Showing posts with label Grocery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grocery. Show all posts

[Report] North DeKalb Mall May Finally Bag Costco

A rendering of what the North DeKalb Costco may look like 
Costco Wholesale at North DeKalb Mall reportedly back on track. 

Local blog Decaturish reports that a "source" told them that Costco has officially "green lighted" a store at North DeKalb Mall, with plans to open in March 2020. The source reportedly said that timeline is subject to change, however.

While I have personally never been directly involved in commercial real estate, a timeline over two years out for a store that is rather modular, sounded a bit long to me. 

In an effort to clarify, I contacted another developer who spoke with me on condition of anonymity.  This developer, who has worked with Costco previously, indicated that the timeline does sound a big long, especially considering the fact that the North DeKalb Mall site does not [seem to] present any abnormal, or otherwise time consuming issues such as leveling or chemical remediation.  

The developer went on to say that they have known of Costco stores being built in as little as 120 days.  Additionally, the developer stressed that as a matter of policy, Costco does not "officially commit" to projects until they have every i dotted and t crossed.  That said, Costco may very well have "softly committed" to the project without having signed any agreements, as those will likely be delayed until after Costco receives all necessary zoning and permitting approvals from DeKalb county.  

Earlier this week, a ToNeTo Atlanta reader and resident of the North DeKalb Mall area indicated he had been told that the owners of North DeKalb Mall are "floating some plans with the city that they are not yet publicly sharing."  This may very well be Sterling Organization and Lennar Commercial (the mall's owner since late 2014) showing their latest "de-malling" plans to the county to move things along.  

"De-malling," the act of removing the enclosures of a mall to create a more open air environment, is one popular trend in under performing malls that is meant to attract both new tenants and new customers.  

If Costco does take over the former Macy's space, as I've previously reported, the rest of the mall, save Marshalls and AMC Theatres, are likely to be removed to create a more open air atmosphere like The Forum in Norcross.  

Last month, I reported that longtime North DeKalb Mall retailer Play it Again Sports would be relocating from the mall to North Decatur Plaza.  The used sporting goods retailer is the latest in a string of departures from the mall that also includes ROSS Dress For Less and Rack Room Shoes.  What makes the Play it Again move most significant is that they occupied a space directly beside the former Macy's space.  The move was viewed by many locals as an indication that the mall was moving to free up the spaces surrounding the former  department store in preparation for movement by Costco.  

Attending last month's ICSC RECon in Las Vegas, the largest shopping center-focused convention in the county, I visited the Sterling Organization booth to inquire as to an update for North DeKalb Mall and was told "there is no news to share at this time."  

As I'd done previously, I contacted Atlanta native and Costco Wholesale Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti for comment on the new store. Galanti was unavailable for comment and a real estate representative said she was unable to comment, citing the company's policy to only comment on "confirmed or under construction stores" (those listed on the company's website).  

The furthest out that the Costco website shows a store scheduled to open is a Business Center in San Francisco this coming August.  

When the Costco was proposed in 2008, there was also talk of a store in West Midtown and also in Brookhaven.  The West Midtown site, even if Costco was still interested, is no longer in play and is expected to open next year as a large-format Kroger.  The Brookhaven store, at TOWN Brookhaven, opened October 28th, 2010, preceded by one in Ringgold near the Georgia/Tennessee line, which opened the day before.  

In the years since, Costco opened a new store in Cumming in late August 2014.  Another Costco has been approved near The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock.  Brantley Day of the City of Woodstock tells me Costco was issued their Land Disturbance Permit May 19th, and that as far as he knows, the company is on track to open Memorial Day: May 28th, 2018.

Given the tremendous support for the Costco store at North DeKalb Mall, I do not foresee any roadblocks for the store's construction and see the reported timeline as an effort to provide wiggle room.  Given that the Costco store at North DeKalb Mall has now been "in the works" for about a decade, the company is likely being extra cautious in their projected timeline.  Better to "under promise and over deliver" than vice versa.  Would anyone really be mad if Costco opened in June 2019, for instance, instead of March 2020? I think not.  

Are you excited for the prospect of having a Costco Wholesale finally open at North DeKalb Mall?  Are you a current Sam's Club member who will switch to Costco once they open? What other tenants would you like to see added to North DeKalb Mall?  

