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The Keys Could See Its First Wal-Mart In The Next Few Years

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A trip down to the Keys is often accompanied with a visit to a few staples; Alabama Jacks, the Tiki Bar, Shell World and soon visitors may be able to add one more to the list--retail giant Wal-Mart.

If all goes according to Wal-Mart's plan, Monroe County's first and only Wal-Mart will have a home in the lower Florida Keys, in Rockland Key, which is about four miles from Key West, according to the Florida Keys Keynoter.

According to the report, officials from Wal-Mart attended the Key West Business Guild's monthly luncheon at the beginning of April to expand on their plan of being part of a 335,000-square-foot shopping center on Rockland Key.

Audience members had plenty of questions for Wal-Mart spokeswoman Michelle Azel Belaire; including the traffic impact with trucks on the road, employee benefits and affordable housing for workers.

The store's plan is part of the larger proposed 33-acre shopping center on Rockland that would need over 1,000 parking spaces and 600 workers, developers said.

Owen Trepanier, a Key West land-use consultant who represents the developer, reportedly called Wal-Mart the anchor store in the center.

The proposed store, Keynoter reports that Belaire said, would be a "smaller-sized footprint supercenter" estimated at about 123,000 square feet and would employ between 250 and 300 people.

The Wal-Mart, if all goes according to the company's plan, will be completed in 2017.

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