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Wal-Mart says fliers err on new store

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Despite what fliers say, Wal-Mart has no plans to build a superstore in Crystal River, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

However, Developers Diversified, a Chagrin Falls, Ohio, realty corporation, suggests the large store will soon be built near Crystal River.

The company, a property management corporation for many large retailers and grocery stores, mailed promotions to Florida retailers last week.

The fliers advertise available leasing space in the Crystal River Plaza, anchored by Beall's, and promise a Wal-Mart superstore.

"Crystal River Plaza is centrally located between Crystal River and Homosassa Springs, which offers retailers a larger trade area," the promotion reads.

"The center is located directly on U.S. Highway 19 north, which offers greater visibility and access, and will soon be home to a new Super Wal-Mart."

The promotion also shows development on the south end of the Beall's store.

Citrus County has Wal-Mart stores in Homosassa Springs and just west of Inverness. The closest Wal-Mart superstore is near Brooksville.

Beyond the Developers Diversified flier, little information on the project has been made public. No permit applications have been filed with the county, and Wal-Mart denies plans to open a superstore in the area.

"It might be something that they're just going through some preliminary opportunities, but we don't have anything proposed at this time," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Beverly Rick said.

Representatives from Development Diversified could not be reached for comment.

Wal-Mart superstores combine an ordinary Wal-Mart with additional services. The Brooksville store includes a grocery, McDonald's, Blockbuster and oil-and-lube service.

The Developers Diversified flier shows a 182,210-square-foot superstore north of Scotty's Home Improvement in Crystal River Plaza.

Parking for the new Wal-Mart would be just north of the Evergreen Chinese Restaurant.

Still, Rick, the Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said records show no sign of expansion in Crystal River.

"Sometimes what they do is, they show that there is a potential, but at this early stage, there's not much we know," Rick said.

Rick suggested Developers Diversified might have putting out feelers to determine the viability of a superstore in that location.

"We're probably evaluating the market for potential opportunities, so maybe this developer is just looking at some areas," Rick said.