Please share your thoughts below  
| June 07, 2017 | ,

Bits & Bites

Zoës Kitchen will join the upcoming Sprouts Farmers Market in the Shops at Towne Lake shopping center in Woodstock.  Sprouts, which will open in a former Publix that had been occupied by Tuesday Morning, plans to open June 28th.  The new store will be the Arizona based chain's 16th in Georgia.  Tuesday Morning relocated elsewhere in the center to make way for the grocer's opening.  Likewise, 9 Round Fitness, an existing tenant in the center, will relocate elsewhere in the center to allow for Zoës Kitchen to open in its current 2,400 square foot endcap space.  Zoës should open later this fall.  

A new BP convenience store and gas station is under construction near Georgia State Stadium (FKA Turner Field) in southwest Atlanta.  The business is located at the corner of Windsor and Fulton Streets and property that was previously undeveloped.  

Walgreens has closed their freestanding location at Mansell Road and Alpharetta Highway in Alpharetta.  Another relatively new Walgreens closed on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs and after a deal to repurpose it fell through, continues to sit vacant. 

Bowl Lab, a new concept serving bowls filled with poke, acai and meat, plans to open soon in the former 1,455 square foot Subway in Vinings Slope near Vinings Jubilee.

Golden Corral has opened its newest Atlanta area location on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna.  I first wrote about the planned restaurant last April and the restaurant finally opened this past Sunday. 

redo furniture and appliance warehouse opened earlier this week at Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall. The used furniture and appliance store opened in place of Sports Authority which closed last year.  According to a representative from Olshan Properties, which owns the center, redo has only signed a temporary, three month lease. A previously reported Dick's Sporting Goods will not be opening in the space, but Olshan does reportedly have a lease signed with another as-yet- unnamed retailer to open after redo closes later this summer.   

Tory Burch will soon open its first outlet store in Georgia at the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville.  The company currently operates a total of 17 outlet stores in 11 states with the closest locations currently being in Orlando and Sunrise, Florida.  Tory Burch currently operates two full-line stores in Atlanta at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.  The two Florida outlets, as well as the three Georgia locations, are all in Simon Property Group owned properties.  

Marios and Kaliopy Kitas, owners of downtown Decatur's Andryannis Greek Bistro, have sold their business.  The new owner, Christopher Sheehy, will reportedly convert the restaurant into an American eatery called "SideChick," serving all three day-parts.  Pending inspections and such, Sheehy tells me he hopes to be open as soon as late June.  The Kitas, who opened Andryannis on Clairemont Avenue, just off E. Ponce de Leon Avenue eight years ago, plan to take a "nice summer vacation." The family hinted at having plans to open elsewhere in the future saying, "visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our news and where we will be opening the next Andryannis Greek Bistro."  Steve Josovitz of The Shumacher Group, Inc. represented the seller and assisted the buyer in the transaction.  

German grocer Lidl, which plans to open upwards of a dozen locations across Georgia in the coming years, intends to build a distribution facility in Cartersville to accommodate its growth.  The new 756,000 square foot facility is planned for the southwest corner of Cassville Pine Log Road & Great Valley Parkway.  Lidl previously announced plans to open their first U.S. stores next year but recently revealed their first few stores will actually open next month in Virginia. Lidl has distribution centers already under construction in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Graham, North Carolina.  

Kennesaw Will Soon "Sport" New Aldi

Aldi's newly opened Tucker location
Discount grocer adding second Kennesaw store.  

Aldi, the German based discount grocer, has reportedly signed a lease on the former Sports Authority at Barrett Place, just off Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw. Sports Authority was one of the center's anchors until it closed last year after filing for bankruptcy.   

The space, which measures just over 42,000 square feet, is far larger than a typical Aldi store.  That said, sources say that Aldi intends to occupy about 18,000-20,000 square feet of the space, with plans to sublease the balance to another tenant.  Built in 1994, Barrett Place is home to Best Buy, Michaels, PetSmart, OfficeMax, The Furniture Mall and a freestanding TGI Friday's restaurant. 

Aldi already operates one Kennesaw location, a freestanding store at 3076 Cobb Parkway,  about six miles from the Barrett Place store. 

Lidl, another German based grocer, is planning to enter the U.S. market later this summer, in advance of an earlier planned 2018 debut, with about 20 locations in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.   Lidl is actively planning upwards of a dozen new locations in Georgia that may open as early as next spring.  

The company is planning at least two locations in Cobb county, in Mableton and near Sandy Plains and Shallowford Road in northeast Cobb. Lidl is targeting freestanding parcels on which they plan to operate roughly 36,000 square foot stores, about double the size of a typical Aldi.  

Today Aldi operates nearly 60 locations across the state including locations in Tucker and Peachtree Corners that both opened this past February.  Both the Tucker and Peachtree Corners locations sport the company's new, upscale design with enhanced interiors and an emphasis on organic produce.    

