Join Our Mailing List
Email:
For Email Marketing you can trust

Decatur Opposes Walmart as South Atlanta Begs for One

 

(APN) DECATUR -- Good Growth Dekalb (GGD), a neighborhood group, has organized a series of Occupy Walmart protests scheduled for
January 20 and 27, 2012, and February 03 and 10. 
Many local residents are opposed to the proposed Walmart that will be located at Suburban Plaza in Decatur at the intersection of
Medlock Road, Scott Boulevard, and North Decatur Road.
The first Occupy Walmart protest had over fifty attendees who showed up in spite of rain and cold weather.
Suburban Plaza, owned by Selig Enterprises and built in 1959, is already zoned for big box stores and only needed 
a parking variance for 3.91 parking spaces instead of the 5.5 spaces per one thousand. 
The hearing was held on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.  On that day, Dekalb County granted the parking variance for the proposed redevelopment. 
Traffic is already dangerous there, located on a dangerous six lane intersection. 
The original plaza was 290,000 square feet.  New plans would increase the shopping center to 324,614 square feet.  
"The proposed Walmart store would be 149,000 square feet" Ann Mauney, director of Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition Atlanta chapter,
told Atlanta Progressive News
The present reporter was almost was hit by a car trying to get to the other side of the intersection while trying to photograph the protesters. 
"Traffic is a nightmare and I had to wait over six minutes at 730am to take my daughter to the emergency room... We do not want a Walmart 
in our neighborhood, and I have sent Commissioner [Jeff] Rader and [Kathie] Gannon letters and studies showing how building a Walmart would 
adversely effect our community," Tarik Veysoglu, a Medlock resident, said.
"Thus far, no traffic study has been made on the impact of increased traffic at the six-way intersection of Medlock, Scott Blvd., and N. Decatur Roads. 
Pedestrians face serious danger crossing at the intersection," Veysoglu said.
"Small local retailers would be at increased risk of going out of business.  In a Chicago study of a new Wal-mart, 82 of 306 small businesses 
went out of business within eighteen months.  Walmart profits leave the community," a GGD press release stated.
The Walmart was approved even though "there were a hundred residents at the [December 14] hearing which were in opposition," Louise Runyon, 
a Medlock Community resident, said.
 
About twenty-five citizens had lined up to speak. 
"Although Walmart and Selig representatives spoke to the neighborhood associations, many were not aware of what was happening.  Medlock 
Neighborhood Association (MNA) endorsed and signed an agreement with Walmart which is very upsetting.  This is not an accurate 
representation of the residents," Runyon said.
"During a MNA meeting they agreed to support Walmart because they were offered 250,000 dollars," Veysoglu said.
"Even though the traffic variance was passed and MNA supports Walmart, that doesn't represent the voice of all residents 
so we are now asking for community support to raise money to fight this new Walmart.  A majority of the funds will be used 
to hire and attorney to check out the legalities," Mauney said.
Although Walmart has had lots of opposition from many Decatur residents, not all communities in the Atlanta area feel the same. 
There was a Wal-mart proposed just southwest of Downtown Atlanta, in the Vine City/English Avenue area, that is to be located in
the abandoned location of an old Publix location which went out of business. 
"There are no grocery stores or pharmacies at all within a five mile radius and the only place to purchase food are local Food Marts that sell junk food, 
which is unhealthy for those living in the community," Karcheik Alvarado, a community activist, told Atlanta Progressive News.
"The only grocery and pharmacy was Publix and now that it is gone we live in a food and pharmaceutical desert.  There are no businesses in our neighborhood 
to go out of business.  We were so excited when we heard that Wal-mart wanted to open a grocery and pharmacy, but now we have not heard a word and we are 
worried that we will have nothing," Alvarado said.
"This is unfair and racial as the location in Suburban Plaza has over fifteen grocery stores and pharmacies within the same five mile radius. 
Wal-mart and other food chains ignore large portions of the cities leaving them a food and pharmaceutical abyss," Alvarado said.
"Now that there has been no contact with Wal-mart the community is begging for a farmers' market, co-op, or food chain to set a home in the old Publix," 
Alvarado said.
"We have just as many residents as Decatur and are conveniently located near a MARTA.  Why have we been forgotten and why don't we deserve a grocery? 
What is wrong with this picture?"
(END/2012)

(APN) DECATUR -- Good Growth Dekalb (GGD), a neighborhood group, has organized a series of Occupy Walmart protests scheduled for January 27, and February 03 and 10, 2012.

