What Impact Will the Three Walmart Projects Have in Stone Mountain and Lithonia?
Besides create jobs at their stores, what else will Walmart's presence do?
Like it or not, Walmart has three projects in Stone Mountain and Lithonia.
Tell us in the comments section below: What impact do you think Walmart will have in the local areas where it's setting up shop? Will they help or hinder small business?
Memorial Drive Near N. Hairston
The first project is nearly completed, a 150,000 square foot supercenter on Memorial Drive near N. Hairston Rd. Plans are for a second quarter opening this year, and the creation of 250 new jobs.
"This is the renaissance that we're talking about all along Memorial Drive," DeKalb County commissioner Larry Johnson said during the groundbreaking ceremony last summer.
One nearby competitor, Kroger on N. Hairston, plans to make improvements in the second quarter, too. Kroger is doing a $1 million remodel of the N. Hairston store, with a tentative completion date of April.
That's not the only change that could come to Memorial Drive - which, within less than a year's span, has seen a retailer, Ross, open up; a major grocery store, Publix, leave; and a gym, Planet Fitness, set up.
"Typically what we see is other businesses following a Walmart just because they like the customer traffic that's increased, so it is a postive," Walmart spokesman Glen Wilkins told Patch at the Memorial Drive store groundbreaking.
Stonecrest Area and Covington Highway/Panola Road
Another Walmart supercenter is under construction near Sam's Club, across from the Mall at Stonecrest.
A third project, a Walmart Neighborhood Market, has not begun construction yet. The Neighborhood Market, which is a grocery-only concept, is slated to replace the former Big Lots at the corner of Panola Road and Covington Highway, which in recent weeks has been razed.
"I'm hoping they will provide some competition" for Kroger on Covington Highway in Lithonia, Commissioner Lee May told Patch last year.
But not everyone is excited about Walmart's plans in Stone Mountain and Lithonia. Dee Williams wrote this about the Neighborhood Market :
Why is that Walmart, family dollar, & Cvs drugs only want to expand in our neighborhoods. I'm all for growth & jobs but why can't we get a whole foods instead. Dekalb is a thriving middle class area. We shouldn't have to travel out of our neighborhoods to experience better shops, grocery stores and restaurants.
Trudy Morgan wrote of Walmart's supercenter near Mall at Stonecrest:
We need a grocery store in the Stonecrest area not a Walmart Super Center. There are already 2 Walmarts within 7 miles in each direction. I'm sickened to learn that Covington/Panola will get the Walmart Neighborhood Market. They at least have Aldi's and Kroger. We have no grocery stores within 15 minutes of Stonecrest and a Walmart could have put the Neighborhood Market concept here instead of a Super center which could bring the area down. Well Target it looks like you'll have some competition now.
Reader "don-dada," commenting on the Lithonia supercenter plans, may have asked it best:
Yes it seems to be a wally mart invasion. Is that a good or bad thing?