Up front, in full disclosure, I'm a Gator and there are a lot of things about Athens that I'm not a fan of ;) However, the downtown is truly one of the incredible spots in Georgia. It is a special place that should be protected. That's why I was disgusted to hear that WalMart is trying to put a 100,000 sq.ft. super center in the historic downtown. That's not a joke. Big box has its place and it's not in a downtown historic district. This video is a well presented argument against the Walmart primarily featuring local business owners who will be significantly impacted. One of the best points is that the Walmart will not really increase tax revenues. Rather, it will shift them from the local businesses to the big box while at the same time increasing infrastructure costs for the city in the form of road widening. I'd love to see Joe Minicozzi do some research on the productivity of the Athens downtown versus that of the proposed development. Check out the video:
For further info on the issue check out the People for a Better Athens website.