development.
According to reports, however, Wal-Mart would take over a site now occupied by the Tri-County Flea Market in the Levittown Center on Hempstead Turnpike. Some other stores in the center, including John's Bargain Store, already have closed. A J.C. Penney Co. store in the shopping center is not closing, a Penney's spokeswoman said.
Breslin said the Hempstead Turnpike location is not a deal yet but "something could" be worked out for the discounter.
He added, "We're very anxious to get Wal-Mart into Nassau County."
However, the manager of the flea market, Barbara Eve, denied Wal-Mart would take over the location. "We have a lease on this building," she said. "We're not going anywhere."

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