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CENTENNIAL, CO-This city along the southeast corridor that has yet to celebrate its third birthday will be getting a Wal-Mart. And while Wal-Mart often is unwelcome in many communities, the city wants the 203,000-sf center.

Not so much for the 475 jobs it will create–many of which likely will come from outside the tiny white-collar city–but for sales tax revenues. The average annual household income in the city is about $77,000.

The city, which was incorporated on Feb. 7, 2001, has been struggling to support services and meet its capital improvement needs because of a lack of sales tax revenues. Indeed, the company is facing an $8 million shorfall and voters on Nov. 4 will be asked to bump up the city’s sales tax to 2.5% from 1.5%. The new Wal-Mart is expected to add another $500,000 to $750,000 to the city’s coffers annually.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will start construction of the Wal-Mart Supercenter on the southside of Briarwood Road between Havana and Lima in March. The new center will open in the fall of 2004. It will be the 53rd Wal-Mart in Colorado.

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.

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