Aldi is seen by many as "low brow," or on the level of Big Lots, where people have the ill-conceived notion that only expired food is sold.  In reality, Aldi emphasizes a "no frills" approach with stores largely stocked with private label merchandise that is both cheaper to the consumer and more profitable to the company.  

Aldi has also reportedly leased the former Sports Authority in Buckhead where they plan to occupy a similarly sized portion of the former sporting goods store, and sublease the balance. 

Elsewhere in metro Atlanta, the former Sports Authority in Alpharetta has been filled by American Signature Furniture, in Buford has been filled by Burlington Coat Factory, while the Sandy Springs store was replaced with Dick's Sporting Goods. Dick's is also allegedly still planning to open in place of the former Sports Authority in Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall, but has been delayed.  
Are you excited at the prospect of having an Aldi in Kennesaw? What is your favorite grocer in Atlanta? What would you like to see open in the remaining space?

Please share your thoughts below.  
| May 08, 2017 | ,

Score! Aldi Has Leased Former Sports Authority in Buckhead

Discount grocer entering Buckhead market.

Aldi, the German based discount grocer, has reportedly signed a lease on the former Sports Authority at Buckhead Pavilion (fka Sports Authority Center) on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. Sports Authority was the center's anchor for many years until it closed last year after filing for bankruptcy. 

The space, which measures just over 42,000 square feet, is far larger than a typical Aldi store.  That said, sources say that Aldi intends to occupy about 18,000 square feet of the space with plans to sublease the balance to another tenant. 

The new Aldi will put it a stone's throw from its corporate cousin, Trader Joe's, which opened in a former OfficeMax nearly in late 2008.  

German brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht opened the first Aldi (a syllabic abbreviation for Albrecht Diskont) in 1946. The company split into two in 1960, adopting the names Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd in 1962.  Theo operated Aldi Nord and Karl Albrecht operated Aldi Süd.  

Aldi Süd, as simply Aldi, entered the U.S. market in Iowa in 1976, and today has over 1,600 locations throughout 35 states. Karl, of Aldi Nord, bought Trader Joe's in 1979.   

Today Aldi operates nearly 60 locations across the state including recently opened locations in Tucker and Peachtree Corners.  Both the Tucker and Peachtree Corners locations sport the company's new, upscale design with enhanced interiors and an emphasis on organic produce.  

Trader Joe's, by comparison, operates only seven locations in Georgia.  

Aldi is seen by many as "low brow," or on the level of Big Lots, where people have the ill-conceived notion that only expired food is sold.  In reality, Aldi, like Trader Joe's, emphasizes a "no frills" approach with stores largely stocked with private label merchandise that is both cheaper to the consumer and more profitable to the company.  

Attempts to reach Aldi for comment via their preferred media inquiry method were met with unfulfilled promises on the part of their PR firm of record, Weber Shandwick.  

Are you excited at the prospect of having an Aldi in Buckhead?  Did you know Trader Joe's and Aldi were kinda sorta cousins?  What would you like to see open in the remaining space?  ... Are you like me, and when you think of this center you miss EatZi's even more?

Please share your thoughts below.  
| May 03, 2017 | ,

Walmart Will Close Another Metro Market

Photo of the closing Walmart Neighborhood Market courtesy of
Retailer announces closure of Alpharetta store.

For the second consecutive month and third time this year, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart is closing a metro Atlanta Walmart Neighborhood Market store.  

Walmart announced this past Friday that the company plans to close their Neighborhood Market store in Alpharetta Crossing shopping center no later than May 7th.  The 46,000 square foot store at the corner of Haynes Bridge Road and Old Milton Parkway opened in fall 2012.  The store employs about 70 people.  Walmart is trying to find positions in nearby locations for those wishing to remain with the company.  

News of the store's closure was first reported by

"The decision comes after a careful review process, including financial performance and strategic alignment with long-term plans," said Phillip Keane, director of communications for Walmart’s East Coast Division.  

The market’s pharmacy will be open at least through the end of April, Keane said, and staff will work with customers to assist with transferring prescriptions. 

The company operates two Walmart Supercenters in Alpharetta, one at 5200 Windward Parkway, the other at 5455 Atlanta Highway.  Walmart plans to open a new Supercenter  on the north side of Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369) just west of GA 400 in Cumming, later this fall.  The store, which was first proposed around 2007, broke ground last year and was previously expected to open next month.

Overall, the company operates more than 200 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in Georgia.

Walmart closed their Neighborhood Market on Highway 92, just west of the Roswell city limits, earlier this month after less than four years in business. The Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Bellemeade shopping center on Powder Springs Road in Marietta closed in February. 

