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Selig Seeking Ideas for Suburban Plaza

The developer is asking residents for suggestions on tenants and architectural elements.

Selig Enterprises, the development company , is asking residents for ideas.

In a letter to the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association, Scott Selig said,

We at Selig have always said that the best design features in our projects come from those will will ultimately visit the center and know what kind of vibe needs to be created. ... We encourage everyone to provide feedback through your representatives on any suggestions you might have whether it be potential tentants or architectural elements and we will review them all.

The letter addressed two other issues.

Selig says company representatives had an unfruitful meeting July 12 with leaders of , a group that opposes Selig's plan to build a Walmart.

Selig says the company told GGD in advance that it wouldn't talk about Walmart, but the organization didn't want to talk about anything else. Only one non-Walmart question was asked, Selig said.

Patch asked GGD for their side of the story. Robert Blondeau responded with an email, saying the group leaders presented an anti-Walmart petition with more than 3,000 signatures.

The meeting was contentious and perhaps unproductive if you gauge success solely through Selig's narrowly defined ideas; that is, Selig getting its way.  On the other hand, Selig finally heard the other, unfiltered side of the story: Walmart is not wanted and the company's plan is fatally flawed in terms of growing a more vibrant community.  ... With that in mind, Good Growth DeKalb views the meeting as a success.  Someone finally was able to say to Selig that their redevelopment plans are not a welcome addition to the neighborhood. 

Blondeau says GGD will keep fighting the Walmart plan.

Also, Selig also said in the letter that the company is seeking ways to improve pedestrian connectivity at North Decatur Road, Scott Boulevard and Melock Road.

Do you have ideas on tenants and architectural elements for Suburban Plaza?

