Wal-Mart is known for driving a hard bargain, but sometimes in the company’s eagerness to vacate a store, they will give away a bargain as well. According to the Press Enterprise newspaper in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, two brothers who own a tractor parts store bought an empty Wal-Mart store in Scott Township, PA. for the everyday low price of $1.7 million. The 93,000 s.f. Wal-Mart would have become part of Wal-Mart’s 324 dead stores across the U.S.A. now on the market. The tractor parts company will use half the space, and look for other companies to fill the rest. But Wal-Mart restricts what can fill the rest of the space. The retailer had the brothers sign a “No-compete clause” in the agreement, which says that the building cannot be used for any business that would compete with Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart building, plus 13 acres of land, is valued at $4.9 million, so the brothers got the property for just over one-third of its assessed value. Wal-Mart even threw in all the shelving and fixtures. By selling its property early, Wal-Mart avoids having to pay property taxes on a vacant building for years to come. According to the Press Enterprise, “Big box stores like this have sat idle for years in some parts of Pennsylvania and have become community eyesores.” Wal-Mart vacated the Scott store because the company is building a Super Wal-Mart store in nearby Buckhorn on the Interstate-80 interchange. So Scott is now left with no Wal-Mart. Locals say the Route 11 area, which Wal-Mart is leaving, is not dead — despite the closure of the Wal-Mart and a Kmart. The proud new owners of the Scott Wal-Mart will have to pay property taxes on the full value of the property. The tax bill for a $4.9 million property is about $56,349. At the sales price, the tax bill for a $1.7 million property, would be roughly $19,583. The town will lose nearly $40,000 a year in taxes from this Wal-Mart deal, unless they charge the new owners more than the sales price. But the town not only lost their Wal-Mart, they will lose some of the property tax value as well. Merry Christmas, from Wal-Mart!
Pennsylvania now has 4 empty Wal-Marts on the market, out of 324 empty Wal-Marts nation-wide. For more stories of this kind, search the Newsflash page by the words “empty stores”.