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Suburban Plaza Prime for Redevelopment

Suburban Plaza potentially getting "urban" store and underground parking.

For weeks, Decaturites have been talking about the possibility of a Walmart and redevelopment at Suburban Plaza.

Local blogs were buzzing with postings and comments, including Decatur Metro blogTomorrow's News Today and What Now Today.

On Saturday, Decatur Metro posted the latest update captured from The Clairmont Heights Civic Association.

The association posted a letter from DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader who says that both he and Commissioner Kathy Gannon have met with Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises, which handles leasing for Suburban Plaza. The meeting's purpose: to discuss Selig's big-box development plans. The current zoning allows for that type of development.

According to the posting, that Selig would like to do an "urban" store with underground parking at the corner of North Decatur Road at Medlock/Scott Boulevard, where currently the thrift store and mattress outlet are located.

As part of the plan, Selig is seeking public financing assistance for underground parking and for redoing the facade of the aging shopping center. 

While it's unclear what is meant by "urban" store, Bill Stogner, vice president of retail leasing for Selig, recently told the blog What Now Atlanta that they do not have a commitment from Walmart or any other tenants.

“We are thoroughly researching the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza but have no commitments at this time,” Stogner said to What Now Atlanta. “We are in the process of reviewing our options.”

As to Walmart, spokesman Glen Wilkins, told bloggers that the retailer was approached.

“Walmart is interested in the area but does not have a contract with Selig," Wilkins told the What Now Atlanta blog.

So while Suburban Plaza remains a diamond in the rough in dire need of a makeover, at least Decaturites know that one thing is clear. The shopping center is prime for redevelopment.

Surveyors seen recently on the property are  just one more indication that plans are progressing.

Selig Enterprises has vast and deep experience with big name retailers, development, leasing and other services. The company handles leasing for the such well known local developments as Vinings Jubilee and has spent years  getting the Midtown Mile going along Peachtree Street, including with CB2, which opened in the past several years.

