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There's a Supercenter across from Bannister Mall, too. But Wal-Mart isn't a cure-all, any more than the rapidly proliferating Bass Pro. Just ask the folks at Wal-Mart Realty. Part of their job is to find new uses for dead Wal-Marts.
"In my territory, I've got approximately 85 buildings partially or completely vacant," says Tom Allen, who handles Wal-Mart Realty's mid-central division (which includes Missouri). Nationwide, the company has 361 "old available" buildings just waiting for investors.
Lou Austin and the folks at Bannister are tired of waiting. "We see a future, and we're working on an action plan that will take us there," Austin says. "It won't be as glitzy, but it will last a lot longer than the first one did."