There is speculation the company will continue to close additional Neighborhood Market stores both locally and nationwide in the coming months.  

Are you surprised Walmart continues to close Neighborhood Market stores?  Which local Neighborhood Market store do you think the retailer will close next?  What would you like to see open in place of the Neighborhood Market in Alpharetta?

Please share your thoughts below.  
| April 19, 2017 | ,

UPDATE! Whole Foods Market Openings in Chamblee and Kennesaw

Grocer confirms both stores will open...

For months now, I have gotten tweets, texts, calls, emails, smoke signals and the like, from readers inquiring about the status of the upcoming Whole Foods Market stores in Kennesaw and Chamblee. Originally slated to open in late 2016 and early 2017 respectively, the stores have yet to open with community members fearing their stores might never open.

I contacted Darrah Gist, Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods Market -- South Region, and inquired about the status of the upcoming stores. I was provided the following responses:

"Kennesaw will be opening this Fall, and Chamblee will be before that, but that’s all I can give you at this point. Due to the nature of construction, we typically announce an opening date about 3 weeks before."
A peek inside the upcoming Whole Foods Market in Chamblee
As to assertions that the company will close their Harry's Farmers Market store on Powers Ferry Road in Marietta once the Kennesaw Whole Foods opens, Gist responded by saying:

"We have not announced any plans to close the Harry’s store."

Whole Foods Market however did close Harry's in Alpharetta ahead of the 2014 opening of Whole Foods Market in Avalon, also in Alpharetta.  The company initially denied the planned closure, but as my friend Lee at Roots in Alpharetta wrote then, "the writing was on the wall."  

If Harry's does close, it would effectively end the brand.  Launched by Harry Blazer in 1987, Alpharetta was the first of four Harry's Farmers Markets to open.  Subsequent locations opened in Gwinnett and Clayton, with the latter having a short life due to an apparent lack of affluent customers.  The company later expanded into smaller markets with Harry's in a Hurry, with locations in Buckhead, south Buckhead and Poncey-Highland, among others.  Blazer took the company public in 1993, but by the late 90s, the chain was struggling and in 2001, Whole Foods purchased the company, continuing the three large scale markets, but shuttering the Harry's in a Hurry stores.  

Elsewhere in Atlanta, Whole Foods plans to open a new multi-level, 70,000 square foot "flagship" store at the corner of Spring & 14th Streets in Midtown.  Gist tells the Midtown store is expected to open "Spring/Summer 2018," after having orginally been planned for a late 2017 debut.

Whole Foods is also bringing their new concept, 365 by Whole Foods Market, to Atlanta.  The grocer plans to open 365 stores in both Decatur and Buckhead.   The Decatur store will anchor the new North Decatur Square development at the corner of North Decatur Road and Church Street. The Buckhead store will anchor the reimagined Paces Ferry Plaza at West Paces Ferry and Northside Parkway.  Both stores are expected to open in late 2018.  

Interestingly,  John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his company and their recent struggles.  According to Mr. Mackey, The company doesn’t do as well “in the suburbs with people who have an expensive mortgage, they have 3½ children and a golden retriever.”  This past February, the company abandoned plans to triple the number of Whole Foods stores in the U.S., and closed nine "underperforming locations," including one in Augusta. The company also indicated that "other planned stores are being delayed indefinitely."

I found evidence of at least two other Whole Foods stores that have been delayed.   

In Las Colinas, an upscale community in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, a new 45,000 square foot Whole Foods is expected to anchor a new shopping center.  Other tenants have been open since last year, while the grocery, first announced in 2014, sits completed but idle, with local media calling it a "phantom" Whole Foods. 

In Alston Town Center in Cary, North Carolina, Whole Foods has reportedly also hit the pause button.  The new 35,000 square foot store has been mostly finished for weeks, but is reportedly been delayed indefinitely.  

Real estate sources indicate that the grocer has delayed certain store openings to the fall when the company's new fiscal year starts.  The company's 2017 fiscal year ends September 24th. 

By delaying the openings, Whole Foods could push much of the expense associated with the opening process – including the purchasing of merchandise and hiring & training of staff – into the 2018 budget and financial period.
This past Tuesday, Whole Foods Market Atlanta took to their Instagram account to post a photo outside their new Kennesaw store with the caption "We're coming for ya, Kennesaw!"

Are you excited about the upcoming Whole Foods Markets in Atlanta?  Which location are you most looking forward to?  Will you be dissapointed if Whole Foods elects to close Harry's Farmers Market?

