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Hollywood residents, officials welcome new Walmart supercenter

Walmart located at site of old Hollywood Fashion Mall

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – It has been a long time coming for Hollywood residents, but a new Walmart has opened with promises of bringing plenty of jobs to the area.

"This is progress, this is progress," resident Linda Schainberg  said. "Would you rather have an old, decrepit building here or would you have a brand-new Walmart which is going to service the local community?"

The 24-hour Walmart supercenter opened its doors Wednesday morning.

It is located on Hollywood Boulevard and State Road 7, on the site of the old Hollywood Fashion Mall, which has been vacant for decades.

Two years ago, the 186,000 square-foot property was empty, full of mold and with a bat infestation. 

Some residents say their community needs more businesses like Walmart.

"Its good for the neighborhood, they are revitalizing this neighborhood," Schainberg said. "This is where I live, I've never left my neighborhood. I've grown up here since 1966. I live right down the street."

Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober said a slew of new stores and restaurants, along with the widening of State Road 7, will help revamp West Hollywood. 

"I don't think people who live in the city of Hollywood should leave the city if they want to go to a mall, if they want to go shopping, and that's been going on for quite a while," Bober said. "We are really trying to reverse that trend."

Bringing in new businesses along State Road 7 and creating an aesthetically pleasing corridor has been an objective of the city's for some time.

Now that the changes are taking place, business owners, including Don Drybread, who owns Sub Center, is welcoming them. 

"All in all, I think it will bring new people into the area, or maybe give other business exposure that they've never had before," Drybread said. "It's busy, plus the Walmart employees coming over don't hurt."