Wal-Mart and Suburban Plaza Developer Say Reported Plans Not Confirmed

What Now Atlanta? has a couple new quotes from Selig regarding this Wal-Mart Suburban Plaza story, but first let me recap.

Tomorrow’s News Today posted this story based on sources and a display of “Suburban Plaza Featuring Wal-Mart” that Selig put up at RECON (The Global Retail Real Estate Convention) in Las Vegas at the end of May.  A separate source also confirmed this, as well as gave some details of the plans that were shown (underground parking, etc…)

Now What Now Atlanta? has this quote from Selig…

“We are thoroughly researching the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza but have no commitments at this time,” [Bill ] Stogner, said. “We are in the process of reviewing our options.”

…“Selig has approached us,” [senior manager of public affairs and government relations for Walmart Glen] Wilkins said. “Walmart is interested in the area but does not have a contract with Selig.”

And while Tomorrow’s News Today stated yesterday that “…nothing is confirmed…”, What Now Atlanta tells me via Twitter that Wilkin’s said the proposal in Las Vegas was created by Selig and not Wal-Mart.

Guess we’ll wait for Tomorrow’s News Today’s response.

33 thoughts on “Wal-Mart and Suburban Plaza Developer Say Reported Plans Not Confirmed”

  1. I love how those two blog authors (Tomorrow’s News Today & What Now Atlanta?) are always trying to one up the other when at first they published a blog together called Repeat Atlanta. Oh the drama!

  2. Well, I can hear the sigh of relief from WalMart-bashers everywhere. (“Now maybe we can fill all that space with small independent shopkeepers who won’t try to wipe out the downtown merchants.”)

    1. +1 for the term “WalMart-bashers”. I’m not in love with WM, but I don’t detest it either. It serves a purpose, for some shoppers. If people don’t want to shop there, they have that option. I think the Suburban Plaza area is pretty seedy, but I do go to the stores that are still there because they sell “useful things.” And I don’t believe that a WM in that location would seriously threaten Ace Hardware at all, because it is such a special place and soooo well managed with stock and personal assistance in every regard. Ace Hardware is probably my FAVORITE Decatur store, as a matter of fact., closely followed by Publix for lots of other interests and reasons. Downtown Decatur is OK, but mostly food and drink — I require more than that for my daily needs.

      1. Chira’s post made me realize how much I actually do shop in that area – Big Lots, Hancock Fabrics, Decatur Estate Antiques, Petco, the thrift store. When my partner’s mom was alive we also shopped the medical supplies store and the hearing aid place, stopping at Picadilly’s for lunch, of course. And Intown Ace Hardware is my favorite Decatur store, too! I could easily hang out there for an afternoon and I always go home with way more stuff than was on my list.

        1. I feel the same way. I love Big Lots (though, I wish the manager would recognize me as a regular after about 15 years now). But THE best is the Ace Hardware. Wonderful, wonderful place.

  3. OK I will say it I AM a Walmart basher!!! and I DO NOT want one in MY neighborhood to the point of IF this happens I WILL move. What a shame!
    Yes the current state of the shopping center is sad and needs to change but I do not think this would be a good change for the neighborhood. Traffic wise It is hard enough to get out of Decatur and get across town. This will make it impossible! And I do not need / want any of the cheap crap Walmart sells. NOOO!!!!!!!! What can we do to make it stop? Is Suburban Plaza in the Decatur City limits? I love all the local places. And would even be happy to support a better big box store like Target or Trader Joes. Walmart is just the destroyer of the little guys and does not treat their employees well. I worked for Target in High School and college and they are good to their employees. I could go on forever………..
    And I am one of the little guys – I sell my handmade items and work at Home Grown in downtown Decatur.

      1. There are also a lot of resources out there that show how Target’s employee treatment and union busting is just the same or worse than Wal Mart, that their benefits and starting hourly salaries are average lower nationally, and that their sweatshop and sourcing issues are the same. The only real difference is the shine on the apple. Anecdotally, I also chat lots with Edgewood employees and hear terrible things about long term employees getting squeezed out when they hit a certain wage level, hours and benefits slashed and pretty much anything you expect.

    1. Ok Now that I have had a little time to calm down I can say you all have valid points. And I would like to amend and say I would prefer no more big box stores go into Suburban Plaza. That being some what unrealistic I would also like to say that I just don’t think Walmart would be a good fit for the neighborhood.
      I like my quiet little neighborhood the way it is quiet. I understand things will and should change I just hope the change is thoughtful and positive.
      I like living here because it is different and we do support a larger number of local businesses than many areas. I just don’t want to see the area start letting in big retailers and start loosing its character and charm. And no I don’t think Suburban Plaza currently has much charm but it has some character and does not increase traffic. There are many possible pros and cons to changing Suburban Plaza. Me and my high horse are going to take a break until this becomes official 🙂
      Peace Out – C

  4. People vote with their feet and their dollars. If you are a “Walmart basher” at least understand that others appreciate what they bring to the table. Doesn’t mean you have to shop there. Big box retailers are not “touchy feely”, but we pay less for goods because of them. I appreciate the opportunity to balance price/quality/service for myself and not be denied convenient choices because of some peoples agendas.

