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Future of 2 Atlanta Walmart stores | Vine City to reopen, Howell Mill Road location permanently closed

The Vine City store will reopen as a Walmart Neighborhood Market to help meet the grocery and pharmacy needs of the community.

ATLANTA — After fires at two Atlanta Walmarts, the decision has been made to reopen the Vine City Walmart, while the Howell Mill Road location will remain permanently closed. 

"Unfortunately, a variety of economic headwinds existed at both stores before they were closed due to arson," a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement. 

The Vine City store, on MLK Jr. Dr. NW, will reopen as a Walmart Neighborhood Market to help meet the grocery and pharmacy needs of the community.

"This will be our focus going forward," the statement said.

A timeframe has not yet been announced for when the Vine City Walmart will reopen. 

Additionally, the Howell Mill Road location is not able to be repurposed due to "site restrictions," according to the statement. 

"We will work with Mayor Dickens and his office to find a new use or business for the site," the statement continued. 

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said he and his team worked directly with Walmart to ensure the Vine City store would reopen. You can read his full statement below:  

Food and nutrition security for Atlanta families is a moral right for our communities. 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.

I and my team engaged Walmart directly to ensure this store would reopen. Thank you to Councilmember Byron Amos, my Chief of Staff Odie Donald II and everyone involved to ensure Vine City and the surrounding community have one added layer of food security they deserve while we continue to build a more resilient and sustainable Atlanta.

The City will continue our work with Walmart and community stakeholders on the appropriate use of the Howell Mill store site and job placement for the affected employees.

We continue the City’s goal of ensuring all residents have fresh, affordable food within a half mile of their homes.

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