Neighbors fight big-box development along Beltline - CBS46 News

Neighbors fight big-box development along Beltline

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Nearly 200 people rallied against a proposed development in Southeast Atlanta that could bring commercial life to an old cement plant.

The site sits along Glenwood Avenue right across the street from Maynard Jackson High School and it butts up against the Beltline.

The old Lafarge cement plant is where the proposed development sits and while neighbors agree the place should be developed, they're worried a big-box store will move in and hurt their neighborhood.

"My biggest concern is that it's done the right way," said neighbor Peter Pankeiwics. "I'm not anti-development; I'm very much for something happening."

The Fuqua Development Company wants to transform the 20-acre site into a new retail development with a 155,000-square-foot, big-box anchor store that some folks worry could be a Walmart.

CBS Atlanta News asked the rally's organizer, Sandy Callahan, if his intention was to oppose Walmart specifically or any store of the same size.

"It's any big box store and that's the problem," replied Callahan. "It's the size of the store; it's the fact that it's a big-box store and the associated parking lot."

People at the rally also worry the big-box store and large parking lot wouldn't fit with the Beltline running right beside the project.

"We want to make sure that whatever goes there is respectful of the planning that has already been put into what we want to see in this community," said Atlanta City Council member Natalyn Archibong.

A representative with the development company wouldn't comment on who the big-box retailer could be, and the city planning office said it's yet to make any decision about the property.      

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