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New Wal-Marts to open week apart — Wednesday and March 12

Two new Wal-Mart Supercenters in Columbus look to open about a week apart.

The store at 2801 Airport Thruway is scheduled for its grand opening Wednesday, while the supercenter at 6475 Gateway Rd. will open its doors March 12, said Ben Thames, manager of the Gateway Wal-Mart.

The original plan was to have both opening the same day.

"They pushed me back," Thames said. "It's because of some of the work that's got to be done on the traffic lights and what not. As soon as that's resolved 100 percent, they're going to let us open."

The 203,819-square-foot Gateway Road supercenter is situated near the heavily trafficked intersection of J.R. Allen Parkway and Manchester Expressway.

The 156,160-square-foot Airport Thruway store is near that roadway's intersection with Interstate 185, across from Columbus Metropolitan Airport.

The Airport Thruway store is a replacement for a 136,643-square-foot non-supercenter originally built in 1989. The site also was home to a Sam's Club members-only store until it was relocated last year to 5448 Whittlesey Blvd., next to a new 208,000-square-foot supercenter.

Thames said there's a possibility his Gateway Road Wal-Mart might open quietly a few days before March 12, but the grand opening festivities will remain on schedule that day.

"I've got a lot of tweaking that I need to do," he said. "I want it to be perfect when we open. That just gives me a week longer to do it."

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