Wal-Mart Stores Inc. officials would appear to be putting their money where their mouth isn't.
Although representatives for the world's largest retailer have so far kept mum about any plans to place a Walmart store in the Olde Sawmill Square Shopping Center, a Westerville man who runs a company from his home providing business leads in central Ohio last week said he uncovered documents at the Franklin County Recorder's Office showing the purchase of property at the site.
The purchase priced, based on a tax formula attached to one of the documents, was $4 million, according to Lance Conkling of Metro Business Lists.
In May, representatives acting in behalf of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed paperwork with Columbus Public Health for "new construction and installation of new facilities and equipment" for a Walmart Supercenter at 7682 Sawmill Road.
In response to questions about that public filing, Mark Rickel, vice president in the Columbus office of Lesic and Camper Communications, which handles public relations work in Ohio for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville Ark., replied:
"From Walmart communications, we have nothing to announce at this time."
The verification process for the parcel or parcels involved in the June 27 purchased on file at the County Recorder office will take some time to be completed, according to Conkling.
It will eventually show up as a record in the Franklin County Auditor's office, as well, he said.
The website for Conkling's home-based Metro Business Lists subscription service states the company identifies new business activity in the Columbus metro area and surrounding counties. including information about companies moving, renovating, expanding or opening new locations.
Conkling, 59, said he started his niche-market firm after he worked as sales manager for a commercial alarm company.
That position required him to find leads for potential customers, and when that job came to an end he decided to use the skills he'd developed to start his own business.