Vine City Walmart will reopen, Howell Mill site to close permanently

Vine City Walmart being closed has been an inconvenience for the community
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:05 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Walmart location in Vine City closed due to a fire back in December and only one word can describe what the past month has been like for people who relied on the location, inconvenience.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced the Walmart at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard will reopen. The Howell Mill Road store will close.

The mayor released a statement saying “the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive & Joseph E. Lowery Blvd is a nexus of multiple NW and SW Atlanta communities with seniors, children, students and thousands of individuals and households who already lack accessible options for fresh, affordable food.”

The Vine City location will be converted from a superstore into a neighborhood market concept. There’s no timeline for the completion of the remodel, according to Atlanta City Councilmember Byron Amos.

Both stores closed due to fires. A Walmart statement said “a variety of economic headwinds existed at both stores before they were closed due to arson.”

The mayor said the city will “continue our work with Walmart and community stakeholders on the appropriate use of the Howell Mill store site.”

Jae lives and works in the Vine City neighborhood in Atlanta. She is a hair stylist just across the street from the now boarded-up building.

“That was just easy, if I didn’t have towels clean I could run over there and get a towel,” she said.

Now, she said she is forced to travel farther to pick up essentials.

“The closest grocery store is like 12 minutes away and I don’t drive so that is Uber, more money being spent,” she said.

She is happy to hear, the city and Walmart came to an agreement to reopen the location, as a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

“Well, that’s great, because we need it. The college kids they would just walk across the street,” said Jae.

College students like Anastasia Isaacs also relied on this Walmart location.

“It sucks because now we have to travel further to basically grocery shop,” she said.

Isaacs however worries the “neighborhood market” concept may not supply all of her needs.

“I mean we are getting groceries, that is all we really need, but eventually I hope they expand back to what they were,” said Isaacs.

There is no set timeline for the remodel for the Vine City location, but neighbors said they are just glad they won’t have to live in a food desert.