By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
The new Wal-Mart Supercenter was scheduled to open Wednesday at State Highway 351 and Interstate 20 and is the beginning of a new chain of developments that will flood the area in the coming months and years.
Students have mixed emotions about the new developments, such as Wal-Mart and Cracker Barrel, going on so close to campus.
“I am excited about the new Wal-Mart because I won’t have to drive all the way to the mall area to get things that I need,” said Jessica Chisholm, sophomore English major from Memphis, Tenn.
Chisholm said she is optimistic about the new businesses popping up around the campus because there aren’t many places in the area to go when students need things.
“I will most likely utilize the new businesses that are coming because they will be convenient,” Chisholm said.
Jonathan Diaz, junior electronic media major from Arlington, has a different view of new businesses in the area.
“I love Wal-Mart and all of the low prices that it has, but at the same time, I don’t want it coming to this part of town because it will drive out smaller, family-owned businesses that have been in the area for a long time,” Diaz said.
Kenneth Musgrave, buyer and seller of the land on which Wal-Mart and Cracker Barrel stand, said the key to the success of these bigger businesses is the development of the roads in the area.
“I am planning on taking East Lake Road and connecting it with Interstate 20,” Musgrave said. “We are waiting for a letter of approval from the Texas Department of Transportation.”
Musgrave said that the connection of East Lake Road and I-20 and the construction of nicer on and off ramps from the highway are important parts of the success of these new businesses; however, these road renovations can’t take place without approval from TxDOT.
“I’ve got several very large companies looking at buying property near Wal-Mart,” Musgrave said, “but most of them are waiting for us to get approval from TxDOT to go ahead with the road plans.
“In five years, you won’t even be able to recognize the area,” he said. “Wal-Mart is only the beginning.”