DionRabouin.com (sort of)

New Wal-Mart a ‘Slam Dunk’ for East Point

Posted in Articles by dionrabouin on September 17, 2012

By Dion Rabouin

(Written for The Atlanta Voice)

EAST POINT – A new Walmart Supercenter planned for an undeveloped section of the city is a “slam dunk” for area residents hungry for new development and for new places to shop, a city councilwoman said Wednesday.

The new Walmart will be part of a $29 million, 168,000-square-foot shopping center on Cleveland Avenue near Sylvan Road.

“I’ve gotten all kinds of requests that we let Walmart come; the citizens of East Point want it,” said City Councilwoman Jacqueline Slaughter-Gibbons. “It’s a slam dunk.”

The City Council voted unanimously to bring the retail giant – and a surrounding shopping center – to an area on Cleveland Avenue near Interstate 85. Groundbreaking for the Walmart store is scheduled for next summer, officials said, and the store is scheduled to open a year later.

“I like the location they put it in because we will be pulling from more than East Point,” she added. “We can pull from southwest Atlanta, Hapeville, College Park, and it will benefit everyone, especially East Point.”

The new Supercenter store, which will sell groceries, will be part of a 168,000- square-foot shopping center that will replace a section of the city currently occupied by 58 abandoned and asbestos-filled apartment units, reports show.

The $29 million project will be built on Cleveland Avenue where it intersects with Sylvan Road in the front and Springdale Road in the back.

The nation’s largest retailer, Walmart typically generates jobs, new tax revenue, heightened economic activity and spin-off development when it builds in a community, officials say. That, obviously, is good news for the struggling city just south of Atlanta.

“I haven’t heard anybody opposed to the development, and I guess it’s because there’s been no talk about any negative impact,” said City Councilwoman Pat Langford. “This is a positive step for the city of East Point and we just need to continue to look forward for things to come.”

Joe Holmes, development manager for R.H. Ledbetter Properties, said he was approached by a national retailer to bring a store to East Point because they saw an opportunity in an “underserved” area.

“They see a need for the things they sell in the community,” Holmes said. “Everybody over there on the east side of East Point, if they do any shopping, most of them go over to Camp Creek Marketplace.”

Documents obtained by The Atlanta Voice show that Walmart and Ledbetter signed a purchasing agreement earlier this year. Ledbetter received $2.5 million in financial breaks from the city, most of which will come in the form of economic incentive funding and from the waiver of some municipal fees.

Langford said city officials understood they had to give something to get something.

“In the long term, we’ll see a lot more than what we’re giving up for it,” Langford said.  “Once the project is completed… then it will more than cover anything we would have to give up in order for them to come here.”


2 Responses

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  1. Jessalyn Crews said, on November 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    How do I find out when this store is slated to open and when I can apply for associate?

  2. Cynthia Bell said, on September 15, 2014 at 3:35 am

    I can’t wait for Walmart to open…I am looking forward to shopping their,Then I won’t have to leave out of my area just to shop

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