Walmart, Selig in Athens Featured in National Press
Salon, the popular culture news and information website, reported on the international retailer's goals in the snazzy college town to our east.
Walmart and Selig Enterprises are getting plenty of attention for the plans to redevelop Suburban Plaza in North Decatur.
But they're getting some national press as well for their work in Athens.
Salon, the popular cultural news and commentary website, wrote critically about Selig and the international retailer earlier this week in a story headlined, "Walmart threatens the town R.E.M. made famous." The story also includes comments from R.E.M.'s former bassist (and current filmmaker) Mike Mills.
From the story:
Mills insists that’s not true. “We’re not anti-development,” he says. “It’s 10 acres of privately owned real estate right next to downtown. It should be developed. But it needs to be done in a way that suits Athens.”
The story also shares a few details that show what's going on in Athens is, in some ways, similar to the debate here in our community – particularly with some residents' frustration over the incoming Supercenter's proximity to an existing Walmart on Memorial Drive in Decatur.
Right now, there’s a Walmart Supercenter four miles down the road, where most of the national chains sit. “It’s on a four-lane divided highway,” says Sleppy. “That’s an appropriate place for a store that size.” Sleppy has written to Selig asking them to consider building a Walmart Market instead, which is a model the retailer has that’s about half the size of what’s currently planned. He’s gotten no response.
Just a side note: A recent community forum hosted by Good Growth DeKalb, which is fighting the Walmart in Suburban Plaza, included Melissa Link with People for a Better Athens.