American Eagle to close at Atlantic Station

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American Eagle to close at Atlantic Station

american eagle outfitters at atlantic station ~ what now, atlanta?

Developer seeks advice from What Now Atlanta readers on a restaurant replacement

American Eagle Outfitters, a clothing and accessories retailer, is closing at Atlantic Station, according to developer Mark Toro.

The retailer located in the Town Center portion of Atlantic Station at 230 18th Street, will close next week, Toro told What Now Atlanta in a Twitter direct message Saturday.

"American Eagle closes next week at Atlantic Station, making room for a local chef-driven restaurant," Toro said.

Toro and his team have been working on transforming Town Center at Atlantic Station -- a district that includes Publix, the Regal 16 Cinemas, LA Fitness, retailer H&M and restaurants such as Rosa Mexicano and Dolce Entocea e Ristorante -- into a "focal point for in-town Atlanta."

“We plan to make Atlantic Station the center for the Midtown community and a focal point for in-town Atlanta,” Mark Toro said.

“Job one is to reach out to our neighbors and ask, ‘How can we work together to make Atlantic Station better serve Midtown?’ This transformation will take time. The most immediate change will be our level of engagement.”

In his message to What Now Atlanta Saturday, Toro asked, "Do you want to poll your peeps?"

So, he's listening -- What restaurateur should replace American Eagle? Tell Toro in the comment section.

American Eagle Outfitters
230 18th Street Suite 11100
Atlanta, GA 30363

American Eagle Outfitters

230 18th Street Suite 11100 Atlanta, GA 30363
Caleb J. Spivak
Caleb Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Atlanta (WNA). He was featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA has been named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing, and Atlanta and Jezebel Magazines.

105 responses to “American Eagle to close at Atlantic Station

  1. Bone Fish Grille would be a GREAT addition to the Atlantic Station Developement. There are two locations Buford and Alpharetta. There definitely should be one closer to town! Great food, amazing drinks, and the atmosphere fits that of Atlantic Station.


    West Midtown/Atlantic Station Residen

  2. Something small and local. I always felt that was what Atlantic Station was missing. Most of the restaurants there, and stores can be found at your local mall, how about something different and local.

  3. Fix your parking. Until then, doesn't matter what restaurant you have. I live less than a mile away and haven't been to AS in 3 years after you gave my wife a fake parking ticket. I called to complain and was told: "Thanks for letting us know. It's OK if you don't come back here to shop again."

  4. Julie, our plan is to bring a number of small locally-owned chef-driven restaurants to Atlantic Station. We agree that's what is missing.

  5. Ansley Park Resident, the entire parking operation is undergoing a major overhaul. From valet to validation to signage and lighting, our parking deck will be an entirely different world by Labor Day. We agree that the parking situation that existed when we bought Atlantic Station 5 months ago was unacceptable...on many levels.

  6. i'm upset American Eagle is closing! i'd rather see it stay than have it replaced with a restaurant - boooooo!

  7. TGIFridays! And what Ansley Park Resident said - the parking is a nightmare. Going to Atlantic Station requires at least half an hour to find a space and then another half hour to get out of the garage while rent a cops direct traffic in random directions. It's faster just to go to Lenox, all the same stores are there anyway.

  8. Mark,

    Is there anything you can do to preemptively close this disaster called the "Atlantic Station Auto Spa and Lounge" on 14th & state?

    Is it a trademark enfringement or some similar offense?

    Its a shame that the same element you are working so hard to get rid of is simply trying to move a few blocks south! As residents, we will work to block their liquor license...the last thing we need is a "lounge" opening up on 14th st.

    I'm pissed.

  9. Mad, we have no affiliation with the proposed "Atlantic Station Auto Spa and Lounge". If they choose to operate using our trademark, they will be dealt with.

  10. I told Mark that I would put my brewpub in AS but he wasnt interested. So now its going in midtown on the other side of the connector, away from AS. American Eagle was one of the few reasons we had to go to AS. I dont think valet parking is going to help the common man, just make the parking free like Lenox, and make getting in and out easy. And those really looooong traffic lights dont help!

  11. So it's not clear... there IS a restaurant with a lease signed going into the space or it is just making room for a "FUTURE" restaurant.

    Why would they kick out one retail store for a restaurant when they have a fully built out restaurant (Dolce) that a local concept could go into with minimal build out... doesn't seem like a smart move.

  12. First of all, anyone suggesting a national chain of restaurant possesses a complete lack of imagination. Obviously something small and local would be ideal, the question is what is considered small and local? Would a pizza place be in order? A taqueria? How about a British style pub? A lot of options are available. Unfortunately, Atlantic Station was a poorly designed concept that catered to middle and upper class clients. This place is nothing more than an open air mall with no soul. I can't imagine what the lease rates are, which is why it's so stale. Gimmicky concepts will not work. Instead try having solid business practices that bring something to the neighborhood.

  13. I agree with the West Egg-ish comment. We need a cool urban place that would have plenty of outdoor seating And a good brunch. Since AS is a brown field development we should focus in on something locally operated and grown. Something "organic."

  14. @Slowfood-- what's the name and concept your Brewpub? Interested to check it out when it opens in Midtown. Also, Mark Toro has mentioned in other posts, articles, etc that they're completely revamping the entire parking situation. New signs, new flow of traffic, new maps, color-coding... I think it's supposed to be done by the end of summer so keep an eye out.

    @localfoodie-- I think part of Toro's plan for Atlantic Station is to increase the number of restaurant options, so it makes sense that they would convert some retail store space into a spot for a future restaurant(s).

    Like @madrussian said, there are a lot of different options that could be put into place in AS. That's why they're reaching out and asking for advice from Atlanta residents.

    A good brunch spot would be great, as well as a British/Irish kind of pub that could be a good lunch or dinner spot as well as a place for non-club style nightlife. Ormsby's-esque, if you will.

    And @madrussian, you make some good points about what Atlantic Station used to be and the problems it used to have. Mark Toro and his company have made it clear in all the media coverage of this that their goal is to fix those problems. They're talking with ATL locals, working together, focusing on local concepts... they want to GIVE the place a soul. If Westside Provisions or Virginia Highlands can have one, why can't Atlantic Station?

  15. Mark,

    The sign is already up at 14th & state, maybe your lawyers can go ahead and get on it?

    Trina-A check cashing place is exactly what we DO NOT NEED here....

  16. Trader Joe's, maybe? Given the parking situation at the current Midtown location, it looks like the market could easily absorb another.

    Again, Toro, it's great that you're asking. You're a champ.