Please share your thoughts below.  
| April 13, 2017 | ,

Walmart Neighborhood Market to Shutter Sandy Plains Village Store

The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Sandy Springs Village
Market to close after less than four years in business

The Walmart Neighborhood Market on Highway 92, just west of the Roswell city limits, is scheduled to close April 7th after less than four years in business.  The market, which co-anchored the Sandy Plains Village shopping center, is located at the intersection of Highway 92 (Woodstock Road), Mabry Road and Sandy Plains Road in Cobb County.  The approximately 60,000 square foot store opened in early November 2013 in place of a former Kroger store.  A 12 screen Movie Tavern is the center's other co-anchor and opened in December 2013 in place of a former Stein Mart.  

This marks the second Walmart Neighborhood Market store to close in the area in just the last 60 days.  The Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Bellemeade shopping center on Powder Springs Road in Marietta closed in February.  The store, which replaced what had most recently been a Food Depot grocery store, opened January 16, 2013.  The Powder Springs Road store was about 41,400 square feet and more in line with the size of a typical Walmart Neighborhood Market store.  

Less than two miles from the soon to close Neighborhood Market store, Target continues to operate a SuperTarget store with grocery offerings.  Target closed their "Roswell East" SuperTarget store on Holcomb Bridge Road this past January.  

Walmart continues to operate a number of other Neighborhood Market stores in the area including locations in the Olde Mill Shopping Center at Roswell and Old Canton Roads and also in the Blackwell Square Shopping Center at Canton and Blackwell Roads, both in East Cobb.  

Last year, Walmart closed a total of 154 stores domestically including all 102 of its "Walmart Express" concept stores and 23 Walmart Neighborhood Market stores.  The company has yet to make a formal announcement that I'm aware of about 2017 closures but  in addition to the Marietta store, Walmart also closed locations in Charlotte, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Denver earlier this year.  A second Denver area location is slated to close April 7th.  

Are you surprised by the upcoming closing of this Walmart Neighborhood Market?  What would you like to see open in place of this Walmart Neighborhood Market?  Do you think Walmart could improve their Neighborhood Market concept or is it as good as it's gonna get?

Please share your thoughts below.  
| March 14, 2017 | ,

Bits & Bites

Tasty China is opening a second Smyrna area location.  The popular  Szechuan eatery started by respected chef Peter Chang will open a new location in Taylor Square in the 1800 block of Atlanta road in "about a month." The existing Tasty China is on Franklin Road in Marietta. Tasty China closed its Sandy Springs location on Powers Ferry Road in 2014.  (It later became Ray's Rio Bravo, a reboot of the popular 90s Tex-Mex chain, but it, too, closed last month.)   

Zoës Kitchen plans to open its newest Atlanta area location Thursday March 16th at Peachtree Station in Chamblee.  The restaurant chain is promoting the location as being in Brookhaven but it's truly in the city of Chamblee.  (Some people refer to the area as ChamHaven.) Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to open its location in the center on Thursday March 30th. Peachtree Station will also welcome a host of new restaurants and retailers, including a new Whole Foods Market which is expected to open "in 2017."  

The new Sephora at Buckhead Exchange is expcted to open April 16th.  The new store follows the chain's November 2016 opening at the Avenue East Cobb. Both stores are meant to test the popularity and traffic of non-mall based stores.  

The Lovesac store at Lenox Square is closing this Sunday March 12th and is currently offering 60% off all in-stock merchandise.  Lovesac Lenox is located at the front of the mall, on the upper level, near Anthropologie.  The furniture retailer which specializes in "sactionals" operates a second Atlanta area store at Mall of Georgia in Buford which is expected to remain open.  

The new Goodwill in Roswell is expected to open Thursday, April 13th at Alpharetta Highway and Mansell Road.  The new Goodwill will occupy a former Office Depot space and will be relocating from its current store nearby.  

Popular e-tailer ThinkGeek is coming to Kennesaw with a location at Town Center at Cobb. Slated to open in early April, the shop will be located on the mall’s upper level Sears Wing, next to Bath & Body Works. ThinkGeek will offer customers a wide selection of pop culture and collectible items including movies, games, books, toys, trading cards, music and more.  At Town Center, ThinkGeek joins Box Lunch, a similar retail store, basically directly below its new store.  ThinkGeek has existing Georgia locations in Mall of Georgia in Buford and Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah 

A new Planet Smoothie/Auntie Anne's/Cinnabon tri-brand location is planned for Augusta Mall in Augusta. The three concepts will share a single nearly 1,400 square foot space near Sears and Dillard's in the General Growth Properties owned mall.  

