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Marvin’s coming to Andalusia

City officials announced Wednesday that Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Center will locate in part of Andalusia’s old Wal-Mart building.

Mayor Earl Johnson said building renovations will begin immediately, and the store expects to open this summer.

The new business will employ an estimated 25 people, occupy 36,000 square feet of the southern portion of the building and will have an attached lawn and garden center and drive-through lumber yard, Johnson said.

“This is a great economic boost to our community,” Johnson said. “It sends the message that Andalusia is in good shape and our economy is strong.”

Johnson said the contract with the Leeds-based company was accomplished in a two-week time frame and was signed Tuesday in Birmingham.

“While we were there, we had the opportunity to visit the company’s newest store in Calera,” he said. “It’s an attractive facility and our facility, like that one, will have a great impact in our area.

“It’s going to make a great addition to our community,” he said. “Its customer base will fit well, I think, with Tractor Supply. I think it’s going to move traffic to that side of town.”

Tractor Supply, which was announced shortly before the end of 2008, occupies the northern end of the old Wal-Mart building. Johnson said plans are under way to fill the middle section of the building.

“We’re working with a developer now, and we’ve got prospects,” he said. “I expect it to be filled before too long.”

Currently, there are 25 Marvin’s stores — Andalusia will be its 26th — in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Those stores employ a total of more than 600 employees.

“We are very excited to be opening our 26th store in Andalusia,” said Boyden Moore, Marvin’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “The store will feature a complete line of building materials, electrical, plumbing, paint, millwork, hardware, tools, as well as lawn and garden products.

“We plan to offer the communities of Covington and Conecuh counties a convenient alternative for their home improvement needs,” he said. “Additionally, Andalusia won us over versus other markets we were evaluating because of their great deal of cooperation and assistance in decision making.

Moore sad the mayor and city council worked swiftly to get Andalusia pushed ahead of several other communities in Alabama and surrounding states.

“We’ve been trying to come to Andalusia for several years, but the deal never seemed to come through,” he said. “The current developer and the city made our decision easy on our next store. We have a shared objective to keep sales inside the community that currently go to other counties, especially on the weekends.”

Employment positions from store management to part-time cashiers and sales associates are available and applications can be picked up at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce beginning Mon., Feb. 16. Job descriptions are available online at www.marvins.com.

The store is expected to open in June or July.