  17. @ Mad Russian: You know, I'm from Kentucky and there's an awesome British pub chain that's in OH, KY, and FL. I've been there several times when I visit and it's an incredible space and atmosphere. Not to mention I can't think of any place like it in Atlanta currently. Not sure what would need to happen to 'encourage' them to start up shop in Atlanta, but it would be a really different kind of experience for locals. The restaurant link is so Mark, if you're interested, have at it! ... I'm sure you'll find something really good, regardless. Thanks for the open line of communication!

  18. If it is going to be a franchise restaurant I would like to see Red Robin fill in that space ... only a few around GA.

  19. Why not close Fox Sports Grill and Dolce and replace them with local restaurants/bars??? It seems like it would make more sense to replace American Eagle with another retail store (maybe something new to the market or a kitchen store like Sur La Table?).

  20. You could replace American Eagle with an American Girl Boutique and Bistro - there's only one in the metro area at Northpoint Mall. If you want to attract more families that might be a good idea. I believe they have one of these at The Grove in Los Angeles if you are modeling Atlantic Station after that development...

    Also, you can sprinkle in local stores and restaurants but you also need to have a good mix of "chain" stores, of course of higher quality. For example, West Elm, Banana Republic, Z-Gallerie are all good stores. H&M is also fine. Atlantic Station definitely needs a bookstore and record store, whether it is something local or a Barnes & Noble. A coffee shop that stays open late like Octane would be great or something like Bakeshop. Also, I'd imagine a dry cleaners would be good for the people that live around there.

    Stores like J. Crew, Lucky Brand Jeans, Armani Exchange, Free People, MAC or Sephora, Top Shop, Marc by Marc Jacobs (this store is moderately priced compared to the regular Marc Jacobs store), Quicksilver, Nordstrom in the empty land next to Dillard's (would be great but I doubt that will happen), Apple, etc. This will bring in a better clientele that lives around the area and you should try to attract the "gay crowd" - they know good fashion! 🙂

    If you look at The Grove, which is very successful, they have a good mix of "mall stores" but they also have mostly local/independent restaurants. It also has a lot more park space, which is what the retail portion of Atlantic Station needs more of - more greenery and fountains would be nice.

  21. I disagree with the notion parking is a nightmare at Atlantic Station. There are enough entrances and exits if you use them. Everyone tries to go out the main entrance and we just laugh at them as we use the others. The entrance under Dillard's on the P2 level is like the best way in and out.

    The parking people there have always been nice to help us find our way.

    We park by any staircase and pop up in Atlantic Station and it's great! The first two hours are free and if we see a movie you get 4 hours. Atlantans are just too spoiled. If we have to park on the street, we use the parkmobile app and never get a ticket because it reminds us to "feed the meter" from our phone. Keep up the good work AS we will keep coming back!

  22. I can't tell whether or not some of these responses are jokes or not, but for any of the chain suggestions that aren't, it makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with some of you. Here we are, as a city, with a progressive developer actually asking the residents to opine as to what he should do to turn a development, that epitomizes the traditional developer mentality in Atlanta - which is to build something the city doesn't need - around, and people are responding with "brewpub", "mellow mushroom", and "ormsby's-esque"!?

    Hey, here's a novel concept...let's not place something in Atlantic Station that exists all over Atlanta. I know it's probably hard for a lot of people to conceptualize something truly new and creative, but let's just give it a shot. So, on that note - no shitty pubs, no pizza joints, and no replicas of a place that exists 1/2 mile away.

    I don't know how big the American Eagle space is, but if it's big enough the urban area of Atlanta could really use a higher-end/organic market. Perhaps an art gallery, that doubles as a tapas joint/cocktail lounge. Or an urban recreation center - Rock climbing wall, racquetball, etc.? Anything that doesn't exist in multiples all over this city/state would be nice. I know Atlanta has it's own character, its own persona, and a set of idiosyncrasies that make it different from everywhere else, but some of these recommendations make this city look like we're just a group of unimaginative, boring, tasteless, listless morons.

  23. def something more like west egg, or maybe something casual like a BETTER cafe 19 with a cooler patio with better drinks/food...? it would take forever for AS to actually open this up. i'll have to agree with half the stuff Urbanist said. no more pizza joints or whatever else you can find within a mile out the road.

  24. Wow! What great comments. I especially like @Sarah's suggestion that we emulate The Grove. We liked it so much, we hired the General Manager who opened it and operated it for the first five years. He is hard at work, bringing Grove-style experiences to Atlantic Station. @Urbanist, we are also hot on the trail of your "novel concept" and creative. And @Mike may be onto something. Thanks for the support @MyPitBoss.

  25. I've always been surprised that there is no bookstore in Atlanta Station. An independent bookstore would certainly fit the bill of something local and creative.

  26. Atlantic Station (the past owners) have let The Dolce Group operate rent free for years... the new operators seem to be doing the same. Fox Sports is not the target demographic for Atlantic Station. Previously Atlantic Station and Mark Toro said no more night clubs... but STRIP has a DJ booth... I guess since they are local they are exempt???

    Stop talking and make changes already...closing Geisha House (which was not a night club) and closing a national chain (ya think another national chain will come to the development as a result) was hardly a start.

    It's time to walk the walk... not talk the talk.

  27. Thanks Nigel...I'd really love to see more private enterprises show support for some real art in Atlanta (and by that I mean non pop/cartoon art - like much of what hangs on the walls at Aurora in little five). I know there are some really talented artists in Atlanta, and it would be killer if you had a really nice tapas/cocktail lounge (perhaps backed by one of Atlanta's notable chefs), that had cool art everywhere that was for sale. Hell, make the furniture and the light fixtures for sale too. Drink, Think, Eat, Buy. A DJ playing some good ambient house (because anyone with half a brain knows that a DJ booth doesn't constitute a nightclub) would add to it. Of course, a concept like this relies on a proprietor with the know how / interest to do something like this.

    Oh, and if you want to make a big dent in Atlantic Station's loitering problem, the solution has two parts - 1. Shut down the movie theater. Movie Theaters give everyone who's in high school, or too poor to spend money on anything a place to stand around and act like jackasses. Turn the move theater into a performing arts center, and offer up space to some of the theater production companies here in Atlanta. 2. Start aggressively citing/ticketing loiterers. In essence, take the steps necessary to make Atlantic Station an undesirable place for undesirables.

  28. Mark,

    I work in Atlantic Station and love the new direction it's going. I'm a 26 year old professional. Despite the current market condition (crosses fingers), I make a very good living with a large disposable income. Problem is:

    1. I never shop there. I may go to Target, the movies or Ikea. I also like Which Which and ordering breakfast from Lobby on the weekends I may go into work.

    2. I am so glad you guys started Food Truck Fridays. As a midtown resident, I can tell you how much we LOVE being outside whenever possible and patio dining. I'm not sure how you'd be able to add it to this space, but that would be a key factor.

