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ATLANTA-Elected officials in Avondale Estates, a suburban city of 6,000 residents five miles east of Downtown Atlanta, have listened to their constituents and rejected an annexation plan that would have allowed Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a $15-million, 203,000-sf supercenter at the shuttered Avondale Mall site.

Officials at the retailer’s Bentonville, AR headquarters declined to comment but area brokers familiar with Wal-Mart’s strategy tell the company is considering asking the DeKalb County commission to rezone the 23-acre tract for general commercial use. Wal-Mart purchased the land in September.

If the county rezones the land, residents are expected to push for a mixed-use development that would incorporate a limited amount of specialty retail, some residential and a park but continue to exclude a Wal-Mart store, brokers who attended the recent public meeting on the annexation request tell Estates government’s decision to bar Wal-Mart comes only a month after the city planning and zoning board recommended the annexation of a 23-acre tract that would have allowed Wal-Mart to build the supercenter. However, the recommendation came with a list of 40 conditions–one of them being the store could not operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For the world’s largest retailer, the Avondale Estates rejection is one of several zoning battles the company is fighting as it expands its presence in the metro area this year. In October, Wal-Mart’s persistence paid off in Forsyth County where commissioners finally approved the retailer’s plans to build an estimated $20-million, 205,000-sf supercenter on a 52.6-acre tract at Bagley and Mathis Airport roads and GA 141. That battle took a year for Wal-Mart to win.

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