The latest edition of “Did You Know?” comes from a center with a history, both good and sad. There’s not a resident of the city of Douglasville who has been a part of the community since before 2000 that doesn’t know of the glory days of the shopping center now known as Douglasville Town Center. Once this bustling center housed one of Douglasville’s 2 Walmart stores before the merge to its current location on Concourse Pkwy and Hwy 5. Cub Foods, a grocery store that mixed warehouse feel with club pricing graced the opposite end. In between sat a host of shops and stores that included the now gone Roberts Furniture. The Center used to be one of the most packed shopping centers in Douglasville, especially during the Christmas rush when shoppers got those last minute gifts at Walmart, then walked over to Cub Foods for their holiday dinner needs. Through like a set of dominoes, the center’s glory days came falling down at the end of the 1990s.
1999 saw the merge of Douglasville’s Walmart locations (this one and the one on Fairburn Rd) into the new supercenter format on Concourse Pkwy and with it a ton of the Walmart traffic. Also at the end of the 1990s and beginning in the 2000s, major grocer Cub Foods went under from the pressure from Atlanta powerhouses Kroger, Publix and Walmart Supercenters. Suddenly the major shopping center saw its two largest anchor spaces vacant. Roberts Furniture also went out of business a few years later. Now its largest 3 spaces were vacant with no takers, suddenly smaller shoppes followed suit. Towards the middle of the decade, the center was almost nearly vacant and falling into disrepair. City officials and developers stood puzzled as what to do.
Nearing the end of the decade, a developer came along to save the center from what was being considered, a complete tear-down of the center and the land being redeveloped. The idea was to make a lifestyle complex that is work, play, learn with mixed use stores and development. One of the first tenants to make that happen was the opening of Georgia Highlands College, Douglasville campus in the old space housed by Cub Foods. In 2011 ITT Technical institute marked the second of the “learn” component. Other stores that have made this once down and out center slowly coming back to life include Thumbs Up Diner, Knuckle Up Fitness, Andy’s Wholesale, the play component of A.D. West Dance. The Hobby Hangout moved from their old spot next to I-20 when the Douglas Place development got underway in 2013. Stewart Medical is open for immediate care and Primary care, as well as Pickleweeds Quilt Shop.
Once slated for the demolition ball, Douglasville Town Center is crawling back to life. New places are coming in and the center is busy during the day again thanks to a variety of stores, schools and services. The lone holdout in bringing the center to full life is the old Walmart spot. For a short time it was occupied by an independent farmers market, but that quickly left. There has been many ideas brought to the table as far as what can go there. Several times people have come up with the idea for a Georgia Department of Drivers Services to occupy that space. Others have tried to lure a national retailer there in hopes to complete the restoration. Whatever is decided, Douglasville Town Center has no where to go but up and the future looks bright. Many residents aren’t aware of the new editions and happenings of this shopping center. This was what we had in mind in bringing you our “Did You Know?” series.