Serious concerns about surrounding residential property values decreasing, increased neighborhood crime increasing , and threat of overpowering and losing national grocers and drugstores in area.
I live in Medlock Park and, based on Walmart’s path of destruction, I am worried about (i) decreasing property values, (ii) increasing traffic ten-fold, (iii) a spike in crime, including property damage and break-ins, (iv) litter in and around the area as is evidenced at the Avondale Walmart, and (v) the bad fit for our unique Decatur neighborhood.
I agree with Jean’s concerns posted 6 Feb 1:04 AM about the consequences to the immediate surrounding residential area. However, this area is predominantly European American, and I believe that these neighborhoods must be sensitive when using words like “property values” and “increasing crime,” which have been and remain code words for racial exclusion and gentrification. Inclusiveness in planning for alternative uses for Suburban Plaza should be mindful of equity and fairness in employment opportunity, particularly in small and medium size businesses exempt from most equal opportunity laws, in support for schools, and in crime prevention measures. We want them to be proactively inclusive. Non-white neighborhoods in proximity, including African American and South Asian (Indian) communities, need to be actively engaged in developing Good Growth Dekalb’s strategy. GGD’s diversity committee is a crucial component of a winning strategy that must reach out to these neighboring communities and make room at the table for them to voice their needs and address their concerns.
I understand that Walmart has four Walmarts currently planned in Dekalb County and we have how many already? I can name at least four so my concern is that it is an oversaturation of one dominant retailer in the County and that other retailers have to be negatively impacted with this much presence. All we will be left with are Walmarts. Do people really only want to shop in Walmart t? I also think it is a horrible placement at Suburban. It is out of proportion to that size strip shopping center. Supercenter Walmarts traditionally are located on much larger lots and this is out of scale for this strip. There is not any buffer between residential neighborhoods and Walmart at this location. Other locations, there is a railroad or a major highway or something that buffers the community from the store. It has to be bad for property values of the adjacent communities including mine.
While I understand David Slavin’s comments, I do not retreat from my comments directly above him and I take exception with be cast, albeit cleverly indirectly, as a racist. My concerns wholeheratedly remain my property value and crime, whether or not that sounds politically correct to Mr. Slavin or not.
To David’s point above, I will personally reach out to some of the diverse grocers and small businesses in the area to get their take. It helps enormously to hear all views on this proposed development, especially those who were unable to attend public or neighborhood meetings.
It is just bad all around. Traffic, a dangerous intersection made still more dangerous, driving local business away, trash, property values, environmental fallout …. the list goes on….
Walmart simply does not fit into this part of Decatur, will result in the loss of stores already in the shopping center, and will make traffic in that area not only a nightmare, but dangerously crowded in an intersection used by ambulances.
I seriously don’t understand how a Walmart could diminish an already blighted area. Surburban Plaza is an eyesore, and having a major retailer move into that area can’t help but improve the it. Walmart flourishes in real estate districts where they can pick up huge bargains, allowing it to extend these savings to consumers through lower prices, (yes they will make their “evil” profit – why else would they be in business!) In the end, a dead retail area has new life breathed into it and restorative growth begins. As a result, property values go UP.
If not Walmart, then who? Who is an acceptable major retailer? Who can move into Surburban, give it new life, and NOT generate the same traffic, risks to emergency vehicles, crime, etc.? What is the better alternative? The argument against WalMart is not well formed, and just looks like a bunch of elitists who hate an American business success story.
What a charming “poll”, where all the answers are the same. You might at least want to consider the possibility that someone might think that a Walmart is a good idea. I came here looking for information, but all I see is propaganda and fear-mongering.
Anonymous, Good Growth DeKalb is a group of people that do not want a Walmart built at Suburban Plaza. We state our opposition on the home page of this website as well as in the “Who we are” section. Would the website of a Republican running for Congress sing the praises of her Democrat opponent? Would PETA’s website talk about the virtues of testing products on animals? No.
In addition the poll says, “Why don’t you want a Walmart at Suburban Plaza.” It is not a poll asking people if they want a Walmart or not.
We do not apologize for our stance against the proposed development. We do not support the business practices of Walmart and do not believe that a Walmart Supercenter is not the right fit for Suburban Plaza or our community (or any community as long as Walmart treats and pays its employees poorly).
At the upcoming meeting, will a representative from Good Growth DeKalb be able to show representation of other possible proposals for the Suburban Plaza property? I would like to see other options if they are available. I know that the neighborhood had really wanted for Trader Joe’s to move into the area, but we all know that they have declined. I see correspondence all of the time about what the neighborhood does not want, but I do not see where any organization is trying to help the property owners with obtaining tenants that the neighborhood would approve. Since Good Growth DeKalb has become an organization, is this something that the group will be working on?
Hi Anonymous. The forum will the first step in developing a community vision for Suburban Plaza . We’d like for everyone who is interested to come out and share their ideas, which Good Growth DeKalb will capture. It’s my hope (this is Staci) that we’ll be able to work with neighbors, community planners, local businesses, the county and the developer (Selig) to turn Suburban Plaza into a healthy, vibrant center for shopping, recreation and dining. Hope you’ll come (and reveal who you are ;-)
Staci, thanks for a reasonable reply. If the neighborhood really wants an alternative use, I am sure the Selig organization would entertain realistic offers to purchase the property. There is still such a thing in this country as private property rights (though they are rapidly eroding) and the solution for the community is to unite nd invest in the center. You should look into community land trusts and turn the whole site into a park (or anything else). The fact is the neighborhood has not supported the tenants in the center for the last 10-15 years, causing it to become an eyesore. I ask which is really worse for property values, a WalMart or a crumbling, half empty center? I know which would be more negative to me locating in the area.
