• Reaction mixed over planned Walmart stores

    By: Tony Thomas


    ATLANTA,None - After recent controversy in one neighborhood over Walmart's plans to build a new store, people living in another part of metro Atlanta are welcoming a new store.

    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other dignitaries are scheduled to gather Monday morning to break ground for a new Walmart Super Center in northwest Atlanta.

    Walmart plans to build a 74,000 square foot super center near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, alongside the site where a Publix grocery store used to be located. The grocery chain closed the store at the end of 2009 and ever since, the neighborhood has been trying to find a national retailer that offers food and fresh produce.

    Council member Ivory Young says it's been a long road, but Walmart has purchased the land and promised to work with the area on any concerns that develop along with the construction.

    "On a piece of dirt like the West Side Village that has had more ground breakings than Westview Cemetery, we are very careful not to put any false hope out there." Young said Sunday.

    Resident Sandra Douglas has spent 30 years in the Vine City area and is one of many who are excited the big box store will be opening up.

    "Everybody is excited. Everybody can't wait for it to get here," Douglas said.

    That's not exactly the reaction Walmart is used to around Metro Atlanta. On Saturday, about a 100 people marched down North Decatur Road in DeKalb County protesting the planned Walmart store there.

    The protesters carried signs and marched alongside a three-piece band as they urged their political leaders to turn the retail giant away from their neighborhood.

    Construction on the northwest Atlanta store is expected to take 10 months. Walmart said it will hire some 250 people, beginning later in the year.

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