    3. Also, there are so many Tech and State students in Atlantic Station. I never understood why Atlantic Station doesn't tap into them. A coffeehouse concept like Octane in West Midtown would be good. I don't know how you could possibly add green space, though. I've seen the master development plans and it calls for 60% more buildings. No one thought of a park or large water feature during the planning? A "town square?"

    4. When Atlantic Station was being developed, I like so may other Atlantans would drive through and loved the space. I was sorely disappointed when Dillard's opened. I don't know of anyone who shops there. It should have been a Bloomingdale's, in the least. I've heard that it would be very difficult to terminate their lease. Publix is fine. I think it should have been a Whole Foods like on Ponce with outdoor seating and foliage for sale.

    5. I usually get to work in the early morning and can leave as late as midnight. The lights are horrible! I will be the only one at a light for as much as 5 minutes and it will stay red. There can be a line of 10 cars in one turning lane and no other cars, yet it still stays red.

    6. The 17th St. bridge is not inviting nor pleasantly walkable. There are no plants or places to sit and read like the 5th St. bridge. I hope this can be corrected. I've walked it a few times and it feels like you're trekking through the desert. Why would anyone on the other side of the highway want to walk it?

    Mark, I really respect your vision. I think it's feasible and am rooting for you. Unfortunately, if I wanted to shop in a mall, I'd go to Lenox. My family came to visit from a small town, over the weekend. They wanted pizza. When California Pizza Kitchen and Mellow Mushroom came up, I said I'd rather eat a hot dog from Ikea. I think many Intowners feel this way. From Poncey-Highland to Old 4th Ward to Grant Park, we take pride in the uniqueness of our neighborhoods. You have a brand to carve and it's not "mall suburbia."

  29. The folks behind Sweetwater Brewing should take this opportunity to create a restaurant/brewery concept, with a quality chef, which would introduce the brand to AS' tourist stream and be so local and unique it'll attract intowners. More class than kitsch. But fun.

  30. Couldn't agree more with the last post. I live on Peachtree near 17th, very near AS and much closer to it than anything on the "midtown mile" so I am really pulling for this project. The major thing as I've mentioned before is connectivity to midtown I am less than a mile but have NEVER walked. Living in midtown my goal is to use my car as little as possible in the neighborhood and Atlantic station just doesn't fit into this. I know you most likely have no control over the bridge but getting with the DOT and doing something, anything to make it more inviting is a crucial step and one that is paramount to any future success of Atlantic station. There is already some sort of framework it just needs to be covered to provide shade and some benches added. My suggestion for the retail mix is destination all the way. I'm in the school of thought that for the most part, if I can go there at Lenox, then I will. Despite being a mall, the atmosphere of Lenox is teeming with energy and will not be reproduced. I'm not sure their lease situation or what their sales are but publix is definitely one I would like to see changed. Not only does it seem out of place but it's inconvenient to boot. I will go to Target then come back across the connector to plaza midtown or Ansley mall to go to Publix because the experience at those locations is just better. Whole Foods would be great, I, like most in the midtown core would love one within walking distance and I don't necessarily feel served by the ponce location. Fresh Market would be another option. I also think an Apple store is a must to get the feel and clientele you are seeking and computers/electronics happen to be a category hugely lacking in Midtown. Not sure about a new restaurant, maybe approach Bone Garden Cantina about a more prominent location they would do gangbusters with a patio on the weekend. Also would love a Barnes and Noble, I'm sure they are far from expansion mode at this point but they may be interested in the market since it is wide open with the closure of Borders.

  31. Something unique to the region could be nice even if it's a chain. Would love to see a fish taco joint like Wahoo's, an In-And-Out burger, or one of those Japanese Sake Bars that are popping up everywhere in LA & NYC. Also, gourmet food carts.

    It could be nice to play up what Atlanta already has regionally. Another Varsity location would draw big crowds. Some authentic soul food or high-end southern fare like JCT or ESS would be a good fit. Maybe something Coke-related?

  32. ponceyhighland#1 got it right when he asked to fix the 17th street bridge. Midtown Alliance CEO Susan Mendheim has a vision of Atlantic Station and the Midtown Mile one day complementing each other instead of competing, but the 17th street bridge acts more like a big divider than a bridge. it's not a long walk, and most people don't take advantage of the shuttle from marta.

  33. @JT Publix and Fresh Market are nice, but they already exist in Atlanta. I currently live in Maryland and here there's a popular grocery called Mom's Organic where patrons can really do all of their shopping even though everything offered is organic. There are only seven in the world and they are all currently in either Maryland or Virginia. People are really attracted to the shop and it would be unique to Atlantic Station. I think there are a lot of groceries that could be unique to Atlantic Station that would attract a lot of people.

  34. I think a PinkBerry would be great. Maybe a Pinkberry AND an organic food restaurant. Since many people are saying a breakfast place, maybe a highland bakery or flying biscuit.

  35. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, but there are a few things you won't see:

    1) Another grocery store. I have always heard that part of Publix's lease involved a limit on the competition in Atlantic Station. Again, a rumor, I guess, but certainly nothing to contradict it so far.

    2) The movie theater going away. I have heard that the theater there has some of the highest ticket sales in the country. Very surprising to me, but if that's true, I can't see an anchor like that with that kind of track record leaving or (unfortunately) changing.

    3) A business going in that is or can double as a workout facility. This is even more speculative than my previous points, but I don't see Atlantic Station putting in a competitor to LA Fitness.

    I think it's helpful to understand why certain ideas won't fly, but we rarely get explanations from Toro and Atlantic Station management about that. It's certainly understandable, but it would feel more like a dialog if it wasn't just us throwing ideas into the social media void.

    To not just be negative, here are suggestions for what should go there if it is to become a restaurant:

    Breakfast/brunch - AS is in dire need of this. There's no reason to head to AS before noon, and I'm not getting out of bed to get hotel food (sorry, Lobby, but that's all I can see you as). Get people to start their weekends at AS - not just end them. I can't tell you how much money I've blown on a weekend morning after having started it out at breakfast/brunch.

    Beer - Well, more than that, but there is nowhere in AS to get a good beer. Doesn't really matter what food you offer in conjunction. As much as I hate beer snobs, they do flock to these places. Although it wouldn't happen, something like a Sweetwater brewery/restaurant would bring in the polo shirts and boat shoes in droves. But I would rather see something like this displace Fox.

    Coffee - Again, not an exciting idea, but something that AS is missing. I work in groups a lot for school, and we never head to AS, which really sucks, since I live there. If you want students to consider visiting AS, then you need to give them a reason.

    I would love to see some sort of "destination" restaurant, but that depends on what's available.

