This Walmart Neighborhood Center is under construction on Westover Boulevard near Gillionville Road. A similar store may be constructed along North Slappey Boulevard. (Staff Photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Officials in the Albany/Dougherty County Planning office would neither confirm nor deny the name of the presumed tenant of a planned development, likely along North Slappey Boulevard, but several sources have confirmed that a second Walmart Neighborhood Market is being planned in the city.
With developers refusing to acknowledge the announcement, The Albany Herald reported in April that the new Walmart concept was being built along South Westover Boulevard near the intersection with Gillionville Road when a rezoning application was approved for the site. Asked if a second Walmart Neighborhood Market was being planned between 18th and 20th streets along North Slappey, planning officials said only that the Hutton Company of Chattanooga, Tenn., was “looking at options” for a development that might be located just south of Family Fun Park at 2608 N. Slappey Blvd.
“The Hutton Company has asked us not to move forward with review of their site plan because they want to look at all of their options,” Planning Director Paul Forgey said Wednesday. “I can’t speak for them, but I think the company is looking at the market to determine what site is best for their planned development.”
The Hutton Company was the firm involved in the early development of the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Westover Boulevard.
Some developers in the community believe as many as four Walmart Family Markets may be built in the area.
“I think those folks have determined that this will be a good market for them,” one developer said.
Another planned development that will impact the community’s health care is reportedly being considered by the Albany-Dougherty Historic Preservation Commission. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital officials are reportedly seeking a demolition permit that will allow the hospital to tear down a Fourth Avenue home in the city’s historic district that previously served as the location of the Phoebe Foundation. Phoebe reportedly plans to expand its emergency services into a community care center at the location of the former Veterans Administration building on Fourth. The adjacent home would be torn down to make room for a parking lot.
The community care center would reportedly be utilized for Phoebe emergency room visits deemed not to be of immediate concern.
Planning officials also confirmed that the retailer expected to start construction soon at Third Avenue and Slappey is a Family Dollar store. The developer for the project was questioned extensively by Albany city commissioners when a representative asked for a rezoning approval, but refused to name the retailer that planned to locate along Slappey.
“You’re asking us to approve this request without telling us what you plan to do on that property,” Ward II City Commissioner Bobby Coleman said at the time. “That’s pretty presumptuous of you to ask for permission to do something without telling us what you plan to do.”