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While I am not a fan of Walmart, this area desperately needs tax revenue and revitalization. Suburban Plaza is dying, and this area needs to jump-start with a major retailer. I would love to see a mixed use development with unique stores there, but the demographics don't support it. If the support were there, it would be going there as opposed to Clifton Road across from the Centers for Disease Control. Residents opposing the development need to get over it because, truthfully, the bad element they fear is already milling about Suburban Plaza. I'm sorry to say this, but this neighborhood isn't affluent enough to support this area on property tax alone. They can take their pick at this point: Walmart or decreasing home values with increased taxes. If some of these people want to take pride in the area, they should start with cleaning up the curb appeal of their own homes. This neighborhood desperately needs some of that!
The empty car lots and Suburban Plaza are eyesores killing this area. I would love a Trader Joe's, but this is the economic reality. Residents opposing Walmart need to drive by Clifton Road and look at the demographics of that area and realize that area supports that kind of development. Developers run serious numbers on an area before building and actually drive through neighborhoods. Costco would have been a great addition. But unhappy residents should drive over to Brookhaven, look at the neighborhood that Costco went into and grab a paintbrush and some hedge clippers and invest a little sweat equity in their own properties if they want those kinds of businesses. I take a lot of pride in my home and wish others would do the same. The people who have made downtown Decatur, Brookhaven, Oakhurst, Lake Claire and Virginia-Highland have made those neighborhoods desirable by investing in their own properties!