D Ebaugh June 26, 2011 at 04:07 PM
We wonder what other retailers "have been approached"? Anyone know?
Catrina June 26, 2011 at 05:18 PM
While it would definitely be a good thing for Suburban Plaza to be brought back from its current run-down state, even if never to its former retail glory of years ago - why does Decatur need ANOTHER Wal-Mart when there are at least 2 each located a short drive away? (One is located on Memorial near Columbia, which is less than 4 miles away by car, & the other is off of 78, under 12 miles away.) I too would love to know what other retailers had been approached, & if there is any consideration as to what might be the best fit for this particular area & neighborhood, rather than just cramming in another big box store.
James Burns June 26, 2011 at 06:20 PM
I've been saying for awhile- that spot is a prime location for a Trader Joe's. Think of the traffic they'd have from eastsiders.
Molly Badgett June 26, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Write to: Charles Pilliter Executive VP/Operations & Brandt Sharrock Vice President/Real Estate Trader Joe’s 800 Shamrock Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016
Lisa Cohen June 27, 2011 at 11:32 AM
We need MORE support of a Trader Joe's if people really want it to happen. So far, they have been notified of the desire for a Trader Joe's in Decatur...there's even a facebook group for it. ..maybe a petition that can be sent to their address? how can we get it started? I know we can get people to sign!
D Ebaugh June 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM
I have a feeling Trader Joe's will not move here -- too much competition from YDFM and other local markets. But there may be some other good options.
James Burns June 27, 2011 at 01:05 PM
YDFM is going downhill, in my estimation. They stock less and less, and when I complain, they shrug their shoulders. I can't believe one cannot buy a decent indian pickle in an international market. Nor a good Vermont cheddar. They replace the good things with crapy off brands...
Molly Badgett June 27, 2011 at 01:31 PM
The thing is, we have to communicate. The Facebook page is great, but really -- I doubt Charles or Brandt have any idea that it exists. I say: BEG.
Molly Badgett June 27, 2011 at 01:32 PM
That's a perfect thing to tell Charles and Brandt of TJs.
Meg Clark June 27, 2011 at 04:38 PM
I completely agree with sentiments about TJs and Wal mart and will be writing TJs today! To me, the things I buy at at YDFM are totally different from things I buy at publix and TJs so they would definitely get my business!
Rob Young June 28, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Why would we pay for redevelopment of a retail center? Will Selig help me repaint my home?
Molly Badgett June 28, 2011 at 02:38 PM
What? Who said anything about OUR ("we") paying for the development of a retail center?
Diane Loupe June 28, 2011 at 07:38 PM
I think that developers are asking public officials for tax-subsidized bonds for redeveloping the property, so that's why "we" will be paying for this.
Molly Badgett June 29, 2011 at 02:07 AM
I see. Those fudgers.
Laura Martin June 29, 2011 at 02:07 PM
NEVER open the door for Wal-Mart because they will sh*t on our neighborhood and kill off the small business that are at the heart of Decatur. Did opening a Wal-Mart help Tucker or Avondale - I think not but it has brought crime, a poor corporate neighbor, and a woman-hating organization to their town. Say NO to Wal-Mart and their cheap chinese crap, and instead American made products from locally owned stores.
James Burns June 29, 2011 at 02:13 PM
I hate to find myself defending a company like WalMart, but let me answer your question. Yes, having the Walmart there helped Avondale Estates, and the surrounding area. What used to be there was a blasted lot of a former shopping center, which did nothing but provide cover for nefarious dealings (drugs, god knows what else). The WalMart provides some jobs, and also reasonably-priced goods to a community that has long been ripped off by the few businesses willing to locate there. We can discuss WalMart's abysmal hiring practices and their other policies, but there is some level of good done by that particular store. I'm speaking, of course, as a resident of Avondale Estates.
James Burns June 29, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Laura: Please don't start personal attacks. No... no one needs an indian pickle, but I would like some. You have a problem with that? Stick to the question about whether YDFM has gone down in quality and selection. What do have to say to that?
Laura Martin June 29, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Avondale failed to implement disciplined growth during the 70's (unlike Decatur) because they were afraid minorities would find them. I remember in decades past when a "for sale" sign was forbidden in Avondale for fear of somebody-not-white even looking at the property. Now you praise the Avondale Wal-Mart because they brought some minimum wage jobs sounds to town....like you can't drive down Memorial Drive when you just gotta have another 'beanie baby'...or are you scared of the neighborhood Wal-Mart claimed they would save but only perpetuates? If you can afford to live in Avondale, you can afford to shop at tonier locations than Wal-Mart.
James Burns June 29, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Laura: Please don't argue with yourself, or assign weird motivations to my posts. Stick to the topic at hand. You asked if the WalMart benefitted the neighborhood, and I replied. I explained my reasoning. Then you felt the need to talk about my need to buy "beanie Babies." What the heck are you talking about? Also, who are you to judge who can and should shop at which store? Are you here for a conversation, or just to pick a fight?
Molly Badgett June 29, 2011 at 03:27 PM
I just got an e-mail from Stephanie Stuckey Benfield on the topic; here's what she wrote: "What I'm hearing is that Wal-Mart would need underground parking and is requesting a Tax Allocation District be approved for that area. I'm not sure if there's the political will to make that happen." I think what people need to do is write to their representatives, via e-mail, or whatever. Communication is critical, and I'm talking about more than writing on these forums. In this "era" -- if we want to call it that, and it appears to be -- the economy certainly favors corporations, regardless of what the GOP would have us believe. I'm facing now two issues that might very well drive me out of the home that means all the world to me -- possible annexation (read: more property taxes) and this retail development. Oh, wait: and rising healthcare premiums. It's scary, and it's serious.
sandra fortenberry June 30, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Selig is a private developer and should pay for any/all private development with private funds. Steve Selig is a rich guy who needs to fund his own business and not ask the taxpayers to do it. As a taxpayer, I'm getting really tired of being "asked" for money.
Kate Lee June 28, 2012 at 09:33 AM
For me, Walmart would be a step up from Big Lots and Family Dollar - which is cheaper crap from China than Walmart.... if it was the Walmart grocery store for urban neighborhoods that could be better than a supercenter. With the farmer's market and Rainbow close by, Trader Joe's is irrelevant and too expensive. IMHO.

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