CHATHAM COUNTY – Chapel Hill has its first Wal-Mart up and running, although it’s not actually located in Orange County or even Chapel Hill proper, and won’t provide taxes to the municipality.

The Walmart located just south of Orange County’s Border into Chatham County officially opened it’s doors on Friday.

Chris Smith, who is serving as manager at the new Wal-Mart, says the community’s response has so far been positive.

“It’s a mutual feeling, and everyone’s just happy,” he says.

In March of 2012, Chatham County Manager Charlie Horne announced that a Walmart would come to Chatham County on 15-501, just outside Orange County boundaries. The new project would encompass 150,000 square feet and would include a grocery and pharmacy center.

While many local officials have expressed concerns that the project would keep tax dollars away from Orange County, others have said based on previous local shopping patterns, it might actually help the Orange County economy to thrive.

With the eventual return of UNC students to the area, Smith says he has started to look into ways to adjust for the coming rush.

“We have contacted some of the best Walmarts that have done it, with regards to being near some of the very established universities,” he says.

The new Wal-Mart started its search for employees back in mid-March. Interested applicants can click here.