Marietta lands Georgia’s first Walmart Market
by Katy Ruth Camp
krcamp@mdjonline.com
July 28, 2011 04:16 PM | 15861 views | 25 25 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA – Powder Springs Street in Marietta soon will likely be getting a major new tenant, said city officials’

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin said officials from Walmart are just as eager to put a Walmart Neighborhood Market grocer in the place of the old Food Depot as the city is to host what would be the first of its kind in the state.

“They’re very eager to get in this type market,” Tumlin said. “They’re moving full-speed ahead. They eventually want to build 20 to 25 of these Market stores, but we will be the first if everything goes well. I hope everything goes through quickly so we will be the first.”

The Walmart Neighborhood Market is not a new concept by the retailer. The first store opened in 1998 and now includes 183 across the country. But the Market would be new to Georgia because it would essentially be a grocery store owned and operated by Walmart. According to the company, the typical store employs about 95 associates and covers about 42,000 square feet. Some of the products and services offered at the stores include fresh produce, meat and dairy products, health and beauty aids, a drive-through pharmacy, bakery items, household supplies and a one-hour photo center.

According to documents from the City of Marietta’s Board of Zoning Appeals hearing held on Monday evening, the Marietta Walmart Neighborhood Market would be located at 1137 Powder Springs Street, on the same property as the former Food Depot, which closed its doors earlier this year. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Bellmeade Drive and Powder Springs Street, and is across the street from the new county government offices in the Powder Springs Station, which once held an Ingles grocery store.

City Manager Bill Bruton said the Board of Zoning Appeals approved all the variances as recommended by staff, and the matter is considered approved and does not go to council. Bruton said the company has to go through the permitting process, but said that is normal and it is less likely there will be environmental issues in the permitting since the site previously housed a grocery store, as opposed to a gas station or dry cleaners.

The staff recommendation provided in the documents says the current shopping center is “quite aged and does not conform to many of the City’s current codes.” Multiple variances would have to be granted in order to redevelop the property, the recommendation states, and the number of parking spaces would be reduced from the current 350 spaces to 286.

Marietta City Councilman Grif Chalfant said the company will tear down the former Food Depot building and build a brand new store in its place. The connecting businesses, however, will remain intact and operating, Chalfant said. Walmart will be leasing the property from an out-of-state owner, represented by Inyoung S. Boyd of Marietta’s Boyd Georgia Property, according to city documents.

Chalfant said the company is waiting for environmental studies to be completed and approved, but other than that, “they are ready to go.” Chalfant estimated the store would be open by the end of 2012.

Tumlin said there have been numerous changes to the city’s “big box ordinance” over the past five years for large centers like the proposed Market. Those changes are aimed at making the centers more aesthetically pleasing, Tumlin said, and aims to make them blend in with the community and have more vegetation and a nicer look. Tumlin said Walmart officials “basically agreed to all the stipulations” and have been easy to work with through the zoning process.

Chalfant said the store will be eligible for the Opportunity Zones incentives, which provides companies with $3,500 for each job that is filled in areas depicted as being in need of job and business development.

“I, along with our other homeowners who live right there, are just blown away by this. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong. I will just be such a shot in arm for that area, along with the new Chinese restaurant going in right there,” Chalfant said.

“I think it’s going to be wonderful,” Tumlin added. “It’s a great opportunity. They’re the leading retailer in the whole country and we needed the presence of a good retailer for area and city. The economic impact they will have will be tremendous, and we’re excited they chose Marietta. Obviously, they’re seeing something in the numbers we hope will bring the attention of other retailers. With the senior citizens center across the street being done, Walmart coming in, this will be major statement.”

According to Walmart’s website, as of June 2011, the total number of Walmart associates in Georgia is 53,651. As of June 2011, the average wage for regular, full-time hourly associates in Georgia is $12.34 per hour.

Comments
(25)
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rhl3rd
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August 06, 2011
@seriously Last time I checked there is a Publix in the City Of Marietta. The location on Sandy Plains at Scufflegrit. It has been there since the mid to late 90's.
Tired of the PC BS
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August 02, 2011
Publix caters to the banker types - the ones with expensive nannies and housekeepers who do not care about paying high-dollar for the support - YAY! BANKERS! Gimme a B! Gimme an A...

Anyway - we need more companies that do not enslave their workers through informal bans on activism that clashes with pro-Big Guv'ment or Pro-Banking.