Many local residents are opposed to the proposed Walmart that will be located at Suburban Plaza in Decatur at the intersection of Medlock Road, Scott Boulevard, and North Decatur Road.

The first Occupy Walmart protest, held Friday, January 20, had over fifty attendees who showed up in spite of rain and cold weather.

 

Suburban Plaza, owned by Selig Enterprises and built in 1959, is already zoned for big box stores and only needed a parking variance for 3.91 parking spaces instead of the 5.5 spaces per one thousand. 

A public hearing was held on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.  On that day, Dekalb County granted the parking variance for the proposed redevelopment. 

Traffic is already dangerous there, located on a dangerous six lane intersection. 

The original plaza was 290,000 square feet.  New plans would increase the shopping center to 324,614 square feet.  

"The proposed Walmart store would be 149,000 square feet," Ann Mauney, director of Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition Atlanta chapter, told Atlanta Progressive News.

The present reporter was almost was hit by a car trying to get to the other side of the intersection while trying to photograph the protesters. 

"Traffic is a nightmare and I had to wait over six minutes at 730am to take my daughter to the emergency room... We do not want a Walmart in our neighborhood, and I have sent Commissioner [Jeff] Rader and [Kathie] Gannon letters and studies showing how building a Walmart would adversely effect our community," Tarik Veysoglu, a Medlock resident, said.

"Thus far, no traffic study has been made on the impact of increased traffic at the six-way intersection of Medlock, Scott Blvd., and N. Decatur Roads.  Pedestrians face serious danger crossing at the intersection," Veysoglu said.

"Small local retailers would be at increased risk of going out of business.  In a Chicago study of a new Walmart, 82 of 306 small businesses went out of business within eighteen months.  Walmart profits leave the community," a GGD press release stated.

The Walmart was approved even though "there were a hundred residents at the [December 14] hearing which were in opposition," Louise Runyon, a Medlock Community resident, said.  About twenty-five citizens had lined up to speak. 

"Although Walmart and Selig representatives spoke to the neighborhood associations, many were not aware of what was happening.  Medlock Neighborhood Association (MNA) endorsed and signed an agreement with Walmart which is very upsetting.  This is not an accurate representation of the residents," Runyon said.

"During a MNA meeting they agreed to support Walmart because they were offered 250,000 dollars," Veysoglu said.

"Even though the traffic variance was passed and MNA supports Walmart, that doesn't represent the voice of all residents so we are now asking for community support to raise money to fight this new Walmart.  A majority of the funds will be used to hire an attorney to check out the legalities," Mauney said.

Although Walmart has had lots of opposition from many Decatur residents, not all communities in the Atlanta area feel the same. 

There was a Walmart proposed just southwest of Downtown Atlanta, in the Vine City/English Avenue area, that is to be located in the abandoned location of an old Publix location which went out of business. 

"There are no grocery stores or pharmacies at all within a five mile radius and the only place to purchase food are local Food Marts that sell junk food, which is unhealthy for those living in the community," Karcheik Sims-Alvarado, a community activist, told Atlanta Progressive News.

"The only grocery and pharmacy was Publix and now that it is gone we live in a food and pharmaceutical desert.  There are no businesses in our neighborhood to go out of business.  We were so excited when we heard that Walmart wanted to open a grocery and pharmacy, but now we have not heard a word and we are worried that we will have nothing," Sims-Alvarado said.

"This is unfair and racial as the location in Suburban Plaza has over fifteen grocery stores and pharmacies within the same five mile radius. Walmart and other food chains ignore large portions of the cities leaving them a food and pharmaceutical abyss," Sims-Alvarado said.

"Now that there has been no contact with Walmart the community is begging for a farmers' market, co-op, or food chain to set a home in the old Publix," Sims-Alvarado said.

"We have just as many residents as Decatur and are conveniently located near a MARTA.  Why have we been forgotten and why don't we deserve a grocery? What is wrong with this picture?"

(END/2012)

 


Comments (6)

DebB
Said this on 1-22-2012 At 02:36 pm

Unfortunately, we tend to forget that - Food is politics.
I am not a resident of South Atlanta, though I know friends, business owners and acquaintances there. The tax structure for businesses needs to be re-examined for the city of Atlanta. Taxes should be paid for services closest to the end user like fire, school, road improvements and the like. Police should be scrutinized so they understand excessive force for any situation will not be tolerated. If the city would cease and desist of repressive taxation and greedy tactics from the basic needs of people there would be a surge of services from many, in the area.


