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Decatur Residents Question Walmart, Suburban Plaza Developers

Developers say Walmart would be "Decatur funky" in style.

Residents of several Decatur neighborhoods met Wednesday evening with developers who want to renovate Suburban Plaza and build a Walmart there.

Though the shopping center is outside the city limits, the Decatur residents are worried about traffic and congestion.

The meeting took place in the theater in DeKalb Medical. Scott Selig and Bill Stogner of Selig Enterprises met the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association and residents of neighborhoods in the Sycamore Drive, Forkner Drive and Church Street areas.

Selig is seeking a parking variance to proceed. The DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals will hear the case Dec. 14.

The developers met Nov. 2 with residents of the Medlock Road area.

Click the 'replay' button above to review the Q&A between residents and the developers.

Jonathan Cribbs December 17, 2011 at 10:11 PM
The China thing is interesting. I read an article–Newsweek, I think–a few months ago from an international toy manufacturers convention in China somewhere. The big issue at the convention was the increasingly high cost of Chinese labor. That said, the article seemed to suggest that manufacturers would just find new, cheap labor to exploit elsewhere in the world. (China, for instance, is pouring trillions into Africa, though, as far as I know, there are still a whole lot of concerns regarding infrastructure, stability, etc., before everyone jumps on that bandwagon.) As for Walmart, I think this Suburban Plaza move might represent, anecdotally at least, part of a larger shift to neighborhood-based stores. I ran a post on that months ago: http://northdruidhills.patch.com/articles/walmart-vp-mum-on-decatur-store-bullish-on-atlanta-expansion
Jonathan Cribbs December 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Yeah, but that's exactly what I mean: You're essentially saying Target is a more pleasant place to shop. But isn't that relatively superficial? When I've needed a product, I've treated to two interchangeably. It never seems to matter. I can find the same thing at both stores. Target just seems to be marketed with a little more snazziness.
Tom Doolittle December 18, 2011 at 05:22 AM
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/12/how-walmart-is-changing-china/8709/ This really should be called "How China is Changing WalMart" or at lelast "How WalMart is Learning China". (BTW--this is not the wage/manufactring discussion we are having) Bottom line--note how WalMart is willing to morph when needs to--so what does that mean for its new stores in urban/hipster areas (or those that will trend that way)
Cheryl January 21, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Well said.
Kate Lee June 29, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Actually, I worked in China in the sourcing industry for 4 years. All the retailers (Walmart, Target, JCP, etc) are buying from the same 600-800 suppliers in China, India and Bangladesh. So everything is coming from the same places. If those of us in the neighborhood, give our opinion, hopefully whichever retailer comes in will keep in mind the aesthetics of the neighborhood because the stuff is all the same.... Almost anything is better than Suburban Plaza's current state, definitely needs a renovation.

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