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Planning Commission Says Yes to Memorial Drive-N. Hairston Road Walmart

Proposed super center's next stop is DeKalb Board of Commissioners Jan. 24

Planning Commission Says Yes to Memorial Drive-N. Hairston Road Walmart Planning Commission Says Yes to Memorial Drive-N. Hairston Road Walmart

The DeKalb County Planning Commission on Tuesday approved proposed super center for Memorial Drive near N. Hairston Road.

The commission's nod comes with conditions, including a right-in, right-out triangle at Kenilworth Drive, so drivers aren't tempted to go through the Kenilworth Estates community, which is across from a proposed store entrance on N. Hairston.

Walmart has agreed to foot the bill for the triangle; company spokesman Glen Wilkins did not have cost estimates for the structure immediately available Tuesday night.

Also, a privacy fence will also go up on Lauren Parkway, behind the approximately 150,000 square foot proposed store.

With approval from the community council last month and Tuesday's thumbs-up from the planning commission, Walmart now moves on to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners with its plan on Jan 24.

A commissioner asked attorney Amy Hillman, representing Walmart, if there was any concern about the success of the proposed store, given that Walmart already has two other stores -- both within about five miles of the planned new super center -- at Memorial and Columbia Drive in Decatur and on .

"We think this is going to be a very successful store," Hillman told the board. "We've identified a gap, an area we feel is underserved."

Hillman that it didn't expect its planned "mini" garden center at the store to be in direct competition with -- which has been a fixture on Memorial Drive for decades -- due to the fact that Hall's sells more specialty items than Walmart's garden area would, Walmart said.

There are "few areas Walmart and Hall's are going to go head to head to compete," Hillman said.

Tuesday's presentation was Walmart's second time in front of the planning commission on this proposed super center. The last time, in November, it requested a full-cycle deferral -- basically, to restart the process of getting approvals -- in order to meet with more community groups.

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