A full decade after announcing that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was taking over the Ames site on Ritchie Highway, the project may finally get underway. The new Walmart will be the fourth in Anne Arundel County; the corporation also has two Sam's Club stores here.
The plan is to tear down the existing building, vacant since Ames Discount Stores shut down in 2002, and build a new, 120,000-square-foot store on the lot. The tip-off that groundbreaking was near was the county's approval of a demolition permit.
While the new store will mean new tax revenue and about 300 new jobs -- both full-time and part-time -- it will also mean more construction in an already busy area. According to one county council memeber, the site is close enough to an apartment building development project that is still under construction that car and truck traffic on Jumpers Hole Road could be a problem.
It is still not entirely clear why the project has taken so long, and Wal-Mart is not offering any explanation. Initially, Ames and Wal-Mart arranged to have the latter take over the store's long-term lease as part of the bankruptcy plan, and the landowner objected. The bankruptcy court cleared the deal in 2006 -- just a couple of months before the recession took hold.
The demolition permit is just the first step, though. Shoppers will not be wandering the aisles for another 18 months or so while the old building comes down and the new one goes up.
Right now, Glen Burnie, Severn and Russett Green have Walmart stores. The three Sam's Club stores are in Severn, Russett Green and near Annapolis.
Source: Maryland Gazette, "Ten years later, Walmart moves ahead on Pasadena store," Zoe Read, April 24, 2013