Thursday, November 17, 2011
UGA Land Use Clinic alumnae Sarah Schinder (now Professor Schindler, Maine) must still follow Athens news pretty closely, because she is the first to alert me of a controversial new plan for Wal-Mart to anchor a big new mixed-use development in downtown Athens. From our local paper:
An Atlanta developer is planning a major retail and residential development on the fringe of downtown Athens, two Athens-Clarke officials said Wednesday.
Selig Enterprises is planning to build 200,000 square feet of commercial space between East Broad and Oconee streets, “including a 90,000- to 95,000-square-foot big-box, most likely to be a Walmart,” Commissioner Kelly Girtz said.
Actually, rumors of this plan have been floating around for awhile. Some folks are frustrated because this development supplants a more ambitious and community-driven plan to create a river district. The development will also displace local coffee favorite Jittery Joe's Roasting Company, but will mostly be placed on a vacant parcel once occupied by a building supply company. It may also bring a grocery store to downtown Athens, which some residents would welcome. The site is only blocks from where Occupy Athens is currently camped - I wonder if we'll see any cross-protesting?
Jamie Baker Roskie