  36. As a note to those of you that have suggested Publix go away -- those of us who live in Atlantic Station need a grocery store within walking distance that is less of a spectacle and more of a convenience. Have you ever tried to buy your essentials at Whole Foods? I love Whole Foods, but it's more of a place to go when you're looking for something special or you want the experience of shopping in a cool, urban atmosphere with unique foods.

    Secondly, I've lived in Atlantic Station for three years now. I was seriously considering leaving until Mark and his group showed up with promises of a brighter future for the development. I'm a huge fan of the potential and the uniqueness of living in a brown field development! My suggestions to others is to not worry about what it will take to convert the old AE space into a restaurant space, and instead just answer the question Mark is asking! What kind of restaurant would you like to see????

    As for me, I'm a fan of anything that attracts the crowd you're going for and gets rid of the loud, disrespectful kind that take over on Friday and Saturday nights. While walking across from Publix on Saturday an enormous Escalade rolled up filled to the brim and playing ridiculously loud music. The security guard stopped them and made them turn off the music. That was awesome! Keep up the good work and Atlantic Station will be what it was meant to be evenutally. Rome wasn't built in a day!

  37. I actually thought of a Dave 'n Busters for about 10 seconds and then realized it would do nothing to help with the problems, in fact it may make them worse. But I walked it recently and here is what I as resident would like to see

    Things I'd like to see leave:
    Old Navy
    Cheesecake Bistro
    10 pin
    Doc Greens
    Fox Sports Grill
    Fishhook Grill

    Things I'd like to see stay:
    Banana Republic
    Regal Cinemas
    Jos.A Bank
    West Elm
    Z Gallerie
    LA Fitness

    Possible things I'd like to see added, chains and otherwise:
    Nordstrom Rack (possibly replacing Old Navy)

    Bloomingdales ( replacing Dillards)

    Perhaps another location of 'The Family Dog' from Morningside

    Felinis and Lafonda combo (missing from Midtown and is an ATL neighborhood favorite)

    Chipotle instead of Moes's

    Corner Bakery or Panera

    Perhaps a Midtown location of an Atlanta mexican favorite like No Mas or Bone Garden

    Whole Foods

    Dean and Deluca

    maybe Sports Authority's new smaller neighborhood concept

    Another sort of neighborhood watering whole like publik house

    something to replace strip, perhaps approach Kevin Rathbun?

    Book store, national or otherwise

    Urban Outfitters

    and last but not least APPLE, APPLE, APPLE!

  38. I think a reduction in retail overall would help. If this is live work play then make it that and lower the ratio of retail to a point it is not a shopping destination. It should be thought of as a neighborhood. So no chains.

    Love the SweetWater idea.

  39. I'm a late 20s professional and have always loved Atlantic Station. I shop at Target, K-LA, DILLARDS (yes, folks DO shop there! have you seen their shoe section? and they carry MAC and BCBG!), Gap, DSW.. I go to the movies, and I even sometimes eat there (although i don't LOVE any of the places; really wish you would get rid of Subways and which which and bring Potbelly's to ATL!).

    I'm actually kinda sad this retail space is going to turn into a restaurant space... isn't Geisha House closed w/ no development? Even that corner where the Noni restaurant was... But then again I don't eat a ton at AS. I would also love a tapas place, but again that's also overdone in ATL. A GOOD breakfast/brunch spot would be great... (BTW, does anyone actually like Cafe 19? I suppose that's a wanna-be deli/coffee shop but I've never been attracted to it). Or maybe something chill and intimate similar to apres diem.

    If you have to bring in another retailer.. please consider zara :).

  40. I honestly wrote Atlantic Station off last year after a parking incident/utterly rude response by management... but willing to give it another chance if changes are made...
    BUT.. I think one of the key issues that faces changing the feel and image of the place remains the same across retail/food/entertainment.... The things that will make the development attractive to the Atlantans who have written the place off will be unique things that they can't get in other places in the city..
    The mistake in the beginning was all that crap retail that you could get in any suburban mall...
    The future choices need to be unique and distinctive...
    A major retail anchor like Hermes, Prada or an Apple store (there are others in town yes, but they are always mobbed) mixed with some unique mid level retail... H&M is a good example of a current tenant that is unique...
    Same in food... Something like Pinkberry would be good, or Whataburger (while not gourmet food, there isn't one in 3 states and you can ask anyone from TX about whether they would go eat there)
    or getting a popular Decatur restaurant to open a location in Atlantic Station, something that Northsiders would like to eat at but don't think about going to Decatur regularly to go to...
    The key to changing the perception of the place and forcing out the undesired elements is offering people something they can't get in other parts of the city and then giving them a good experience once they get there so they keep coming back...

  41. Also In terms of changing the retail.. What about an REI express? A smaller version that supplements the larger store that they have up 85 but is closer to the midtown westmidtowm crowd when they need outdoor stuff.. Hell they could even bike there from midtown.. Or if not REI then a Patagonia or North Face..
    And whoever said Dean and Deluca.. Something distinctive like that would be great.. And it's gourmet so it really doesn't clash with Publix which is basic groceries..

  42. I've been an Atlantic Station homeowner since 2005. I think Atlantic Station has the potential to be a destination that people all over Atlanta enjoy visiting.

    I agree with @Slowfood and many others that the parking situation needs to improve. It's fine for people who know the deck, but I can see how it can be a nightmare for newcomers and occasional visitors. All the entrances need to be easier to find. Most visitors end up entering from Market and it clogs up Market onto 17th St.

    I agree that many of the lights need to be recalibrated, particularly 17th and State and 17th and Village.

    I agree with @Sarah and @ponceyhighland#1 that Atlantic Station needs to add a bookstore and/or coffee shop. Something like Octane (Westside) or Java Vino (Poncey-Highland). These are good local establishments that have devoted followings. People like to go there to hang out, drink coffee, read, and work on their laptops/iPads.

    I agree with @Local Foodie that FOX Sports Grill should close. FOX Sports Grill is a bad excuse for a sports bar. Good examples, even though they are chains, are Hudson Grille and Taco Mac. Heck, bring Jocks & Jills back to Midtown if you have to! At least you can actually buy a beer and watch sports at those places without having to crane your neck and pay X amount of dollars to spend an extra hour to watch *sports* there.

    I disagree with @Urbanist about shutting down the movie theater. It's one of the best things about Atlantic Station. I'm stoked they added IMAX last winter. Keep it open.

    Other examples of cool metro Atlanta restaurants and pubs that would be a welcome addition to Atlantic Station, IMO and some of these have already been mentioned:

    Brickstore Pub
    Holeman & Finch
    The Porter
    JCT Kitchen
    Empire State South
    Hankook Taqueria
    Community Q BBQ

    I know the froyo market has really exploded in Atlanta over the past few years, but I think a froyo shop (good examples: Yogurberry, Pinkberry, Yoforia) in Atlantic Station would be sustainable. It would be another great option for people looking for dessert after dinner or a snack while shopping and Georgia Tech students would eat it up.

