These comments were authored by a local resident who has given the CHCA board permission to edit and publish them but prefers to remain anonymous. The CHCA board asked permission to publish them because it feels that they fairly represent some of the thinking behind their support for the negotiated agreement with Selig and Walmart over the parking variance made in collaboration with other local neighborhood board representatives and with county commissioners. For other perspectives, click this link to see all posts on the Walmart issue.
Yes, Walmart underpays its employees and forces them onto state insurance programs like PeachCare, but that issue will not be solved by trying to stop one store from going in; that should be the focus of attention on our elected representatives to mandate coverage by any employer with X number of employees.
Walmart is the largest retailer of organic foods in the country, bar none. And it should be noted the current generation of Wally Worlds are amongst the most environmentally conscious retail buildings in the country. They finally realized that recycling and cutting their carbon footprint saves them money. BIG money.
Yes, traffic is bad and is going to get worse. Any successful business in that mall will increase traffic. The traffic for a Trader Joe's would be every bit as bad if not worse than for a Walmart, but TJ's wouldn't be shelling out $10 Million to build underground parking.
And Selig can't be held responsible for existing issues at that intersection. There is nothing in the zoning code to make them responsible.
Forcing Selig to improve stormwater detention for the entire property and not just the portion being redeveloped would be swell but there's nothing in the zoning code that requires that.
This county is desperate for retail tax base, and no other retailer capable of paying going rates for leases has shown any
interest in that mall. I dearly love Last Chance Thrift, but no way are they paying market rates for that space.
Folks may complain about how bad the traffic is going to get, but more traffic will help the shopping mall they live near become viable again.
[See the North Druid Hills Patch reference to this post and related comments here.]