The Walmart on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Vine City has been closed since mid-December. Credit: Crystal Dixon/Axios.
It’s been about a month since Walmart temporarily closed two stores in Atlanta. One of them is a key access point for residents who have to travel miles in search of fresh produce.
- The store’s Facebook page lists it as temporarily closed, but Walmart has given no indication as to when or if it will reopen.
Catch up soon: The stores at 1801 Howell Mill Road in Berkeley Park and 835 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Vine City have been closed since mid-December after a fire broke out in the store.
Important reasons: While Howell Mill store shoppers have options such as Publix and Kroger within an 800m radius, Vine City residents currently have no access to large grocery stores offering fresh produce and produce.
- The nearest large grocery stores are all over 2 miles away.
environment: The USDA classifies areas with low access to healthy, affordable food. This is commonly referred to as a “food desert,” but specifically a census tract populated by at least 500 people from the “nearest neighborhood” more than a mile away in urban areas and 10 miles or more in rural areas. Classified. A supermarket, supercenter or large grocery store. “
What they say: Walmart did not return repeated e-mails seeking comment.The store at the big box retailer Vine City is closed and there are no signs of construction taking place.
- There is a sign on the door directing you to visit the nearest store at 1105 Research Center Drive in Southwest Atlanta.
makeda johnson A Vine City resident told Axios the closure was a “huge tragedy for the community.”
- Johnson said she and others worked hard for Walmart to open a store in 2013 on the site that housed Publix, which closed in 2009 due to poor sales.
- “It’s going to be devastating, especially for older people who don’t have cars and can’t drive,” she said.
What we see: City Councilman Byron Amos, who lives and represents Vine City, told Axios that his and Mayor Andre Dickens’ offices are in talks with Walmart management.
- To ease the burden, he asked Walmart if it could at least set up Big Blue’s mobile pharmacy operations so residents could get their prescriptions.
- Voters recognize they need stores and are “really nervous about waiting for Walmart to decide whether or not to reopen,” he said.
- “I am happy with the decision-making process,” he said. I just want them to move on and make the right decisions. “