The long awaited and controversial QuikTrip is finally making progress on Howell Mill Road. Existing structures are being demolished this week with plans to start construction soon.    

H&M will celebrate the Grand Opening of its new store at The Mall at Stonecrest Thursday, March 16th.   The new store is the Swedish chain's 15th in Georgia and will be followed by a 16th later this summer at The Shoppes Webb Gin in Snellville.  

A new restaurant called Parkside District A Meat & Seafood Co. expects to open in "late May" in Duluth.  The new full service restaurant is located just off Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville and will occupy the former American Classic Tavern.

Stein Mart plans to open its newest Atlanta area location tomorrow March 9th, at Parkside West Cobb.  The new shopping center on Dallas Highway recently welcomed a new Sprouts Farmers Market and a relocated Marshalls.  A number of other new restaurants and retailers are expected to open soon including Mellow Mushroom and Zoës Kitchen.

Cracker Barrel plans to open Monday March 13th at Park Place in Snellville.  The new restaurant joins Zaxby's and Freddy's in the newly developed center on Scenic Highway in Snellville.  

U.K. based Agent Provacateur reportedly  plans to close the "entire international side of the business" after being aquired by a consortium of investors. The super sexy lingerie company operates one store in Georgia at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead. 

Well informed restaurant sources indicate that the planned Sage Social Kitchen & Bar Kitchen in Buckhead may be stalled.  Sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that restaurant ownership is having financing issues that may cause the restaurant to be delayed or abandoned.  Sage Buckhead was announced last fall to be replacing the long vacant Morton's Steakhouse, but the last permit that was filed with the city of Atlanta was in December, with no permits and limited work since.    

In addition to the Nancy's Chicago Pizza planned for Buckhead I announced previously, another location is planned for Johns Creek. Nancy's Johns Creek will be located near the intersection of State Bridge and Medlock Bridge Roads in the Medlock Corners shopping center. Nancy's will occupy a 4,400 square foot space previously home to Stevi B's Pizza Buffet, which closed in late 2014.  Michael Glover, a multi-year veteran of McDonald's, is spearheading the Atlanta expansion where his franchise group signed a "Multi unit master franchise agreement" to further develop the chain in the southeast. 

Glover, whose group owns and recently expanded the Nancy's on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown, does not own the Camp Creek location.  Glover hopes to have both the Buckhead and Johns Creek locations open later this spring and plans to open as many as 20 locations over the next 10 years.   

The Cost Plus World Market at Piedmont Peachtree Crossing has started its moving sale. Now through April 22nd, the store is clearing out in-stock merchandise ahead of its move to nearby Buckhead Station where they will occupy the remaining space left from the Toys r Us closure. (Saks OFF 5TH occupies the other portion.)  A store representative indicated that all merchandise is up to 30% off and that the new store will open April 23rd. Both Piedmont Peachtree Crossing and Buckhead Station were previously Equity One properties but have been absorbed into the Regency Centers portfolio following Regency's acquision of Equity One which was announced last fall and completed earlier this month.   

The Fellini's Pizza on Howell Mill Road is closed to complete some minor renovations including a new floor and new paint.  A Fellini's representative indicated plans call for the restaurant to reopen for normal business on Monday March 20th.  

Nate & Stephanie Smith of Smith Auto Spa dba Cactus Car Wash plan to open a number of new businesses in East Point. The Smiths operate an existing Cactus Carwash in Douglasville and plan to open another Cactus in East Point along with two restaurants.  The nearly four acre property is located just off Camp Creek Parkway, along I-285, on North Desert Drive.  Plans call for the constuction of the Cactus Car Wash along with a new Mexican restaurant called Sabroso Bar & Grill.  The restaurant, previously known as El Bandido Cantina, will reportedly be about 7,500 square feet and is being designed by Sandy Springs based Restaurants Consulting Group. Plans indicate that Sabroso will have two levels with an outdoor patio and terrace.  A site plan indicates the second restaurant could be as large as 6,500 square feet.  

Metro Atlanta's first location of Sage Dental is expected to open March 20th in East Cobb.  The dental office occupies the remaining portion of the former Blockbuster Video at the corner of Lower Roswell and Johnson Ferry Roads.  A Baskin-Robbins recently opened in another portion of the former video rental store, joining a Papa John's franchise.  Boca Raton based Sage Dental is appearing on a lot of property site plans these days as they work to penetrate the Atlanta market and compete not only with traditional private practice dental offices but also Irvine, CA based Pacific Dental Services, which is already rapidly expanding its Atlanta presence.  Other Sage Dental offices are planned for Johns Creek, Marietta, Midtown and Decatur, among others.

Waffle House c0-founder Joe Rogers Sr. died this past Friday, March 3rd, at the age of 97. Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House in Avondale Estates in 1955.  Today, Waffle House has over 2,000 location and covers half of the United States.  Forkner is 99 years old. The late great S. Truett Cathy who founded in Chick-fil-A in 1946, died in late 2014 at the age of 93. So there you have it: the secret to living a long, prosperous life is plenty of Waffle House and Chick-fil-A. 

Lastly, as I've received a number of questions, comments, requests etc. about the upcoming Whole Foods Market locations in Kennesaw and Chamblee, I contacted the company to get an update.  According to a local Whole Foods Market representative, both locations are "still happening" and are expected to open "in 2017."  As of last year, the Chamblee (Brookhaven) store was expected to open "spring 2017" followed by Kennesaw in "summer 2017."  

Bits & Bites

The upcoming Rize in Sandy Springs (Image courtesy of Rize) 
Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads plans to open its second Atlanta area location this coming Monday, March 6th.  The new restaurant is located in the street level portion of the new Square One apartment project.  The first Rize opened this past November at the new 675 N. Highland apartment project in Poncey-Highland.  This are the first two locations for what the Atlanta based chain hopes will be many more in the future.  
Tex-Mex eatery Chuy's opened this past Tuesday at Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall.  This marks the third metro Atlanta location for the Texas chain.

Sprouts Farmers Market opened its newest Atlanta area location this past Wednesday in Decatur. The grocery store anchors the new Decatur Crossing development across from Suburban Plaza.  The Decatur store is the 14th in metro Atlanta for the Phoenix based chain.  Sprouts plans to open another new store at the new Tucker Meridian shopping center near Northlake Mall on April 26th.  Another Sprouts is planned to open later this year in Woodstock at the Shops at Towne Lake shopping center, in place of a former Publix.  

Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to open its newest Atlanta area location at Peachtree Station March 30th.  Peachtree Station is the new Whole Foods Market anchored development on Peachtree Boulevard in Chamblee.  A Denver area representative for Chipotle indicated that "barring any delays, the restaurant will open at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 30."  In addition, the representative indicated that "the first 100 customers at the new restaurant will receive a BOGO [buy one, get one free] to use on their next Chipotle visit!" Chipotle may be the first tenant to open in the center with Whole Foods reportedly targeting a "summer 2017" opening and other restaurants and retailers still with weeks of work to complete.  

The first Georgia location of Potato Corner, home of "World's Best Flavored French Fries," is planned for Alpharetta.  The new kiosk is slated to open "any day now" and is located on the upper level of North Point Mall in the food court.  The Los Angeles based chain started in 1992 and has recently expanded its footprint from its home base of California to other new markets such as Mobile, AL.   

The Shoppes at Webb Gin on Scenic Highway in Snellville will soon welcome a number of new tenants.  

Apparel and accessories retailer H&M plans plans to open what will be its 16th Georgia store at the complex later this spring.  H&M will occupy a 19,000 square foot space and will offer clothing options for the entire family, featuring collections for ladies and men, a separate section for accessories, as well as the H&M Kids collection, for newborns to 14 year olds.  This will be the third H&M in Gwinnett county following locations in at Mall of Georgia in Buford and the recently opened store at Sugarloaf Mills in Duluth.  

Hollywood Feed, a "natural & holistic" pet food store will  open later this summer in a 4,399 square foot space near Sleep Number.  The Memphis based retailer sells only dog and cat food and recently opened their first Atlanta area location in Roswell Corners shopping center in Roswell. Other Hollywood Feed locations are planned for Peachtree Station in Chamblee, North Decatur Square in Decatur and Tucker Meridian in Tucker. 

Smallcakes Cupcakery, a St. Louis cupcake franchise, will open in 1,452 square foot store next to The Children’s Place. The Snellville Smallcakes Cupcakery, which should open in the summer, will be the chain's 23rd in Georgia.  

Empower Yoga plans to open what will be its second studio next week at Emory Point.  Pending inspections, management hopes to open Monday March 6th.  The new yoga studio will open in the second phase of the project in suite D1-130, not far from BoruBoru Sushi.  The original empower yoga is located on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb. 

Struggling footwear retailer Crocs announced yesterday it plans to close 160 stores, 28% of its current store count.  The company did not reveal the locations of the planned closures but anticipates the closures to occur "in the coming months." The shoe maker posted net losses of $44.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, with its stock (NASDAQ: CROX) now trading at about $7, far from its October 2007 high of nearly $70.  The Denver based company had 558 stores at the end of 2016.  As I reported last year, Crocs quietly closed their Buckhead store at Lenox Square this past December.  