    As for shopping, while I live in Atlantic Station, I still do a lot of my clothes shopping at Lenox because the clothiers I like are there. Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, H&M are good. Maybe replace the others with more upscale brands.

    @MajorShopperATL made a great suggestion for some sort of outdoors gear store.

    Keep Cirque du Soleil coming back and other events like Cavalia. Also, try to get the local pro sports teams (Braves, Falcons, Hawks) to do more fan meet-and-greet events. I enjoyed the AT&T Classic/PGA Tour promotional events in 08. The free shuttle to TPC Sugarloaf was nice.

    @marktoro, great job to you and your team for all the changes so far. I like Which Wich, Food Truck Fridays, the free summer movie series, scooter spots, and Twitter updates. Keep the changes coming!

  43. coffee
    retail: Marc by Marc Jacobs!
    Topshop/Topman(if they would consider Atlanta? so far only NY and Chicago have one)
    or anything new to the atlanta market

  44. @Local Foodie, I've got two words for you: bite me. Changes are underway and we are well ahead of schedule. Feel free to sit back and snipe while we actually make things happen.

    To all of others who offered thoughtful insights, I have two words for you: thank you.

  45. First off, Thanks Mark Toro for asking for our input. I was one of the first owners of a condo in Element and bought pre-construction. I was so dissapointed about the boring architechture of AS when construction was complete and it was opened up to the public. I have not been to Grove in LA but am sure it is nice. I have been to city place in West Palm Beach and loved it! I just cannot believe that the developers did not go that direction instead of the disaster that we have now. Atlantic Station had the biggest drop in real estate values out of any zip code in metro Atlanta simply because the development was such a dissapointment compared to what it was hyped up to be pre-construction. I paid 325K for my 2 bedroom condo and they are now selling them brand new for 150K. Needless to say, after living in AS for almost 3 years, I walked away back in Oct and am renting a really nice house for half the price of my monthly mortgage in the awsome neighborhood of Grant Park. I have not been back to AS since but think its great that you are trying to fix it.

    To the people complaining about the parking. Cry me a river. Its 2 hours free, and if you watch a movie, its additional 2 hours free. If 4 hours off free parking is not enough, then pay $2 extra bucks to park longer. If you can't afford $2, then the retailers and restaurants of AS dont want you there anyways because you are a broke loser! try other entrances and exits like the one on 16th instead of going into the ones that everybody else uses. Duh!
    More fountains and water features would be cool in AS,
    Fix the loooong red lights in the turn lanes on 17th.
    A sweetwater restaurant/pub would be money anywhere in ATL
    a British or Irish Pub with authentic architecture like Ri Ra or Fado would be awsome!
    a bookstore
    DEFINITELY NO pizza places or Mexican restaurants. plenty of those in West Midtown or Midtown. AS needs unique places.
    A restaurant by the owners of Apries Diem,Carrol St Cafe, and Amuse would be cool. All there spots are very unique and chill.
    Definitely take a drive to Decatur and try to sway some of those cool restaurants and pubs over to AS. They are all great over there and maybe they would be interested in possible expansion.

    Lastly, to the poster that wants a check cashing place. WTF. Ever heard of direct deposit?

  46. @MarkToro (or should we say the Intern of Mark Toro), just because I (and I am not alone) don't drink up your Kool-Aid like the rest of Atlanta no need to get your britches in a ruffle. I'm entitled to my thoughts just as you are.

    The truth of the matter is that you are "giving away" places by offering local businesses the "opportunity" to move into Atlantic Station with a percent only rent and the ability to walk-away after 12 months (I know several businesses who have been offered this, so please do not deny this as it is a fact). What is going to happen when you have another disaster on your hands when all these people that relocate because of "lower rent" don't get the business they need to sustain.

    Let's revisit this post at the end of June when The Dolce Group continues to operate without paying any rent, American Eagle sits empty, and nothing else changes... then we can see who really knows what they are talking out.

  47. Eh, Local Foodie - there's a difference between a realist and a pessimist and I think you're bordering on the latter. I hope your predictions do not come true.

    @MarkToro - Retail-wise, Sur La Table would be a great addition as would Dean and Deluca. Perhaps a Bang and Olufsen. For apparel, a store like Trina Turk would be a nice addition to Atlanta's scene - which is still being left in the afterthought of Dallas.

    Speaking of Dallas, West Village is a good model to follow. They fit the same mold of AS, but are much better designed.

    And as for the street infrastructure - it is SO Atlanta. I cannot believe the simple things such as putting the traffic signals on poles rather than wires were overlooked. And like so many areas in Atlanta, the traffic would be greatly improved if our DOT engineers would properly time traffic signals and utilize sensors. Every other modern city in the US does it. Why can't we?

  48. Mark, I know this issue has been hashed out all over these blog posts, but I've never said anything about it until now. We've lived in Atlantic Station for years, and what I find, for the most part, is that this crazy demographic that infiltrates the district on Friday and Saturday nights is so far opposite those of us who have committed thousands upon thousands of dollars to live here, shop at Publix, and keep the various stores in business. Last night, I went to see a movie at Regal and was appalled at the behavior of the people who were standing around in line and actually watching the movie. I can't help but feel angry about the fact that I sink so much money into the experience of living in this development so I can have the excitement of being in the city, yet I am the one who feels as though I don't belong when I choose to walk across my neighborhood. I am not a racist, nor am I someone who is generalizing this "subculture" to include all African Americans. I'm a white person who invests absolutely no pride in the southern white subculture of rednecks. To me, this thuggish culture is the equivalent to that same kind of thing. There are plenty of African Americans who live in and frequent Atlantic Station who are absolutely upstanding and fine people. I live among them and I an attest to that. However, these people who are coming in on the weekends and revving cars, blaring radios, screaming, and being downright disrespectful to everyone around them is your primary problem for this development.

    From your arrival here I have had great confidence in your ability to transform and "fix" Atlantic Station. There is SUCH great potential here and I have no doubt that you can achieve your goals of making it a destination for the actual population of Midtown Atlanta and even the surrounding parts of the city. However, I always fear that if this fundamental problem isn't taken care of we'll be in a situation where those new restaurants and trendy stores that do choose to lease space in Atlantic Station will be overrun by the same clientele. And, let's be honest, they're not spending real money here. They're just taking advantage of the parking and loitering. While standing in line for the movies last night, I was really amazed to see the kind of folks going in and out of Strip. I know that closing Geisha House was a step in the right direction of closing down the "nightclub" atmosphere of the development, but perhaps you should also re-evaluate the other restaurants, etc. It just makes me sad that a place with such great potential is being driven in the ground by these kinds of issues. This is Midtown Atlanta, and we should be setting an example for what the responsible, modern Atlanta resident looks like. This subculture is certainly not that representation.

    This isn't a critique of the great work you're doing. You have the support of so many who share my opinion. I feel confident in your ability to fix these issues. After a frustrating experience last night, I just felt the need to speak my mind, and remind you that these issues persist.

  49. Concerned Resident, thank you for your thoughtful insights. I live nearby and share your concerns. You are correct in your observation that we should be setting an example for the responsible modern Midtown Atlanta resident. APD Chief Turner put it best when I met him last summer: "what Atlantic Station needs is fewer non-productive individuals". I couldn't have articulated it better. Our goal is to make Atlantic Station a place where you and your neighbors are comfortable spending time...and money. After all, this is a commercial enterprise and it is critical that our retailer and restaurants are supported by the community. Thanks, again. Stay in touch.

  50. @LocalFoodie-- As Mark Toro's ACTUAL intern, I can attest that every comment, post, and tweet you see with the name "Mark Toro" attached to it is 100% written by him.

    Our team looks forward to disproving your doubts.

  51. Hey Local Foodie, take your cheese and wine and go cry somewhere else. This thread is for positive suggestions to Mark and his team to make improvements to AS. Nobody wants to hear your "talk down on me" tone here. @Mark, I know I mentioned it in my ealier post, but I think you should definitly go hang out in Downtown Decatur a few nights and try to talk to some of the owners of the restaurants and pubs there. Im not a regular over in Decatur but I know they have had a postive thing going on over there for years!

  52. Mark as a Atlantic Station resident (the Atlantic) I am 100% behind the positive vision you and your team have. I would like to add my 2 cents by saying a Eclipse di Luna would be a great addition to Atlantic Station.

    Also as much as I love the free shuttle I think that is part of the problem as well. Possibly cutting the shuttle off at 6 pm on the weekends or limiting the shuttle to just persons with a "A Card" would go a long way in limiting the amount of "non productive persons" in Atlantic Station.

  53. Last thing, I also own a condo Downtown Decatur and they have a really great eatery called Cakes & Ale. That place is spot on for what type of vibe you are looking to bring into AS.

  54. Hi Mr. Toro,

    EVOS would be cool. It is healthy fast food but it is really really good food. The one in midtown next to starbucks has horrible customer service so I no longer go there. The last time I went there a "worker" who was off duty was standing in the middle of the floor with her uniform on eating a freaking burger! are you serious? But I know that is managements fault! I said all that because what ever restauraunt comes to Atlantic Station has to be professional. has to be somewhat regal. I live in buckhead next to St. Regis and you will never ever see "unproductive individuals" black or white at the St. Regis. You know why? because it is a standard set from the start. I know you have inherited a situation that was not set from the start as a high end place for work and play so I understand where you are trying to come from. My husband and I used to frequent Atlantic station almost every other day in 2006 and 2007 spending money everytime we were there but after being in the "lobby" one evening and seeing what i thought were prostitutes at the bar soliciting I said " smh dang this is going to get out of hand real quick" and now 5 years later here we are. People were to caught up in making money and had no management skills or know how in keeping money generating in this atmosphere. As far as the "non productive individuals" a lot of it is ignorance and young people with no home training.. and lack of rule enforcement.. It should be a place where celebrities and the common person can intermingle with no problem. Instead it has become a parade of ignorance in a sense. Now I am an African american woman and my husband is an african american male so If I see it as part of the problem then ... it is definitely a problem. I am hoping that Atlantic station will become what it started out to be when it was being built and that is a city within the city that is sophisticated, polished, and has a standard of "if you come here you have to act like you have common sense"
    Also how about turning the Regal Cinema into a Fork and Screen type of movie/restauraunt. That will bring in a different type of atmosphere and

    1.EVOS (organic fastfood)
    2.Montys (highend seafood restauraunt) it was one by Lenox Mall in 2003 absolutely wonderful
    3.Shark Bar: highend soul food very very good food

  55. Urbanist, I thought we saw eye to eye when you wrote about the need for more apartments, but your comment on this thread was downright ridiculous.

    I'm a little perplexed by the "non-productive individuals" comments. They sound a little racist (or at least age-ist) to me. Where else are the kids supposed to hang out? It ain't like there's a decent youth center or skating rink nearby. The movie theater is the main reason I go to Atlantic Station and I've never had a problem with "undesirables" or whatever other degrading codewords y'all are using on this thread... (although I prefer to travel a little further to pay lower ticket prices for my movies).

    As for the empty space, some affordable ethnic food would be nice. How about Indian, Thai or Jamaican with a carry-out option?

  56. Edgar, as someone who frequents the movies at Atlantic Station and lives there, I can attest to the onslaught of 'non-productive individuals.' And as for a place for the "kids to hang out," I don't think the age bracket your referring to would even know what a skating rink is. Private property built for shopping, entertainment and dining (where people spend money) is not a hang out space for unattended youth.

  57. @ Edgar - Are you referring to my comment about eliminating the movie theater that was "downright ridiculous"? I'm sorry if you don't want to be as blunt as I do, but it's true. Perhaps you don't have a "problem" in the interactive sense of the word, but that doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of people in Atlantic Station who loiter around the movie theater. It gives them a place to stand around, without spending any money, doing nothing - and that presents a bad image.

    Don't try to turn this into some issue of racism. That's a weak and feeble attempt to undermine an otherwise factual statement with an emotionally charged claim. I don't care what color you are, if you're hanging around outside a business, doing nothing, creating congestion, and on occasion, causing trouble, you're an undesirable. There's a reason Toro bought Atlantic Station at a ~22% discount to cost, and the loiterers and "undesirables" are a large part of that.

  58. @Urbanist - You say the problem is that this highly economically successful movie theater is giving "everyone who’s in high school, or too poor to spend money on anything a place to stand around and act like jackasses." I contend that said 'problem' isn't a real problem at all, but for the sake of argument, let's just pretend that your crude claim is valid.

    Now, how exactly is a loitering crackdown and an economically braindead 'conversion of the movie theater into a performing arts center' going to make Atlantic Station better? It will surely cut down on traffic to the area, as none of the metro's other performing arts centers bring in a fraction of the customers the city's busiest movie theater boasts. If you remove the main destination venue from Atlantic Station and a replace it with one that will attract 95-percent less people on a daily basis, what happens to all of the other businesses?

    And how exactly does one go about 'cracking down on loitering' in a shopping/entertainment area designed to facilitate pedestrian traffic. Last I checked, Atlantic Station wants people to 'loiter' and spend time going from store to store to restaurant. Are you aware that Toro and company are screening free outdoor movies on Thursday nights to encourage folks to stick around the area? Standing or sitting in a common area for 2 hours sure sounds like loitering to me.

    It's not like the Regal is the first movie theater to be a hangout spot for high schoolers. Movie theaters have served that function since the drive-ins of the 1950's.

    If you want to deter unproductive loitering, how about turning the American Eagle space into an active teen center? There aren't any of those around the area.

    But you really don't want to give the kids something more productive to do, you just don't want the wealthy Atlantic Station folks being forced to mingle with people outside of their socio-economic class--hence the arts center/loitering crackdown idea.

  59. @Urbanist - And the "discount" sale of Atlantic Station had everything to do with the sharp decline in real estate values caused by the great recession and the slow recovery, at least according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It had nothing to do with 'undesirables.' I'm sure some of those empty condo developments you lampooned in your guest blog on this site have been auctioned for 'discounts' far exceeding -22% of cost. And they don't have 'loitering problems.'

    Your ignorance (and prejudice) is showing.

  60. @ Edgar - Since you asked for rationalization, which is clearly needed, here it is. Loitering, in general, is bad for businesses. It creates traffic, and is more often than not engaged in by people that distract the type of people businesses want - people with money to spend - from frequenting said businesses. There is a reason why many places and businesses have a "no loitering" rule, after all.

    Now, the fact that the movie theater itself is profitable, while a positive thing for the theater, and a less positive thing for the owner of the real estate, isn't all gumdrops and candy if it is creating an environment that destroys economic value for the rest of the development. If the theater was isolated, on its own parcel of land, and there were a bunch of people loitering in the parking lot, but not interfering with other businesses, the issue would be entirely different. However, the people that come to Atlantic Station to loiter do in fact interfere with other businesses, and that is problematic.

    What you're failing to realize is that loiterers aren't economic contributors. They don't go into these businesses and buy dinners, or drinks, or clothing, or pay for entertainment. They stand around outside, like jackasses. If you run a business would you want your place of business to be located where people who wanted to spend money could come and do so, without interference, or would you want to be in an area where the environment is so unattractive and congested with an undesirable crowd, that it deters potential patrons from frequenting your store. I'd put my money on the fact that every store owner in AS would, if asked the question, want the loitering significantly reduced.

    Screening movies brings people to Atlantic Station with a purpose. You come for the movie, and maybe you stay afterwards to spend some money. Loitering is the opposite. You come without a purpose and with no intentions to really spend any money, rather, you loiter!

    I actually advocated for the AE space to be turned into somewhat of a recreation center in one of my earlier posts, so, despite this little rant you're having, I can rest assure you're not a complete imbecile.

    You're entirely incorrect about my "not wanting people to mingle outside of their socio-economic class". As a matter of fact, I favor diverse socializing more than almost anything else in urban atmospheres. What I don't support, however, it unproductive people congesting a space and making it unattractive to people who would otherwise be there contributing economic force to the area.

    Lastly, the price Toro paid was 22% less than what it would cost to build this project. When you buy something below replacement cost, it's not as simple as "real estate values declined". It's because the asset itself has bigger problems. Opportunistic investors buy assets like this, because they believe they can fix these problems, and create a tremendous amount of value. If you think that the decline of Atlantic Station, and the multiple distressed sales that it has gone through doesn't have something to do with the fact that it has attracted a bad crowd that loiters, and contributes to the crime problem there, then you're living in a dream world.

    And you're right...those condo developments have sold for far less than 22% of cost, and they don't have know why? Because none of those condo developments have movie theaters attached to them (or other places that enable loitering).

    My prejudice against people who commit crime, loiter, have little to no economic contribution to make, and damage the economic value that could otherwise be achieved by businesses, should be abundantly clear. Your insinuations that my prejudice has anything to do with race is flat out wrong and insulting. It never surprises me, however, that the weakest minds always result to some emotionally charged claim of "racism" or the like, to make a point, since their intellect isn't sufficient enough.

  61. @ urbanist -- OK, so you admitted that other real estate in Atlanta has been selling for less than cost, yet you still insist that loitering near the movies at Atlantic Station is what devalued that property? Who is running on insufficient intellect here?

    I challenge you to stand in front of the movies for a night at AS and single out the 'loiterers' from those who are either waiting for friends before they go to a movie or restaurant, strolling among businesses, etc. Unless you follow everyone around all night, you can't tell who is spending money and who is not.

    Any destination location attracts crowds. There's a huge difference between loitering in front of the 711 or a free-standing Target and a group of young people converging at a mall/Atlantic Station/The Riverwalk in Savannah, etc. These places were designed for pedestrian traffic.

    And the more you keep setting up that racism strawman fallacy, the more you look like a mental midget. My statement regarding the use of codewords like un-productive individuals sounding 'a little racist,' should not be twisted into me accusing anyone of being an actual racist. There's a huge difference between the two. When I said your ignorance and prejudice are showing, it was entirely in regard to your pea-brained notion that the issue of loitering had any significant bearing on the price Toro paid for Atlantic Station.

  62. I never said loitering was the only reason. I said it was "a" reason. Discounted sales can happen for a lot of different reasons. Condos in Atlanta sell below cost because there is such a gross mis-alignment between supply/demand. Atlantic Station, as a whole, is selling at such a discount, as it has problems like supply/demand to contend with, as well as crime, loitering, and a whole host of other issues. I never said "loitering near the movie theater is why AS has failed multiple times over as a development". What I said was, verbatim - if you want to make a big dent in Atlantic Station’s loitering problem, the solution has two parts – 1. Shut down the movie theater.

    Shut down the theater = make big dent in loitering problem. I also made it clear that loitering has played a part in the problems that AS has gone through. There's no question about that. It would be simple to stand in front of the theater and pick out the loiterers. Anyone with one eye, and half a brain could do it.

    The places you mentioned, Atlantic Station, Riverwalk, etc. are designed for pedestrian traffic...the kind that moves in between the stores, restaurants, and entertainment establishments, spending money and buying goods. They weren't designed to be a platform for people to create congestion, commit crime, and detract consumers who would otherwise frequent these businesses. The latter, unfortunately, is what AS turned into, and it has had (along with other factors) incredibly destructive effects on the development.

    It's clear we're going to have to agree to disagree, but I'll just let the development speak for itself. If Toro is successful with the project, and Atlantic Station starts attracting the type of consumers that the businesses want, and crime falls, I will guarantee you that the loitering presence will be substantially less.

