NEW ORLEANS, LA–Walmart broke ground on a new store in the former Lakeland Medical Center site at the Southwest corner of I-10 and Bullard Avenue on Monday, April 29. Once completed, the new store will provide jobs and access to fresh food to the New Orleans East community. The state-of-the-art store is expected to open in mid-2014.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by representatives of Walmart, City of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond, members of the New Orleans City Council, neighborhood leaders and representatives of the New Orleans Business Alliance.
“Walmart’s investment in New Orleans East shows how far our city has come,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This project will transform a site that’s been undeveloped for seven long years, bring much needed retail to this area, create new jobs and local tax dollars and serve as a spark for continued development in the area.”
“As the world’s largest grocer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a difference for American families by making the food we sell healthier, more affordable and more accessible, and we plan to do just that here in New Orleans East,” said John Mims, Walmart market manager. “At Walmart we understand that our customers take stretching their budgets seriously, that's why we're committed to everyday low prices. We look forward to continued opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to New Orleans and its development.”
Walmart is making a multimillion dollar investment in New Orleans East that will bring an estimated 300 jobs, offering eligible associates a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance coverage options, store-performance based bonus incentives, 401 (k) matching contributions up to 6 percent and discounts on general merchandise and fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Lakeland Medical Center site at the intersection of I-10 and Bullard Avenue has remained undeveloped since Hurricane Katrina. Soon residents in New Orleans East and nearby neighborhoods will enjoy access to one-stop, low priced shopping with features such as a full line of fresh foods and a wide assortment of products and services, missing in the area since 2005. “Walmart made a commitment to invest in the city of New Orleans and for that I commend the corporation,” said U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond. “As companies like Walmart show their belief in the city, others will follow, bringing a resurgence of economic development to an area of the city that has been underserved since Hurricane Katrina.”
“A new Walmart in New Orleans East is a great victory for the neighborhood,” said District E Councilmember James Austin Gray II. “This new store will provide the residents of New Orleans East with the access to fresh food that they deserve and create a more vibrant community.”
“We are excited to welcome Wal-Mart to New Orleans East. This project fills a retail void in this area, brings quality jobs to local residents and provides new tax revenue for the City.” said New Orleans Business Alliance Chairman Henry Coaxum. “As a New Orleans East resident, it’s gratifying to see retailers returning to the area.”
Walmart currently employs more than 35,300 associates at over 100 retail locations in Louisiana. Additionally, through more than 855 Louisiana suppliers, Walmart supports nearly 27,512 jobs throughout the state of Louisiana. Walmart is also opening a new store in the Gentilly area in late 2014, with a groundbreaking anticipated in summer 2013.