Pending zoning approval, the world’s largest retailer announced it plans to build a Neighborhood Market in a former Winn-Dixie store at the corner of Old Canton and Roswell roads in east Cobb. Spokesman Glen Wilkins said the store should open in the third quarter of 2012, around the same time as a previously announced store at the corner of Blackwell Lane and Canton Road in east Cobb and one on Powder Springs Street in Marietta.
“Old Canton may be later,” he said. “We’re further back (in the planning process), but not much further back.”
The store on Old Canton Road will take up around 48,000 square feet and employ between 75 and 100 people, Wilkins said.
“It’s pharmacy, it’s deli, it’s bakery, it’s fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said.
The Neighborhood Market will fill a void Walmart has between larger Supercenter stores in the area, he said.
The Old Canton location will be on the agenda for today’s Cobb Planning Commission zoning hearing. County zoning manager John Pederson said the site needs zoning approval because Walmart plans to take over a fitness center located in part of the former Winn-Dixie store in order to make the Neighborhood Market larger.
That has raised some eyebrows at Just Fitness 4U. General manager Phillip Edwards said he still has 12 years left on his lease at the Olde Mill Shopping Center, 3101 Roswell Road. While the lease has a clause allowing the gym to be moved elsewhere in the complex, he is worried about the landlord’s plan to move the gym, with 6,000 members, directly next door to the bustling grocery store.
“Where are my members going to park?” he said. “If my members have to park at the car wash (across the parking lot) and walk, that’s going to make a big difference.”
Instead, Edwards said he would like the gym to be moved as far away in the shopping center as possible from the Walmart store.
Walmart officials made a presentation on their plans for the east Cobb site at Wednesday’s meeting of the East Cobb Civic Association, which represents homeowners in the area on zoning issues. Civic Association President Jill Flamm said Monday evening that the group doesn’t announce whether or not it will support or oppose projects until the zoning meeting out of concern that new information could surface at the last minute.
“You never want to close the door,” she said. “You always keep talking.”
The zoning meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in the Board of Commissioners meeting room at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.