If the choice is between the current half empty eyesore of a shopping center, that has acres of empty parking spaces and is used more as a cut-through between N. Decatur, Medlock, and Church St., with stores that are barely staying in business because the community has never supported them and that have less then stellar products and services VS. a vibrant shopping center (yes with a Wal Mart) and other national stores that have products that many consumers actually desire then yes I want the Selig develpment. I think the arguement that property values will go down is laughable. Suburban Plaza is an embarrasment and people would rather have the status quo than a new development?! How does that make sense?! Traffic would get worse but that is what happens with growth. Nobody is complaining that traffic is worse in downtown Decatur since it has been revitalized. That is what happens when you actually have businesses that people want to go to, you get traffic. Another thing, Suburban Plaza is not in Decatur it is in unincorporated Dekalb. There are many Decaturites (if that is what they are called) that are against the development because it does not fit in with the culture of Decatur. Well this is not Decatur; mind your own business . City of Decatur voters had an opportunity several years ago (2008-09?) to incorporate this part of the county but declined to incorporate even though this part of the county was in favor of incorporation.
I don’t think the people who oppose a Walmart at Suburban Plaza are against new development. That is a distortion of the concern. And I very much view Suburban Plaza as a gateway to Decatur, even if it is not properly within the City limits, so I think that Decatur-ites have just as much concern as other neighborhoods surrounding the Plaza. Of course the wonderful, unique, smart growth in the City of Decatur came with more traffic, but the results are weel worth the increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic. If a Walmart goes in at Suburban Plaza, the adjacent communities would have to suffer significantly increased vehicular traffic, especially within their neighborhoods where cut-through traffic is already a bear, with a poorly envisioned discount supercenter as the only “payoff.” Not quite the bargain of a Decatur, is it?
A suggestion: the poll would be much more revealing and useful if respondents could select multiple options, rather than just one of the catalogue of reasons. In all likelihood, respondents click the default “all of the above” if more than one justification fits their positions, even if not all considerations fit their reasoning, or carry the same weight in their opposition. Alternatively, one could ask persons to rank the reasons for opposing the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza as a Walmart.
I don’t think that Poll Daddy allows more options, or ranking. But I like both ideas! Thanks, Ryan.
What a biased poll. There is no “Do you want a Walmart at Suburban Plaza. It automatically assumes that no one wants a Walmart.
Is the poll for real? There is no option for people who “want” Walmart in the area. I guess the people who created this only want to hear one opinion. This poll should be changed IMO if they are serious about an open, honest, public debate.
@Dude – it’s not a poll about who wants a Wal-Mart. It’s about _why_ people don’t want a Wal-Mart in that location – at Suburban Plaza. No one is preventing anyone from going to a Wal-Mart; there are 4 Wal-Marts to choose from within 7 miles of this location, plus another one is being built at Memorial Dr. and Mountain Industrial, a straight shot down 78. Knock yourself out, if you want.
I am more concerned about the possible annexation than the WalMart, as that seems inevitable. If Good Growth DeKalb were really about good growth in the county of DeKalb, I would think that hey would have an opinion of the City of Decatur, annexation of the two commercial areas right now being proposed. This is much larger to me, as Suburban Plaza can have WalMart come, but the County of DeKalb will suffer if these commercial area are annexed into Decatur.
I love how people have a “wish” list of what they want in place of a Walmart but nobody has done anything about it for years. The property looks awful and no money has been spend to bring in new businesses for the “wish” list. Everyone was complaining what an eyesore. Now Walmart is coming in and doing something about it. If there was an actual alternative or hard plan by Good Growth, I might get on board, but there isn’t. It is just a “wish” list. If people don’t have something to complain about, then are not happy. First, the property is an eyesore, now it is Walmart…..same thing happened in Chamblee when I first moved to Atlanta and now my friends that protested it shop there…….same thing will happen here….not everyone who is protesting, but some will shop at the Walmart……..how about stop wasting the monies on protesting this because it going to happen and let’s really come up with something that is Good Growth??? Try being more proactive and not reactive…..I have lived in the Decatur area for 3 years now and have never heard of Good Growth until their protests…..imagine the headlines – Good Growth works with investors to bring new life to Suburban Plaza……..either get on board or fall by the waysdie…….
After reading all these comments, it appears to me that racism, pure and unabashedly, is at the heart of the ANTI-Walmart movement. They clearly hate low to moderate income persons who will clearly benefit from Wal-Mart’s low prices. Instead, they want a WHOLE FOODS and a LORD & TAYLOR to move into Suburban Plaza. Well, good luck! My advice is to FACE your HATRED. CONFRONT your RACISM. whether you like it or not, Wal-Mart is good for the community, and we NEED that at Suburban Plaza. And by the way, those of you who live in MEDLOCK and think you live in DECATUR, you don’t. Unless you pay City of Decatur taxes, you don’t live in Decatur. Don’t brag about something you don’t have. Welcome to reality!
@ Alexander Hamilton (aka Mr. Reality). I think you figured out the great racist conspiracy of the Lord & Taylor-loving fake-Decaturites. I wonder why it took so long for the group to get exposed? Thanks a million for letting us all know the truth at last!
PROUD, I mean. Proud and sleepy …
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