ATLANTA - Nearly a year after arson caused the Walmart in Vine City to shut its doors, the retail giant announced plans to re-open the location next May.
Residents like Linda Adams received the news they’d waited months for at a town hall meeting Tuesday.
"The majority of us were very excited to hear that they were ready to come back," the Vine City NPU Vice Chair said Wednesday.
Adams told FOX 5 it’s been a difficult nine months for she and many others who have had to get by without access to a grocery store nearby.
"I had to go to the Walmart off of Cascade to get my prescription or to go to the grocery store on Cleveland Avenue or Thornton Road," she recalled.
The next closest location is about eight miles away—turning the neighborhood in the heart of Atlanta’s West End into a food desert after the fire that shut it down last year.
The closing also meant the absence of a pharmacy in the neighborhood—just another obstacle for some of Vine City’s oldest community members.
"Some of us had to take them, or they had to get the share rides," said Adams. "It was very challenging for the seniors."
Atlanta City Councilman Byron Amos told FOX 5 the location in his district that was once a Walmart Supercenter will make its return in May 2024 as a Walmart Neighborhood Market.
"When we talk about just having access for my senior citizens and my constituents and the students of the AUC have the access to fresh fruits and vegetables and meats is wonderful," the District 3 city member of council said. "This is the first of its kind concept that they’re doing in the inner city."
The space will be a little smaller, but the store will still offer pharmacy services. It will also have a mini police precinct inside to deter crime.
"Walmart agreed to have the pharmacy come back and normally there’s not one in the neighborhood markets so that was the biggest thing," Amos explained.
While it’s still a year out from re-opening, residents told FOX 5 they’re grateful they’ll once again have a grocery store not far from home.