There's been a ton of chatter across the blogosphere recently about Suburban Plaza and the likelihood of a Walmart opening there.
Last week, Walmart representatives told North Druid Hills-Briarcliff Patch that .
Well, the Clairmont Heights Civic Association handed us the latest development in this story. Apparently, Selig Enterprises, the developer pursuing that Walmart, has met with DeKalb County commissioners Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon. And due to the layout of that shopping center, any sort of big box store–Walmart or not–that might go up there would require major construction, including underground parking.
Selig has also suggested public financing to help with the parking construction and renovation to the shopping center's facade. From the association update:
In his response, Commissioner Rader confirmed that he and Commissioner Gannon had met with Selig and listened to their redevelopment objectives. He also mentioned that a big box development is permissible under the existing C-2 zoning. Commissioner Rader’s impression was that the space requirements of their desired building program and the required parking would necessitate an “urban” store design with underground parking at the corner of Medlock and North Decatur where the thrift store and mattress outlet are currently located.
This design would cost more than a conventional layout and therefore Selig is suggesting public financing assistance for underground parking and the renovation of the façade of the remaining shopping center strip. For the present, Commissioners Rader and Gannon have taken no position on the project but are planning to gather additional information from future meetings with the developer. Although the current zoning of the site allows for a “big box” development, any action by the BOC or the Development Authority of DeKalb County to assist Selig with financing would require a public process.
No doubt this will complicate the debate over this development. The association's update also includes an e-mail from Rader, so be sure to read that.