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SEABA Board Voices Opposition to Glenwood Walmart Project

By Ashley McCartney
On Thursday, April 18, 2013, members of the Board of Directors for the South East Atlanta Business Association (SEABA) met with representatives of Walmart concerning the proposed development of the LaFarge property located at 800 Glenwood near the Glenwood Park Development. Walmart representatives had contacted SEABA Chair Ashley McCartney seeking a meeting to discuss SEABA’s position on the large box retail development proposed for the property. In agreeing to the meeting, SEABA Board members wanted to communicate directly to Walmart representatives that the organization’s opposition to the planned project by Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua was not opposition directed at Walmart. Rather, SEABA opposes any plan which ignores the Atlanta Beltline Overlay and does not fully comply with the Subarea 4 Masterplan, created by the Atlanta Beltline, Inc., community involvement process and approved by the City Council.
The SEABA Board had previously voted to support the written opposition and comments prepared by Neighborhood Planning Unit W (NPU W) to the proposed development.
“We had a frank and honest exchange,” said McCartney. “We are pro-business growth in Southeast Atlanta,” she continued, “However, we believe in responsible development that complies with and supports the thousands of community hours spent working to develop the Subarea 4 Masterplan for the Beltline and the Beltine Overlay. This project, in its current form, just does not do that.”
The contact from Walmart representatives with SEABA was some of the first public acknowledgement of the identity of the anchor tenant for the currently proposed 144,000 square foot retail store planned by Fuqua. Fuqua had always declined to identify his client and SEABA’s opposition to the project has never been directed solely at any particular corporation or entity. “This is not an anti-Walmart campaign,” says McCartney, “our opposition is solely about the project as it is currently presented.”
“SEABA remains committed to its members and constituent neighborhoods,” says McCartney. “Neighborhood scale development with mixed residential and business opportunities that retain the traditional flavor and feel of this historic portion of Atlanta is what the Subarea 4 Masterplan calls for. The current Fuqua plan neither honors the history of this part of the city nor the volunteer commitment which led to the creation of the Masterplan.”
For more information, contact SEABA board members Chris Balch (404-202-5934) or Rick Hudson (404-234-2853).

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