HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – It’s 40 acres of rubble where the Hollywood Fashion Center once stood. Burdines was here along with the popular Jordan Marsh Department store.
But in the early 90’s the once bustling mall at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and State Road 441 lost out after another, newer mall opened not far away.
For a brief time, a flea market opened inside but for years, the place was a big, empty, cavernous mall, with vacant hallways and boarded up doors.
“For the majority of over 20 years, this corner has been dead,” said Hollywood City Commissioner Linda Sherwood.
But this won’t be a dead corner much longer. A Walmart Supercenter along with a bank and several restaurants are coming.
“I think we needed it sooner and we need it like right away,” said Carol Musto who lives nearby.
She loved the Hollywood Fashion Mall in its heyday but now is really excited for the new Walmart.
“Are you going to go to Walmart?” asked CBS 4’s Ted Scouten.
“Oh yes I will! It’s my favorite store,” she laughed.
“I live in the neighborhood and I want a job there,” said Gloria Williams. She’s hoping to get one of the 350 new jobs that come along with the new store. “A lot of people want jobs, right here need jobs,” she said. “And that will give us some jobs.”
“Walmart will be what we call, “Our little Savior” for this corner,” said Sherwood.
She said people who live in the area can sign up for the city’s new “retail academy.” It’s a crash course that gets them ready for a career in retail.
“That retail academy is a 40 hour course that will certify the residents who want to get a job,” said Sherwood, “and Walmart has promised they will be at the top of the list for interviews.”
Demolition should be done by May. Construction is set to begin in June, with Walmart opening in the summer of 2015. A block away, a new Aldi’s Supermarket will open where K-Mart once stood at the intersection of US 441 and Washington Street.