mark July 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I think they should build the Walmart store...the Howell Mill store is great!! Lets get Ty Pennington in there...take down that Thrift Store...and move that bus!!!
Deanne July 27, 2012 at 02:25 AM
On defining a vibrant community- A vibrant community is not its structures; it is its people. A community's vibrancy flourishes when its people come together and collectively seek ways to honor the hopes and needs of all who live within it, knowing that give and take will be needed, and will be rewarded when honest efforts have been put in. It is magic when it happens; however, it can't be only wished for or forced into being. Creating special spaces, meeting the needs of its people, and nurturing dreams into reality are all some of the things that we do to enrich our lives and allow for people to come together. Whether actions taken lead to the building of a vibrant community lies within the how. Selig welcomes our community's input on potential tenants and ideas for architectural features. I am happy to receive any suggestions that you'd like to share. You may reach me through the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association's email address. Please indicate Suburban Plaza Idea in the subject line. www.decaturheightsneighbors@gmail.com .
Deanne July 27, 2012 at 02:45 AM
In response to Robert's view of the meeting- Good Growth Dekalb's representatives let their members down by refusing to go over their list of ideas or raise any concerns other than Walmart. Theresa Same of MANA and I were on hand to answer any questions regarding the neighborhoods' efforts, including the Conditions negotiated, or on the process to date. The Selig folks were more than ready to speak to anything asked, aside from Walmart, and did manage to give a small bit of information in the very limited chance that they were given to share it. GGD's petition was presented, and it contains signatures from Decatur area residents, the extended metro area, and from across the country. It should be noted that Good Growth Dekalb's request for a meeting with Selig did not occur until 8 months after the requested special exception for reduced parking variance was granted. The meeting was one of the most unpleasant situations I've ever been present for, and included a personal attack on Scott Selig and his family's legacy. Ralph's GGD link in this post leads to one of the most interesting threads related to Suburban Plaza's re-do.You'll find me (community liaison) and Good Growth Dekalb's co-chair Robert Blondeau and Victoria Webb (role unknown) among the commenters.
Frances July 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Dear Deanne, while you are correct that some of those people had out of town addresses (a handful), many are connected to Decatur. For example, Ryan Carr is a longtime reside of DeKalb County temporarily assigned to a position in Hawaii. Robyn Davis another longtime resident of DeKalb County is at UAB in the MPH program. Kiera Wiatrak was living In DC when she signed, but she amd her husband now live here. Some are Agnes Scott alumnae who visit -- and spend their money in DeKalb County frequently. All of these people -- and many more -- have an interest in the communiy they call home. Don't try to overplay the out-of-towners for effect 99 perent of the signatures are people who will be affected.
Frances July 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Sorry for the typos. The phone's gone mad this morning!
Nick July 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM
An open-air mall type thing with a courtyard, a la the Rio Mall or Ansley Mall.
Frances July 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
One more thing -- more than 99 percent of the people who signed will be affected. I also heard that Scott Selig said thy think residents in a huge radius of the store will be affected -- 100,000 people. Had Good Growth DeKalb and the residents that far out had realized it, I'm sure the petition would be enormous.
Deanne July 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Frances, I appreciate that you kept your remarks civil. I gave the breakout because it is relevant information to any company when considering a petition. If GGD wanted their petition to have weight, they would have first determined what information matters to Selig and Walmart. For Selig, it would be: The percentage of residents living within Selig's targeted radius who would not be inclined to visit Suburban Plaza if Walmart is a tenant. For Walmart, it would be: The percentage of residents in Walmart's targeted customer demographic living within Walmart's targeted radius who would not shop at a Walmart. Walmart's radius is smaller, and the deal breaker for them would have been if the number would have made it too iffy to chance it. Having explained it, the fact is, GGD's petition was presented too late into the process, and the low number of signatures gathered (even if presented early on) do not make a compelling case for Selig or Walmart to have given it serious consideration.
Deanne July 27, 2012 at 03:34 PM
(Rolled into other reply.)
Harrison July 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Wow, Deanne. Thanks for the reference to your past posts so I could get a sense of who you are. What is your deal? And how and why do you think you know what Selig's and Walmart's strategies are as they pertain to Suburban Plaza? I am new to this issue but very concerned and strongly against a Walmart in that location. Let me be clear, Deanne. I live in your neighborhood and you do not speak for me nor do you speak for the majority of neighbors whom I know and have discussed this issue with. And your almost personal, strident attacks on the group that is trying to save us all from that Walmart is offensive to me as a resident of the surrounding area.
Pat Davis July 27, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I live in downtown Decatur and think a Walmart is fine. Selig, please keep Hancock's Fabrics somewhere on the site.
Deanne July 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Harrison, You can catch up on all Suburban Plaza related information, including how Decatur Heights and the other surrounding neighborhoods reached the decision to work with, not against, Selig and Walmart by reading Patch's posts (both local versions) and by visiting the sites below. On the DHNA's site you'll find a link to a neighbors' blog that has coverage of the three meetings our neighbors held to get input on concerns. Facts are not attacks. "Declaring war" on Selig and Walmart, and carrying it over to the neighbors who support Selig's plan for their property, would be considered offensive by most folks, and it certainly is by me. As neighbors we'll have to agree to disagree about what's best for the surrounding area. http://decaturheights.wordpress.com/ (currently idle) www.medlockpark.org (official site for Suburban Plaza information)
Harrison July 27, 2012 at 09:19 PM
You cherry pick your facts. And your nonsense about "working with and not against" Selig is misguided and inflammatory. You are foolish enough to think they are on your side. And you are not claiming to just be my neighbor; you are claiming to speak for me. Deanne Thomas does not speak for me and I say back off as the mouthpiece of Sycamore.
Deanne July 28, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Harrison, I've never once raised an objection to any neighbor's preference that there not be a Walmart, nor have any neighbors from the surrounding neighborhoods that are working with Selig to ensure the best possible redevelopment for our community. The "nonsense" that you object to is the DHNA's stated goal that came from the DHNA's neighborhood meeting called when we first learned of the plans. My efforts on behalf of the DHNA officially concluded when the variance was granted. My efforts now are as a neighbor asked to serve on the cross-neighborhoods committee working with MANA and Selig to see Suburban Plaza's re-do and the Conditions through to completion. Theresa Same of MANA and I are the community liaisons for this project. Since this exchange is unproductive, I'm bowing out. Again, everything related to Suburban Plaza's redevelopment is readily available
Steve Markham July 29, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I adamantly oppose the Wal-Mart at Suburban Plaza. However I also have my eyes open to the way our economy works. The simple fact here is that no matter how much a few people yell, it will fall on the deaf ears of both Selig and Wal-Mart. Profit rings louder than local neighbors, and both stand to make a fortune off this venture. The answer for those opposed is simple: Once built, don't shop there. I haven't shopped at a Wal-Mart in over a year. I also haven't shopped at a Home Depot or McDonalds in about the same amount of time. There are ways to get what you need by continuing to support our local business ownwers. Places like Smiths Ace Hardware, Little Shop of Stories and Your Dekalb Farmers Market. It is foolish to think a few thousand people will be able to stop the immense force that is billion dollar commerce. However, you can make a difference by choosing not to participate in their profits. If more people made this type of decision, they wouldn't be thinking about doing this in the first place.
Steve Markham July 29, 2012 at 05:43 PM
edit: "both Wal-Mart and Selig stand to make a forture off this venture".
JAC July 30, 2012 at 02:58 AM
I think a Ingles grocery store as an anchor with some other business and some of the tentants that are still in the shopping center, something like the edgewood shopping center on Moreland would be great. I have an aunt in Clarkesville and have been in the Ingles there. It has a nice deli and it is a very nice store.
California Dreaming July 30, 2012 at 04:12 PM
City of Santa Barbara says: We look to identify, support, and work side-by-side with those who recognize that if we are to attain vibrant communities in these challenging times, we must be willing to: :: look beyond the usual :: test our comfort levels :: rethink our assumptions :: have an appetite for out-of-the-box thinking :: work with new partners :: try innovative approaches :: stretch ourselves to be the best we can be for people and communities Not happening here.
California Dreaming July 30, 2012 at 04:16 PM
"Working with Selig to ensure the best possible redevelopment for our community." Walmart is the best you think of your community? WOW! That's depressing. You don't speak for me, my neighbors, or my community! I doubt you even speak for yours. Sounds like you speak for Selig and Selig only based on your postings over the past few months. Drank the Kool-Aid, did you?
California Dreaming July 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
California Dreaming 12:12 pm on Monday, July 30, 2012 City of Santa Barbara says: We look to identify, support, and work side-by-side with those who recognize that if we are to attain vibrant communities in these challenging times, we must be willing to: :: look beyond the usual :: test our comfort levels :: rethink our assumptions :: have an appetite for out-of-the-box thinking :: work with new partners :: try innovative approaches :: stretch ourselves to be the best we can be for people and communities Not happening here.
Nick July 30, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Oh, get Hobby Lobby to put a store here, please!

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