Legoland to open 32,000-square-foot 'Discovery Center' at Phipps Plaza

Entering the Atlanta market, brick by tiny plastic brick.

UPDATE (Nov. 14, 2011): Revealed! Detailed renderings of Legoland’s $12 million ‘Discovery Center’ at Phipps Plaza

map of legoland discovery center chicago ~ what now, atlanta?

Phipps Plaza, known for its upscale retailers like Gucci, Giorgio Armani and Versace, is receiving a Legoland Discovery Center, an indoor attraction and retail store of the iconic plastic brick.

Merlin Entertainments Group, the company that builds and operates Legoland theme parks, has been scouting sites in metro Atlanta for its Legoland Discovery Center concept since 2008.

The company considered sites in Alpharetta near North Point Mall, Atlantic Station in Midtown, the downtown area, and the Buckhead area near Phipps Plaza.

Located at 3500 Peachtree Road NE, the $12 million center is slated to open spring 2012. The company filed a building permit on Feb. 11 to initiate phase one of construction.

"Legoland Discovery Center Phase one: Demo of existing tenant spaces (existing food court)."

Taking 32,000 square feet, the attraction is expected to be built in the food court of the Buckhead mall. Food court tenants currently at Phipps Plaza include Subway, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Johnny Rockets. Which food court tenants may be affected by the new store construction is not confirmed.

The original three Legoland Discovery Centers in the world are in Chicago, and Berlin and Duisburg, Germany. Most recently, a location opened in Manchester and Dallas Fort Worth here in the states.

Inside a 30,000- to 35,000-square-foot Legoland Discovery Center, which is about the size of a newer Best Buy store, is a 4-D movie theater, a play area, a Dragon Castle Ride, a Build and Test area, and other interactive stations, all built with and around the iconic plastic bricks.

The Chicago center, pictured above, is about 32,000 square feet. Admission prices are $19 for adults and $15 for children. The retail portion of Legoland Discovery Center is open to the public without charge.

Like the Chicago center, Atlanta’s Legoland will have a scale-model city skyline. Some of the center's attractions include the Dragon Castle Ride and the Jungle Expedition.

Plans and designs are already being drawn up for the site, and construction is expected to begin in July, with the Legoland Discovery Center due to open in March 2012. Models for Atlanta will be made in Merlin’s specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction.

Legoland Discovery Center will likely be the only one of its kind in the Southeast.

Needless to say, we're shocked Phipps was the chosen location for the indoor attraction and Lego retail store.

So, will this new location aid in building Atlanta up or did parent company Merlin Entertainments Group miss a piece or two in their plan?-- tell us!

Legoland Discovery Center
3500 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta GA, 30326