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Planning Commission Says Yes to Memorial Drive-N. Hairston Road Walmart

Proposed super center's next stop is DeKalb Board of Commissioners Jan. 24

The DeKalb County Planning Commission on Tuesday approved proposed super center for Memorial Drive near N. Hairston Road.

The commission's nod comes with conditions, including a right-in, right-out triangle at Kenilworth Drive, so drivers aren't tempted to go through the Kenilworth Estates community, which is across from a proposed store entrance on N. Hairston.

Walmart has agreed to foot the bill for the triangle; company spokesman Glen Wilkins did not have cost estimates for the structure immediately available Tuesday night.

Also, a privacy fence will also go up on Lauren Parkway, behind the approximately 150,000 square foot proposed store.

With approval from the community council last month and Tuesday's thumbs-up from the planning commission, Walmart now moves on to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners with its plan on Jan 24.

A commissioner asked attorney Amy Hillman, representing Walmart, if there was any concern about the success of the proposed store, given that Walmart already has two other stores -- both within about five miles of the planned new super center -- at Memorial and Columbia Drive in Decatur and on .

"We think this is going to be a very successful store," Hillman told the board. "We've identified a gap, an area we feel is underserved."

Hillman that it didn't expect its planned "mini" garden center at the store to be in direct competition with -- which has been a fixture on Memorial Drive for decades -- due to the fact that Hall's sells more specialty items than Walmart's garden area would, Walmart said.

There are "few areas Walmart and Hall's are going to go head to head to compete," Hillman said.

Tuesday's presentation was Walmart's second time in front of the planning commission on this proposed super center. The last time, in November, it requested a full-cycle deferral -- basically, to restart the process of getting approvals -- in order to meet with more community groups.

Bruce Mitchell January 04, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Again, Dekalb County (as opposed to the more forward thinking incorporated areas of D. C.) is falling for the premade ghetto syndrome. To allow these lower echelon business models to be the "deciders" of the future landscape of certain areas is comparable to the naive citizen relying on the "businesses behind the phone numbers on the many cardboard signs polluting the roadways and corners for their economic future.
Lucas Roberts January 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM
It is a sad day. Two WalMart's - five miles apart. Really? Looks like a real game changing plan for the community. Sea of asphalt, four trees in the sea. Blah. But, is it better than what is there? Yes. Is WalMart the answer? No. Is it going to create an economic boom? No. Is it going to help the community? No. Sad day indeed
Bryce Farbstein January 05, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I would like to see more clear demands that Walmart provide economic partnerships with local communities so that the company dedicates a portion of its profits to lifting up the local economy and neighborhoods generally.
Staci February 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM
You all might be interested in joining Good Growth DeKalb's community forum on Thursday night @ 7 p.m. Details here: www.goodgrowthdekalb.org
Leslie Johnson February 22, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Thanks for the info, Staci! You can also upload this info to our calendar!
Bruce Mitchell February 23, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Perhaps a more cogent question for the Walmart representative would be "Is there any concern for the concern of those in the community that is aware that Walmart wouldn't hesitate to close a store if it found a "better" location in the next few years, thereby leaving another area in shambles waiting for it's representative to beg for federal dollars (increasingly non-existant) to restore the area?
rw johnson September 29, 2012 at 02:26 AM
when does this store open

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