I'm curious to know what specific groups, individuals, etc has Ms. Alvarado been asking to set-up in the location of the old Publix. Have any of the local residents or business owners been notified of such a demand for the location?
There is concern of the many worker and human right violations that Walmart is known for. Just ask some of the local workers of Walmarts. I travel several times a year nationwide and have heard very little, if any, positive word from any Walmart non-management worker about conditions there in over 20 years.That is a global shame.

Rick Day
Said this on 1-22-2012 At 04:32 pm

Downtown is the same way; since the Publix closed near City Hall, the closest real grocer is north into Midtown.

Also, try to find a motorcycle, new auto dealer or a Auto Shack style business within the downtown/Castleberry Hill/ Midtown area.

 

If just ONE of them would open in these areas, they would have more business than they could handle.

 

Stupid coporations; always doing the wrong thing.

 

Stacey Hopkins
Said this on 1-23-2012 At 12:20 pm

I happen to live in South Atlanta and used to shop at the Publix in West End. This is a paradox for many of us residents, as we can’t seem to get any businesses to open there and remain. I dare say there are enough infrastructures and in terms of economic demographics, whether you are rich or poor, you have to eat. I would like to see local businesses given a shot in terms of local co-ops or a farmer market, but there’d have to be some sort of financing provided to help with start-up capital. The banks certainly aren’t lending in this area and have done so much damage to the community in the rampant predatory residential lending already.

I recall when this area was originally built, there was to be special tax and other incentives to lure businesses to this area. So far, we haven’t seen that happen and I’d like to see what the city actually promised and see the numbers as to how the initiatives they proposed have actually performed. It appears the only people who benefitted were the developers themselves.

I’d rather see a local food co-op and businesses occupy the space to build a sustainable neighborhood, but there aren’t the same concerns as Decatur as in the West End because there’s nothing to displace right now; the dynamics are drastically different. I am well aware of the labor problems with Wal-Mart but again, there aren’t any jobs, low-wage or otherwise, available in these areas to begin with. This may provide a stepping stone for some residents to get needed experience to more into higher wage jobs once the economy recovers. That may take quite some time and with an anchor such as a large retailer like Wal-Mart, perhaps other businesses can grow around it as we have seen in Union City and Howell Mill.

atlin83
Said this on 1-24-2012 At 12:12 am

I live in this area.  There's a Kroger at Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd at Cascade Rd, a short ride on a frequent bus (#71) from the West End Station.   It's frustrating to see people making bad arguments in support of good principles.

Another example: don't use a five-mile radius from Suburban Plaza as your example of how this is racist/classist.  Within a five-mile radius of the closed Publix that Sims-Alvarado talks about, there are at least 5 major grocery stores.  Off the top of my head, and measured by Google, there are 3 Krogers (Cascade, Ponce de Leon, Howell Mill) and 2 Publixes (Midtown, North Ave).  For the argument being made, 5 miles doesn't draw a good comparison for the point - that the community (not necessarily 5 miles large) doesn't have good access to food.

Meanwhile, in an ironic twist that nobody seems to call out, the Decaturites are complaining about the traffic that a new Wal-Mart will cause - the very same Wal-Mart that petitioned for, and got, a variance to allow LESS parking, likely meaning LESS traffic than the county has prescribed for the land.  But of course, they wouldn't take MARTA to get there - there's only two different bus routes that serve the shopping center.

paul
Said this on 3-2-2012 At 08:19 pm

I hope walmart succeeds and opens up at that location. The closest one is too stinking far and I for one want to see a store I can use in that plaza. 

Ivy_L
Said this on 6-7-2012 At 03:27 am

If it happens, many small businesses will be affected. The “Walmart effect,” or the property values trending downward and small businesses closing, is a crucial argument against a Walmart being constructed in a location. However, a number of studies are discovering the effect is not quite so easy. I found this here: Walmart effect might be overstated.

Post a Comment
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
(not publicly displayed)
Reply Notification:
Website:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image:
* Message:

Please use this form to contact us
Your Name:
Your Email:
Subject:
Question/Comment:

Email to Friend

Fill in the form below to send this news item to a friend:

Email to Friend
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
* Friend's Name:
* Friend's Email:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image
* Message: