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Old 02-23-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,112 posts, read 5,278,836 times
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So, recently CB Richard Ellis Investors and North American Properties partnered to close a deal that allowed them to purchase the retail space (minus Dillards, Target, and Ikea which are owned by those individual companies), 271 17th Street (the BB&T tower), 2 of the rental apartments, and 14 acres of undeveloped parcels.

North American Properties will essentially be the operator, and CBRE Investors is the capital partner and new master developer.

I attended a ULI meeting at Rosa Mexicana tonight where the managing director of the Atlanta office of NAP gave a talk on the future plans. Basically, just for a quick recap:

1) Security will be improved
2) Restaurants/bars currently there that turn into nightclubs until 2-3 am will not be allowed to do so anymore
3) Shuttle service for events will be expanded
4) One of the buildings might be transformed into a Faneuil Hall type indoor-open-air market
5) Street performers will be brought in and the shopping/tourist/residents' experience will be greatly enhanced

6) Currently has a "mall" type lineup of tenants that do not fit the market needs. What is proposed is a better lineup of local restaurants, local boutiques, and chain retailers that cater to an urban, creative, affluent crowd.

7) Better connectivity to Midtown and to Georgia Tech are in the works
8) Social media will play an integral role for the center

My question is this: With a new tenant lineup (some tenants like H&M will definitely be staying, btw), what are some stores that we think will be good fits for Atlantic Station? The goal of the new owners is to have a retail center that caters to local residents within 3 miles reach. The goal is not to have a mall roster that tries to be a regional attraction like Lenox is.

 
Old 02-23-2011, 08:57 PM
 
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Did they outline the problems?

IKEA has been an outstanding regional draw so I don't know why they don't want to build on that with more regional retailers.

I thought Atlantic Station has very good connectivity to Midtown as the 14th Street Bridge is anything but a bottleneck. The roads leading into Atlantic Station have greater capacity than the traffic. And students typically don't have much in the way of disposable income and it doesn't sound as if they are getting retailers that would serve the Tech students especially. So how would better connectivity with Tech help? And how would that be achieved?

Street performers is an interesting idea. In Europe though it works best in areas that are already public gathering places. Sort of the the street performers go to the people rather than the people go to the street performers. But performers at AS couldn't hurt.

Atlanta wants to do an "Atlantic Station" with Fort McPherson which I think will be a more daunting task as its surroundings won't give a positive feed.
 
Old 02-23-2011, 09:05 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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The idea of street performers is a good one so long as they're actually entertaining and not tacky.

An independently owned bookstore like the old "Oxfords" that was on Pharr Road years ago would be a good addition, with a modern twist (adding a cyber cafe, etc to keep with the times).

Some have said the removal of the movie theater would eliminate the "loitering bored teens" problem.

They need some water features - fountains, etc. A LARGE fountain as a centerpiece somewhere. Many of the greatest areas in the world have large, many times ornate, fountains in their gathering spots.
 
Old 02-23-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
969 posts, read 1,663,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
The idea of street performers is a good one so long as they're actually entertaining and not tacky.

An independently owned bookstore like the old "Oxfords" that was on Pharr Road years ago would be a good addition, with a modern twist (adding a cyber cafe, etc to keep with the times).

Some have said the removal of the movie theater would eliminate the "loitering bored teens" problem.

They need some water features - fountains, etc. A LARGE fountain as a centerpiece somewhere. Many of the greatest areas in the world have large, many times ornate, fountains in their gathering spots.
They need to get rid of Dolce, Geisha House, and possibly Fox Sports Grill and replace them with something else (like a Taco Mac). I don't think the movie theater should go... they could make it 21 and up at night... that might solve the problem. I like the street performer idea.

A bookstore would be good (Joseph Beth Booksellers?), a coffee shop like San Francisco Coffee Roasting Co. or a place like Octane, a pub or two similar to Meehans or The Porter Beer Bar, Cafe Intermezzo or something like it, a yogurt shop (might as well - they are everywhere now), a place that serves breakfast/brunch, and some *slightly* more upscale retailers (not just apparel, but cooking like a Sur La Table, electronics, cosmetics and kids stores).

Also, somewhere in all that empty space in the retail side, they should put a larger park or make the "park" in the center larger by getting rid of Prime and Rosa Mexicano and relocating them to another space. More greenery would be nice (potted plants, etc.), a water feature, and maybe a carousel?
 
Old 02-23-2011, 09:53 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 8,365,747 times
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Not sure about a bookstore. They are in decline. It would have to be something unique besides a bookseller.

The marketplace idea would be good if it's offerings were unique. Maybe more international which would attract the foreign students and faculty at Tech not to mention those looking for something different.
 
Old 02-23-2011, 10:00 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,229,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Not sure about a bookstore. They are in decline. It would have to be something unique besides a bookseller.

The marketplace idea would be good if it's offerings were unique. Maybe more international which would attract the foreign students and faculty at Tech not to mention those looking for something different.
The unique thing about Oxford was that you could buy newspapers and magazines from around the world. A smaller-scaled bookstore/world newstand concept might work very well in AC (yes, some people still buy books/mags) - and again, adding a cyber cafe type thing in the same building would make it more modern.

The world market idea is good, so long as they stick to mid/higher end stores and don't allow it to get a Buford Highway flea market type feel to it.
 
Old 02-23-2011, 11:11 PM
 
906 posts, read 1,478,273 times
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This is *very* encouraging. I and many others were urging Mark Toro and the new owners to shift AS away from the Disneyland mall thing and more towards a locally focused and less generic venue. And I'm very happy to see the connectivity issues being addressed. The Westside was really getting lost in the shuffle, as it's impossible to walk to AS at night without feeling like you're going to get mugged 50 times (if not at Home Park, than at Atlantic Station itself).

The Georgia Tech kids DO have money to burn. They're constantly at Ormsby's, Yoforia, and any other number of Westside locations spending money left and right. AS is smart to aggressively try to get more of them into their regular customer mix.

I love the open-air market idea. A lot. I also like the suggestion above for a Porter Beer bar type place.

ETA: Interesting discussion with developers about AS occurred here: http://whatnowatlanta.com/2011/02/04...tion/#comments It sounds like many comments from Atlanta residents at that link might have led to the directions listed in the OP of this thread.

Last edited by K-SawDude; 02-23-2011 at 11:37 PM..
 
Old 02-24-2011, 01:09 AM
 
1,498 posts, read 2,616,162 times
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Wait... they want to expand the free MARTA shuttle?

Idiots. The shuttle is half the problem. If that's what they think is a good idea, they are doomed to failure. Should have gone to a better college...
 
Old 02-24-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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What's wrong with the MARTA shuttle?
 
Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Great comments everyone and yes, the discussion on What Now Atlanta has apparently had a huge impact!

Shuttle should have gone to a better college? Elaborate. (Right now it shuttles between Art Center Station and AS without hitting any colleges)

Georgia Tech kids have *a lot* of money to burn, and right now they are spending it in the Westside, Virginia Highlands, and Buckhead. At the very least, a properly repositioned AS can stop the students from traveling all the way to Buckhead to shop, dine, drink, and play. Midtown residents and Berkeley Heights/Loring Park residents have even more money to burn.

Fountain sounds great! Interactive park space sounds great and may already be in the works!

Love the idea of local pubs, coffee shops, and bookstores to cater to the local market. Remember, this is an urban/creative market that happens to have lots of tourists. This isn't Buckhead or suburban market. A bookstore might actually work here (barring what happened at Borders).

Also, if I had to guess which restaurants are causing problems as far as crime and image are concerned, then Dolce, Geisha House, and Strip would be it. The new owners will not stand for them transitioning into nightclubs at night and remaining open until 2 am. AS is actually a residential neighborhood, not a nightclub district. That has been forgotten up until now.
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