By Robbie Owens

SOUTH OAK CLIFF (CBSDFW.COM) – The clock is ticking until the doors open on the area’s newest Walmart Supercenter at Interstate 35 and Ledbetter in Dallas’ South Oak Cliff Community. It’s hard to say who’s more excited—nearby homeowners or store associates. Bettye Horace just happens to be both.

“We’ve been driving so far,” says Horace. “We didn’t have a story where we could go and shop. Drive all the way to DeSoto to get a load of bread. So this is exciting.”

Horace is President of one of the nearby Glenview Homeowners’ Association. She was so impressed with how Walmart listened to the community during the superstore’s construction that she decided to join the team.

“We want to be sure that we give the best customer service that can be given.”

Yes, Horace is invested… in the community. The retired DISD teacher has lived nearby for nearly 40 years. And she’s got the Walmart greeting down—after all, she’s not expecting many strangers.

“I’m going to know everybody—and I’m going to love every minute of it,” says Horace… even joking, “I should be paying them, instead of them paying me.”

Still, the world’s largest retailer is not without critics and neighborhood opposition to so called ‘big box retailers’ is common. But, not in South Oak Cliff.

“Every Sunday, I pass by there and I say, ‘okay, let’s see how far they’ve gotten,” says homeowner Patty Lynn. “When they said they were going to open tomorrow, I was ready.”

Lynn says she looks forward to being able to walk to the store and is especially excited about the potential for additional development that often accompanies Walmart construction. But, the retailer is also filling another critical community need right now: jobs.

“I think it’s going to be 300 plus jobs in the location,” says Walmart Vice President, Dacona Smith, “fresh fruits and vegetables, I think it’s all a positive addition… and the community has really shown appreciation for that.”

Walmart officials say the 185,000 square foot supercenter will have some special touches tailored to the community—apparel for South Oak Cliff High will be stocked, and fresh tortillas will be made in store.
But, the most special touch, will likely be found at the front door.

“I’m so excited,” says Horace. “I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight.”

An official ribbon cutting is slated for 7:30 Wednesday morning. The doors will open to shoppers at 8:00.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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