Colin Martin says South Columbus may be getting a Walmart

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comMay 14, 2014 

Mayoral candidate Colin Martin suggested on a social media website Wednesday that Walmart may develop a new store on the old Baker High School site.

"Yesterday, the City Council heard a first reading of a rezoning ordinance for the old Baker High School site," Martin wrote. "This will allow Wal-Mart (sic) to build a new store for South Columbus residents."

True, Columbus Council held a first reading of a rezoning ordinance that would change the Baker property and adjacent property that had been a dilapidated apartment complex from residential multifamily to general commercial. But there was no mention of any specific business.

"The purpose of the rezoning is for general restaurant, general retail, grocery or food store, business and professional office," the ordinance reads.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has called a news conference for 9 a.m. today on the site of the old Baker High School, the property Council is being asked to rezone.

When asked about Martin's assertion that Walmart's on the way, Tomlinson said only:

"Economic development projects are highly sensitive matters. We have relationships and trusts that develop from them and we will not violate those trusts."

Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Mike Gaymon said the only thing he could confirm is that there is a press conference scheduled for today.

He called the statement by Martin, who used to work at the chamber, "an assumption."

"He is assuming that the announcement is related to that rezoning variance," Gaymon said. "Sometimes assumptions are 100 percent right on, and sometimes they're not."

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