ADA — Nothing gets the juices stirring in a small town like a good rumor. Particularly since The Home Depot, Chile’s and Applebee’s decided to build here, rumors have abounded about the possibility of Ada getting the likes of Target, Lowe’s or Hobby Lobby.

Bloggers on the Ada Evening News web site are doing their part to spread the scuttlebutt, but many local residents not connected to the Internet hear the same thing at work, parties and Post Office, among other places.

Speculation has been that one or more of these stores might be built in the area where the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) facility is being constructed. Some have thought a better prospect is on land located on Lonnie Abbott Blvd. between Doc’s restaurant and Ada Nissan, or just east of the overpass, or across the street from Wal-Mart Super Center.

Contacted about the rumors, Ada Mayor Donna York said, “I hear them like everyone else. Lots and lots of people ask me about it, but no one official has contacted me about another large retailer possibly locating here. I’ve asked David Hathcoat (Ada city manager) and he told me he hasn’t heard anything either. And, usually, one of us does if something like that is in the works.

York said while it is true that Lowe’s often appears to follow Home Depot’s lead in opening a store, she has heard nothing to indicate Lowe’s company officials are currently seriously considering Ada.

“The way we’re growing, I suppose anything is possible,” York said. “Still, I think it’s more wishful thinking than anything else right now.”

Carlene Hill, CEO of Ada Jobs Foundation, echoed the sentiment and said her sources tell her Ada is too small to satisfy what Hobby Lobby executives look for in a new place to locate a store. “Hobby Lobby told the old K-Mart building owners that they have to have a certain number of total retail sales in a market before building a store,” she said. “Company officials said Ada is not close to being large enough.”

Hill said she had heard nothing to indicate Target is currently interested in building in Ada.

York said Chile’s is expected to open March 16 in Ada and that the restaurant is currently hiring and training employees. An opening date for Applebee’s has not been announced.

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