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O’Reilly’s store to open in Nashville

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An excavator sits Friday at the site of the new O'Reilly Auto Parts store at 626 E. Washington St. in Nashville.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Monday, February 18, 2019

NASHVILLE — The O’Reilly Auto Parts chain is building a store on approximately four acres of land in the 600 block of East Washington Street just east of downtown — and crews are getting the site ready for construction.

Attempts to obtain comment from a representative of the Ozarks region-based retail giant have been unsuccessful, but the Nashville Town Council in early August approved rezoning the site from a family residential district to a general business district for development. The council on Feb. 5 took the final step by approving the construction plat for an O’Reilly store and the Planning Department issued a zoning certificate the next day.

Town Planning and Development Director Julie Spriggs said the O’Reilly chain proposed to construct a building that’s going to be 7,225 feet in size at 626 East Washington, just on the east side of an Edward Jones Investments office.

Atempts seeking additional information from the O’Reilly chain was referred to a spokesman, who didn’t respond to a phone message or repeated emails.

Questions asked of the spokesman via email included when the Nashville O’Reilly location is going to be open for business, how many people are going to be employed at the location and the business days and hours.

Published reports have placed the O’Reilly chain third highest among America’s auto parts retailers, behind Auto Zone and Advance Auto Parts.

The O’Reilly chain’s website provides detailed information about the company, which lists more than 5,219 stores in 47 states, including 173 in North Carolina and has more than 79,000 employees.

In the Twin Counties, the O’Reilly chain has a store off Sunset Avenue near South Wesleyan Boulveard, a store off Benvenue Road near Country Club Road and a store in Riverside Plaza in Tarboro.

C.F. O’Reilly and Chub O’Reilly founded the company in 1957 with one store and 13 employees in Springfield, Mo. Sales the first year totaled approximately $700,000.

The company’s sales volume grew to $1.3 million by 1961 and to $7 million by 1975. By 1993, the company was public on the stock exchange.

The O’Reilly store to be built in Nashville is just west of a cleared lot that’s supposed to be the relocated home of the Bell’s small engine, hardware and paint center.

The Telegram in late June quoted owner Jeremy Bell as saying the plan is to move from a 4,200-square-foot building off N.C. 58 in rural Nash County to what’s going to be a 14,000-square-foot building.

The Telegram reported the new store was slated to open in the spring. Attempts to reach Bell for an update were unsuccessful.

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