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Old Posted Dec 25, 2011, 6:50 AM
DetroitMan DetroitMan is offline
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Walmart only option for downtown Athens,GA development

Walmart only option for downtown Athens development

By BLAKE AUED onlineathens.com Copyright 2011 Online Athens. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. - blake.aued@onlineathens.com. Published Saturday, December 24, 2011 Updated: Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 12:11am

Walmart is the only retailer willing to move into an anchor store near downtown Athens, according to the project’s developer.

Jo Ann Chitty, senior vice president of Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises, said she approached other grocers about leasing a 94,000-square-foot space at the proposed Oconee Street development, but none of them were interested.

“We’ve talked to several grocery retailers, and Walmart was the only one that was willing to adapt to an urban design,” Chitty said. “Other grocery retailers said they’d prefer to be on Alps Road or another more traditional (commercial) center than this one.”

She declined to name the other retailers because she said she did not want to subject them to negative publicity. Many Athens residents have been critical of a Walmart near downtown and called on Selig to find another tenant.

Walmart has not yet signed a lease, she said.
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