I will shop there in a heartbeat/.
Seriously....
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August 01, 2011
Publix Wanted---If Publix wanted to be in the city of Marietta, they would have store already built and open. There are PLENTY of sites that are and were available.

Like it or not, the demographics of Marietta do not align with Publix's core customer.

We all need to give the Walmart Neighborhood Market a chance.

Samuels
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July 31, 2011
Wow,I didn't know Walmart bought their produce from China. Wow, no wonder it could go bad quicker. Thanks for the info!!!
Publix Wanted
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July 31, 2011
Yes, we will continue to voice our opinion (whine in your opinion) when crappy products that cater to the ILLEGALS are brought in. Shoppers from Powder Springs St. to Kennesaw Ave. have to drive to either Barrett Pkwy & Bells Ferry, MacLand Rd. or Dallas Hwy & Macland to shop at a Publix.

It would have been nice to have a Publix on Powder Springs St., closer to the square.
tammy osborne
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July 30, 2011
where is a "Neighborhood" Grocery for Smyrna to Marietta on ATLANTA ROAD???
Jennifer R.
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July 30, 2011
Why can't we get out from under this debt to China. Is it going to be one day that they own so much of us that they will be able to dictate our government.
Big Deal
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July 29, 2011
If the produce & meat is as awful as in the WalMart big box stores, I sure won't bother shopping there. The only things I buy in the big Wal Mart grocery section are cleaning products, canned goods and name brand packaged goods.

Even my neighbors have noticed how produce like strawberries rot a lot sooner when they are purchased at Wal Mart. Any there are only a few cents cheaper. Glad the shopping centerr won't be empty, but soon it will be a ghetto store. I would have MUCH preferred a Publix in that location.
TRUTH HURTS
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July 29, 2011
WHY DOESN'T COBB COUNTY BUILD ANOTHER PARK THERE, WE ARE LOW ON PARKS.
zylepp
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July 29, 2011
Isn't this great? Our taxes go up to pay the incentives to the largest retailer in the wrold and our taxes will go up again to help pay for the unemployment benefits for those laid off from Kroger and Publix. We are so smart!
Whiners
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July 29, 2011
Will ANYTHING make you people happy??? You whine because there are no jobs, but when a company brings jobs, YOU WHINE MORE!!
Bubba67
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July 29, 2011
I wonder if they'll keep 95% of their check out lines closed at all times like they do in their other stores. I bet Food Depot was paid well to close that location!
HipHipHooray!
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July 29, 2011
At this point, considering the Winn Dixie heyday is long gone, we welcome a smaller Walmart Grocery Store into the City of Marietta.
Hey ThickChick
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July 29, 2011
You are upset because Wal-Mart will slash their prices, thus bringing cheaper products to consumers? You are right, that is TERRIBLE!!! Whose idea was it to let them in Marietta in the first place?
common sense
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July 29, 2011
I'll believe it when it is built and opened. Remember we were supposed to get a Publix on Powder Springs Rd too and that fell through because of poor demographics. The demographics have not changed. If anything they have gotten worse!
okpeople
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July 29, 2011
Before the County bought the old Ingles shopping center there was supposed to be a Walmart there, but the people who lived behind it complained so much that they scrapped it. Its only a matter of time before someone on the other side complains about the trucks unloading at night and scraps that one too!
justlogicaln
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July 29, 2011
If you can't speak spanish don't apply for a job there. There is nothing but mexicans around that area. Walmart should not be getting any tax breaks on anything they do. Also thanks to affirmative action laws this store will only have "minorities"

working there.
ThickChick
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July 29, 2011
Hmmmm ...

Food Depot closed for a REASON, right? Usually because of "competition" or "poor management". Wonder how many other stores in the area, who won't be able to compete. Walmart will surely slash their prices, run them out and then up their prices. Another company taking advantage of "incentives" ( better known as TAX BREAKS ).
west cobb resident
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July 29, 2011
Sounds good for the area will not have a empty shoping center siting there like what happen across the street before the county step in like they had to do on whitlock ave. i will check it out when it opens.
Mike in Kenn.
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July 29, 2011
How can we ever thank Wal-Mart enough? This store will only cost the taxpayers 335k in Oppurtunity Zones incentives for those 95 jobs they will create. So let's break that down. They receive 3500 for each employee. Average wage is 12.00 per hr. 40hrs@ 12.00 per hr 480 a week. 3500 divided by 480 equal 7.3 weeks. So that means the taxpayer will pay for the first 7.3 weeks of employment for each employee. No wonder Wal-Mart picked that location.
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