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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Atlanta City Council rejects proposed Walmart development

Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan

The Atlanta City Council yesterday voted against allowing a proposed development of 22-acre site near the Lindbergh MARTA station in Buckhead that would have included a Walmart.

Both a land use ordinance and companion zoning paper — including changes that would have allowed Walmart to become a part of the mixed-used development — came up for vote in yesterday's full Council meeting. 11Alive spoke with City Council spokesperson Dexter Chambers, who said that the "rezoning vote came up earlier today and failed, 7-6."

BuckheadView points out that Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua, who's pitching the proposal, was "furiously lobbying council members" after the vote in an unsuccessful attempt to get them to reconsider.

Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, who represents neighboring District 6 and chairs the Council's Zoning Committee, explained to the AJC that Fuqua Development has yet to make a strong case for zoning revisions to happen.

“This area could use development; it could use a transformative project,” Wan said. “But, so far, a compelling case has not been made.”

Last week, Fuqua shared site plans of another one of his proposed developments with CL that's rumored to include a Walmart. For this development, he hopes to begin construction sometime next spring — which would potentially include street-front retail, an extension of Chester Avenue, over a thousand new parking spaces, and 1,500 to 1,800 feet of the Beltline's multi-purpose bike trail alongside the development.

UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: Mayor Kasim Reed commented in a statement responding to yesterday's vote: “In the toughest economic climate since the Great Depression, Walmart has been a valued partner bringing much needed jobs and development to the city of Atlanta. Today, a majority of the Atlanta City Councilmembers decided against a specific project. I respect the legislative process.”

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