Abercrombie & Fitch, the once hugely popular teen-oriented mall-based retailer announced yesterday it plans to shutter 60 of its namesake stores later this year.  The company indicated this past fall that roughly 50% of its 745 U.S. leases are up for renewal over the next 18 months. This window gives the company ample time to trim its store count without being penalized for exiting space early. This news comes on the heels of the company's disappointing earnings report for its most recently completed quarter.  The one bright spot was Abercrombie's sibling brand Hollister, which reported a comparable sales gain, its first in a year.  Hollister, which Abercrombie launched in 2000, now accounts for 57% of Abercrombie's net sales.  Metro Atlanta has seemingly been a good market for the company in general with Mall of Georgia getting one of the first ever Hollister stores and the Lenox and Mall of Georgia stores recently having undergone serious renovations to present the chain's less beach-y, more modern look.  As I reported last month, the Abercrombie & Fitch at Lenox Square will be one of just seven stores nationwide that the chain will renovate to reflect the brand's new identity.  

Takorea and Gusto! Among New Tenants Coming to North Decatur Square

New center to begin construction later this year 

North Decatur Square, the new development coming to the corner of Church Street and North Decatur Road near DeKalb Medical Center has signed its first tenants.

Joining the 35,096 square foot 365 by Whole Foods Market will be Hollywood Feed, Takorea, Gusto!, Sage Dental and Avalon Nails & Spa.  

It may be a race to the finish to see who opens first but the Decatur 365 may be the first in Atlanta for the growing concept from Whole Foods Market.  While the Decatur location was announced first, a Buckhead location is also now in the works with both projecting "fall 2018" openings.  

Hollywood Feed, a "natural & holistic" pet food store will open in a 2,800 square foot space on the Church Street side of the development.  The Memphis based retailer sells only dog and cat pet food and recently opened their first Atlanta area location in Roswell Corners shopping center in Roswell.  Other Hollywood Feed locations are planned for Peachtree Station in Chamblee and Tucker Meridian in Tucker.   

Takorea will open in a 2,200 square foot space adjacent to Hollywood Feed. The Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant currently has locations in midtown, Dunwoody and Athens and is the evolution of Hankook Taqueria which continues to operate on Collier Road.  

Gusto! will open in a 2,400 square foot space along North Decatur Road.  The Decatur location will be the third for the growing chain started by Nate Hybl in 2014. The first Gusto! is on Peachtree Road across from Piedmont Hospital, the second is on Ponce de Leon Avenue, not far from Ponce City Market.  

Sage Dental will occupy a 3,200 square foot space adjacent to Gusto!.  Boca Raton-based Sage Dental is appearing on a lot of property site plans these days as they work to penetrate the Atlanta market and compete not only with traditional private practice dental offices but also Irvine,CA based Pacific Dental Services, which is already rapidly expanding its Atlanta presence.  

Avalon Nails & Spa will occupy a 3,500 square foot space in the rear of the center.  

The approximately 18 acre property will also have a four-story, approximately 300-unit apartment complex.  

As I discussed in previous posts related to the opening of the new 365 in Buckhead, the grocer is likely to open with a "featured friend," a mini quick serve restaurant that would open within the store.  This feature could prevent certain concepts from opening their own eateries within the center. 

A siteplan for the project includes a number of "available" spaces but also five "at lease" spaces.  I would not be shocked to see concepts like Newk's Eatery, Tropical Smoothie Cafe or Tin Drum Asian Kitchen appear in the center. 

A source close to the project confirmed to me that a Mattress Firm will NOT be part of the project, hallelujah! 

According to Jeff Garrison, partner at S.J. Collins Enterprise, the developer of the project, demolition of the existing buildings on the property (various former Nalley auto dealerships) is expected to begin March 15th.  Garrison also indicated that the project which had first announced a "Summer 2018" completion, is now tracking for "fall 2018."  

The firms other active Atlanta area project, Peachtree Station in Chamblee was first announced as Peachtree Crossing but subsequently changed its name for undisclosed reasons.  One would think a similar change is in store in Decatur given a large Kroger anchored center exists less than a mile away and already has the name North Decatur Square.  

What other tenants would you like to see open in North Decatur Square?  Are you excited for Takorea and Gusto! to be opening in the project?  Where else would you like to see a 365 by Whole Foods Market open in Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below.  
| February 14, 2017 | , ,
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