By Collin Kelley

The suburbs used to be Walmart’s domain, but now the retail giant is moving into the city with new locations opening soon, on the drawing board and rumors running wild about more.

It’s no secret that the announcement of a new Walmart these days is often met with opposition by community residents and local business owners worried of being driven out of business.

Protesters have made themselves visible for months in Decatur as plans for a a new Walmart in Suburban Plaza move forward under the direction of developer Selig Enterprises. The anti-Walmart group, Good Growth DeKalb, has been raising funds to mount a legal challenge to block the retailer.  Walmart released a statement in  September dismissing Good Growth DeKalb as a vocal minority, claiming that the supercenter will bring  needed jobs and convenience to the neighborhood.

In Buckhead, developer Jeff Fuqua hit a roadblock when the Atlanta City Council blocked its plans for 150,000 square foot Walmart near the Lindberg MARTA station as part of new mixed-used development. Fuqua Development and Walmart have also been in “preliminary” discussion about a Walmart in Glenwood Park, which has already caused concern for homeowners and small business owners in the burgeoning neighborhood in East Atlanta.

The Glenwood development would sit on on pacel of property behind the ENSO apartments at 800 Glenwood Ave. (near the Bill Kennedy Way intersection) including nearly 200,000 square feet of retail. There would also be easy access to the Atlanta BeltLine.

Meanwhile, a Walmart Supercenter is definitely opening on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Vine City in January. Walmart has opened a hiring center at 825 MLK Jr. Drive, Suite B and will be hiring 150 full and part-time employees from now through Dec. 31.

Intown’s first Walmart opened nearly five years ago on Howell Mill Road at the intersection of I-75.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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