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Wal-Mart,Taco Bell details sparse

Company officials mum
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Wal-Mart and Taco Bell officials are being tight lipped about when their new locations will open doors in Lincoln. In January, Wal-Mart purchased the old Rainbow Market building but has given no information about when the store will open or what kind of store will open. Taco Bell closed its doors in December due to its lease expiring. A sign on the door states that its new location in the Raley’s shopping center will open in January. That is not the case, though. “Our franchise is excited to relocate the Taco Bell restaurant in the Lincoln community and will be announcing details soon,” spokesperson Rob Poetsch said, via an e-mail sent by Ashley Sioson. Sioson is Taco Bell’s spokeswoman based out of Irvine. The News Messenger has been trying to get information from Sioson over the past two weeks about Taco Bell in Lincoln, which resulted in the above response. “As of now, the only thing I can confirm is we are definitely going to relocate within Lincoln,” Poetsch said. “As of right now, the franchisee doesn’t have any more information confirmed.” Similar attempts to find out about the new Lincoln Wal-Mart store were made by The News Messenger. “We don’t have a lot of new details at this point …,” said Tiffany Moffatt, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. “ Moffatt was asked when Wal-Mart is expected to open and what type of store will go there. “It’s early in the process, and you’ll find stores throughout the state in varying stages of the planning process,” Moffatt said. Wal-Mart purchased an 18-acre site in Auburn near the Luther Road-Highway 49 intersection, according to the Auburn Journal, and has a website, AuburnWalmart.com. “That’s an example of our approach in communities as we get further,” Moffatt said, when asked why the Auburn Wal-Mart has its own website. “It’s (the Auburn Wal-Mart) further in the planning process.” Moffatt was asked why details about when the Lincoln store will open or what type of store will go there aren’t available. “I don’t have that information yet,” Moffatt said. “It’s really early in the process.” The News Messenger told Moffatt that a few readers have called to say Wal-Mart purchased the land behind Rainbow Market that was recently for sale and that Wal-Mart plans to tear the former market down and build a new market in the coming months. “We have not purchased the land behind the property and intend to utilize the existing building,” Moffatt said. Amanda Norton, the city of Lincoln’s housing and special projects coordinator, said the city has no new information on Wal-Mart and Taco Bell. “Taco Bell, last I heard, has pulled permits and is ready to go into the Wal-Mart shopping center,” Norton said. “They submitted and were approved for plans at 845 South Highway 65 back in 2010. The permits have been approved and are waiting to be picked up by the applicant.” Norton said the Rainbow Market building is “the only property I know that Wal-Mart has purchased. “It’s (Rainbow building) an existing grocery store, and they will put in a grocery store,” Norton said. “That’s what we were told might be there, their (Wal-Mart’s) Neighborhood Market concept, but we haven’t received anything, confirmation-wise.”