Aronov News

Wal-Mart SuperCenter Named As New Anchor for Western Hills Mall

For Immediate Release - February 14, 2005
Contact: Robin Raiford, Aronov Realty Management, Inc, 334.277.1000 or robin.raiford@aronov.com

Montgomery, Alabama - Owen Aronov, President of Aronov Realty Management, Inc. announced today that Wal-Mart will join Western Hills Mall as its newest anchor with a 183,000 square foot Supercenter. “An agreement has been reached for Wal-Mart to become part of Western Hills Mall,” Mr. Aronov stated. “Wal-Mart is one of the world’s leading retailers. Their move only solidifies Western Hills Mall as the retail center of West Birmingham and we know this announcement will be welcome news for the many people who reside in the West Birmingham area,” he continued. Construction of the new Wal-Mart Supercenter is scheduled to begin this summer with an opening slated for summer of 2006.

Supercenters feature 36 general merchandise departments, including a complete apparel department with accessories, an extensive jewelry department, a lawn and garden center, a full line of electronics, a large health and beauty aids department, and a pharmacy. In addition, the grocery area features a bakery, delicatessen, frozen food department, meat department, fresh produce section, and a dairy department.

“This is a pivotal day for West Birmingham. The commitment by Wal-Mart to a Supercenter at Western Hills Mall secures this area as the hub of economic activity for future years. This has an extraordinarily positive economic impact on the Western region of Birmingham and offers the potential for more sales and ad valorem taxes which are ultimately spent to improve the quality of life for our citizens,” stated Commissioner Larry Langford, President of Jefferson County Commission.

“The addition of Wal-Mart Supercenter will enhance the merchandise mix we sought for Western Hills Mall,” stated Aronov. “The new Wal-Mart Supercenter will be located where JCPenney is currently situated and will bring renewed energy to the center. Combining this redevelopment with the existing wide selection of retailers at Western Hills Mall will expand and strengthen our regional draw of customers. In addition, this should be a stimulus for other retailers to join our shopping center,” he added.

“We’re excited about providing a greater depth of merchandise and better service with a new and larger store format as well as continuing our involvement in the community,” stated Glen Wilkins, Wal-Mart Community Affairs Manager. “With the new Wal-Mart Supercenter employment will more than double from our existing 200 associates to approximately 440 associates. This will be comprised of 70-80% full-time associates. And every associate, whether full time or part time, will be eligible for a comprehensive benefits package. It is estimated our new Supercenter will generate close to $5.2 million of sales and ad valorem taxes on an annual basis,” he continued.

“We appreciate the commitment to our community that a new Wal-Mart Supercenter anchoring Western Hills Mall represents. The residents of the City of Fairfield and surrounding neighborhoods are loyal shoppers and represent an important retail base. Aronov and Western Hills Mall have been good partners with the City over the past 35 years and we are excited about the opportunities that are developing for this area and our continued partnership,” said Mayor Michael Johnson, City of Fairfield.

In their new location, Wal-Mart will continue the tradition of supporting the communities in which they are located. “In our experience, we can make the greatest impact on communities by supporting issues and causes that are important to our customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. We rely on our associates to know which organizations are important to their hometowns, and we empower them to determine how that money will be spent. Our funding initiatives are channeled directly into local communities by the associates who live there,” stated Wilkins.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.

Western Hills Mall is leased and managed by Montgomery, Alabama-based Aronov Realty Management, Inc. Aronov is the largest privately-owned, fully diversified real estate company in the Southeast and provides acquisition, development, management, leasing and brokerage services for its own portfolio of over 100 retail, office and multi-family properties and for properties owned by third parties. Leasing inquiries for Western Hills Mall may be made to Craig Waters at 334/277-1000 or craig.waters@aronov.com.

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