Community upset over retail development plans

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

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ATLANTA - Some southeast Atlanta residents are fighting a proposed big box retail development planned for an area near the proposed beltline.

They said the large anchor store is not a good fit with their intown neighborhoods.

Fuqua Development wants to build the project on an old concrete-making facility sandwiched between Glenwood Avenue, I-20 and Bill Kennedy Way.  According to the developer’s website, the plan calls for 170,000 square feet of retail including a 155,000 square foot retail anchor store.  Supporters maintain the proposal is a good fit for the area, which is already home to restaurants, retail and high density housing.

But opponents went before Atlanta City Council Monday to explain why they believe the project is not a good fit at all.

“The big box store right next to our community would be devastating to our lifestyle,” said Glenwood Park resident Terry Carmon.  “We want a walk free community where there are small entrepreneurs doing well and are supported by the neighborhood.”

Ormewood Park resident Chris Heller worries about the impact a proposed big box store would have on local traffic.

“I believe it’s going to create a whole lot of traffic in an area not designed for additional traffic,” said Heller.  “This is a residential area that should be designed for regular use.”

Because the area is currently zoned for industrial, a commercial development would be a permitted use.  The project is before the City of Atlanta Planning Department.  No one seems sure if the plan fits in with the Beltline project overlay, which encourages high-density live, work, play communities.  The Glenwood project does not appear to include a residential component.  If the developers get the green light, a sign outside the property states it could be finished by 2014.

 Calls to Fuqua Development for comment were not returned.


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