KIMBALL, WV (WVNS) — After serving McDowell County for 10 years, the doors of the Kimball Walmart closed for the final time back in 2016.
They left behind 25 acres of land and a 97,000 square foot building.
On February 3rd, the mayor of Kimball, Adam Gianato, received the deed to the property in the mail from Rural King, who had taken over ownership of the land from Walmart.
“When he called me, the sense of, I’ll say relief, that we knew that now this building is in local control,” said Gianato. “And you’re not looking at a multi-million dollar company that’s interested in selling the building for 3 times what it may be worth, which stops the growth.”
Gianato told 59News he has already received between 10 and 15 suggestions from the community regarding what to do with the building.
However, he also said it is currently too soon to say what might occupy the building in the future.
“Right now, we haven’t really considered any true options but we’ve had several proposals,” said Gianato. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from several of the Facebook posts that have gone out there, just showing that the town has acquired the property. A lot of folks would like to see retail, a lot of folks would like to see clothing retailers.”
While the property may be empty now, Gianato said he hopes finding a new use for the building will help all of McDowell County.
“The ability to potentially turn the economy, not just the town of Kimball, but in Welch, in Keystone, the county as a whole, because anything that happens in this building will affect everybody in this county and some of Southern West Virginia,” said Gianato.
Gianato said he will continue taking suggestions for how the property should be used and he hopes to begin negotiations for a contract by July of this year.