    I am happy to pay for service and advice, and willingly pay more to support local stores that offer that, but when I know exactly what I want, particularly for big ticket stuff, price is important. As for Walmart stuff being junk, that’s a little ignorant. If you spend $200 on a pair of jeans… thats your priviledge. But understand that is not typical of consumers anywhere. If I buy an iPad at Walmart, is that junk?

    1. +1 (though, I’ve been re-watching Twin Peaks, and your screen name is pretty creepy.)

  5. No walmart. Big ticket items? Buy online from amazon. In the hood? Buy local. It’s that easy. Leave the big box stores in suburbia. We have Edgewood retail and the ponce development. All within a few miles of Decatur. Suburban plaza has always…always been tgis way. From the days if Belk and the bowling lanes I hung out in during the 80s. Kim’s watch repair is great. The hearing aid store is one of the best in Atlanta. The antique and trophy shops are tried and true. Picadilly moved in back in late 80s. Used to be a woolworths there I think. Screw walmart. They have kept prices low and quality lower. They drive their vendors to gouge. They are for the burbs. I support locally owned businesses every chance I get. It is what separates Decatur from Cobb, Gwinnett, and the rest of the places where you don’t know your neighbors, the people at the stores, and everyone seems in a hurry for no reason. Screw walmart.

  6. I can’t see how you’d fit a walmart where the thrft store is (even with the mattress store). The basic stores are easily twice the size. I also know why they’d go to that location for an “express store” because it’s not as dense as a true urban location…

  7. I’ve always thought it would be great if Suburban Plaza could be redeveloped to be like The Avenue developments in Cobb County. Something with some decent shopping, restaurants, etc. And maybe it could have a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s.

  8. I find it interesting that almost none of the above posts take into account the property owner’s perspective. I’d guess they’re bleeding money by not having tenants (or the ‘right’ tenants, or better tenants) yet many posters are primarily concerned with keeping the status quo – a half empty, underutilized paved-over wasteland. And for other options, let’s not pretend that someone’s handcrafted, organic, recycled, carbon neutral bric-a-brac is going to drive any traffic or revenue.

    (Side note – I’ve got nothing against wal*mart, but if I were them I think I’d rather be in one of the potential out-parcels at North Dekalb mall. Despite the heavy road traffic, that place is a ghost village and would probably make an insane offer to lure a mini WM.)

  9. This has very little to do with the discussion but Bill Stogner, the Selig representative quoted in the article, grew up in Decatur (on Scott Boulevard), graduated from Saint Thomas More and was later quite a good football player at Saint Pius X. His father was a terrific guy, friend to all and a natural salesman. Like many Decatur area kids, Bill hung out at Suburban Lanes, bought Levi jeans at Belk-Gallant, watched movies at the theater, and maybe saw the Box Tops perform their big hit, “The Letter”, at the Stingray nightclub. Much has changed over the last thirty years. Even though Suburban Plaza has several good stores today, it is only a shadow of the once thriving business district.
    I support the idea of Walmart or a similar type of business coming to Suburban Plaza. It will revitalize the entire area. I believe that businesses like Intown Ace will increase their customer base even more because of the nearby location of a store like Walmart. A large store like Walmart will provide part-time jobs to Decatur High School students and support some of our student activities. And I hope that one day, when my wife and I decide to sell our home, I can include on the flyer, “Within walking distance of Walmart!”
    My wife and I look forward to seeing “Wild Bill” Stogner at our 20 year PiHi reunion this fall.

    1. You’re right…it’s very interesting that Selig is a local, home-grown guy. Do you know if he still lives in the area he’s developing?

    1. You are right, that would be a very good location. Less concerns about traffic, lots of space, and definitely underutilized.

      1. And MUCH better access for trucks, being right off 78 & 285. The only downside I can see to that location is that vehicle traffic from the Home Depot and the Publix strip, combined with the Wal-Mart traffic could be a huge mess.

  10. If you’re looking for a Walmart to shop it’s not that far. Closest Walmart is 2.7 miles from Suburban Plaza, on Memorial Drive. The other one is on Gresham Rd, 5.3 miles.So there’s no reason to advocate for a Walmart in Decatur. There are two pretty close ones.

  11. That was supposed to be an Indian-themed hotel but I heard that years ago. Guess it’s another casualty of the economy.

  12. Should anyone in Decatur, or elsewhere ITP for that matter, like me to forward the weekly Zone 2 (where the intown, Howell Station Wal-Mart is located) crime stats I’ll be glad to add them to my distribution list. Then you too can see, firsthand, just how much criminal activity a Wal-Mart attracts. On a daily basis!

    1. That’s a good idea, because I’d bet my life there was absolutely no crime in that area before Walmart invaded!

    2. Let’s see if we can figure this one out. Before Walmart: No buildings, no people, no stuff to steal, no crime. Walmart comes in with lots of good stuff to steal and there’s an increase in shoplifting. Go figure. The same exists at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.

  13. Invite Trader Joe’s; send letters to:

    Charles Pilliter
    Executive VP/Operations
    Brandt Sharrock
    Vice President/Real Estate
    Trader Joe’s
    800 Shamrock Ave.
    Monrovia, CA 91016

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