  63. I work for Mark Toro's team at Atlantic Station, and we've used your feedback from this thread (and other blog posts, forums, Facebook statuses, etc) to compile this survey on what, EXACTLY, kinds of restaurants and stores you want to see at Atlantic Station:

    The results of the survey are going to directly impact the direction we take with several of the available spaces at Atlantic Station. Thanks for your input! By the way, if you complete the survey and register your email address at the end, you'll be in the running to win one of five $100 gift cards. Thanks all!

  64. As someone who lived through the civil rights movement here in Atlanta I am shocked and appalled by the blatant racism regarding Atlantic Station and the PR campaign to remove African Americans from patronizing the businesses there. If you keep this up AS we will put together a boycott that will make your heads spin. keep it up! We are organizing our people very soon and we will not stop until we end every hint of exclusion. And for the people who are intolerant to other races and religions please move back to your lily white neighborhoods where you will not have to deal with us "negroes".

  65. I rarely hear white people refer to their children and their lower socio-economic brothers and sisters as "undesirables" and "non-productive" you can go to the mall of georgia and see the same activity. The only difference is that they are white youth. It is very easy to throw away black people so I understand the comments here. When will black people begin to protect our youth from the cultural biases that push them to the margins of society. I have heard management at Atlantic Station discussing the tactics to reduce "undesirables" sounds alot like what Richs department store was doing back in "61". Here is a tip Mark Toro put a small version of atlantic station on the other side of the tracks and put a sign on 17th street that says WHITES ONLY!... MAYOR REED SHOULD NOT ALLOW YOU TO BYPASS PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS AND GIVE YOU CART BLANCH TO OUR (PREDOMINANTLY AFRICAN AMERICAN) CITY but I guess Its another case of Blacks getting excited about being around "the man". Give up all the resources and leave nothing for the people. Look at the native americans, the rape of the African continent where for every $1 given in aid $10 is taken out of the continent. Atlanta is a Black city and you whites need to deal with us or leave. Our poor and lower class brothers and sisters arent your trash to be thrown away. And we will not $upport this nonsense.

  66. Several months ago a man was arrested at AS for threatening to have a bomb. The task force was called out and police tackled the man to the ground. The man was a twenty something WHITE MALE from North Georgia. You can ask the 20 Atlantic Station employees on this post. Its true. Crime at AS caused by a white guy. Western (white culture) is the most violent and destructive in the world. So please do not judge black people as criminals because they play music loud and due to lack of equal opportunities some choose illegal opportunities that will allow them live like everyone else in this "great" country. My son was a promoter at the geisha house and said they would make up to $70,000 in one night thats a lot of money spent by "unproductive individuals" fact is the black consumers that AS is trying so hard to kick out would help them recoup their investment quicker. Turn Atlantic station to a watered down version of midtown provisions and trade in the "ballers" with $2 food trucks and locally grown broke customers who want fine dining for cheap. The businesses wont be able to pay the rent and the next real estate conglomerate will buy AS out of bankruptcy for $.10 on the dollar. good luck with this nonsense you racist bastards.

  67. @ AUC - a few things:

    "Western (culture) is the most violent and destructive in the world" - Really? Because I'm pretty sure western civilization is what the entire world aspires to. It's the social and humane advancements that western culture has made that pushes even the most resolutely anti-American cultures to take steps towards "westernization". I'd say radical islam is probably the most violent, and as far as destructive goes, I can think of a continent that is highly self destructive, and guess what, it's not North America.

    "My son was a promoter at Geisha House...$70k in one night...that's a lot of money spent by 'unproductive individuals' ". - You're right, that is a lot of money spent by unproductive individuals. But hey, that's what provides employment to bad debt collectors and credit resolution centers, so I guess it's not all that bad.

    "Trade in the 'ballers' " - I think most of this city would trade in the 'ballers' for almost anything. However, what you don't realize is that these 'ballers', as well as these 'undesirables', has nothing to do with race. The same 'ballers' that are at the Geisha House, are the same 'ballers' at Tongue & Groove. They're the "I earn $50k per year, shop at the outlet malls, bedazzle my own shirts, and this watch - yeah, it's a knock off" crowd that likes to wander around Geisha House, and other similar venues, flaunting wealth that's only supported by a maxed out line from Mastercard.

    Now, I don't really know anything about the community college you teach for, but you really shouldn't liken things to race that have nothing to do with race.

  68. @AUC- Geisha house was making $70,000 a night? Then why weren't they paying their rent to the previous owners? In fact, none of the Dolce group spots were paying rent... and guess what? Those were the favorite hangouts of your "ballers."

    It's business. Owners want tenants who will do great sales and pay their rent on time every month. Clubs like Geisha are not that kind of tenant.

  69. @AUC PROFESSOR allow me to clarify one thing. The words "what Atlantic Station needs is fewer non-productive individuals" are APD Chief Turner's, not mine. I am available to discuss this matter, at your convenience. Please call my Atlantic Station office at 404.965.9060 to set an appointment to meet.

  70. @Urbanist... Do you actually read what you write on this thread before you hit send? Can you even comprehend the fact that you just (again) utilized a wholly white supremacist argument (Western culture is what the world aspires to) to insist that you and your comments on this thread are not racist (even though the comments at least most certainly are).

    Please start using your real name in these comments. Just in case you're actually doing some form of business in the Atlanta area, I'd like to know who to boycott.

    And in the name of fairness, my name is Edgar Alverson, I live near Atlantic Station and I'm a writer/editor for a private business to business group. Before that, I was the managing editor of a group of newspapers in Atlanta's southern suburbs. Prior to that I was a Naval Officer. I grew up near the airport.

  71. @ Edgar - the "western culture" that I was referring to was capitalism & democracy, and the benefits/freedom/peacefulness it provides. Neither of those two ideals have anything to do with race. I know you'd like that to be the case, so you can satisfy the really short-sighted argument you were trying to make, but unfortunately that's not going to work out for you.

    Edgar, I don't use my real name, because I don't really filter my comments on here. They're offensive to many (although most of whom are really offended deserve to be), and I'm not about to "reveal" myself to my own detriment. Anyone who is a colleague/friend/client/etc. is pretty familiar with how I feel about certain development, urban design, etc., but they just get my opinion in a much more politically correct kind of way.

  72. @ Urbanist... You responded just as I expected you would. People who write like pathetic cowards online tend to be pathetic cowards in real life. There's no point in me arguing/interacting with you any further on this forum.

  73. Call it what you want, but satisfying the curiosity of one Edgar Alverson, small town rag editor and "business writer", isn't really worth anything to me, especially at the risk of any, no matter how minor, detriment to my career.

  74. @Greg... just wanted to revisit that May 30th post that I mentioned... let's see it is July 4th and did Dolce even pay $1 toward their rent or bills in the month of June 2011... yeah that is what I thought...

    @MarkToro... in over 7 months your changes have been minimal. It seriously took you 7 months to paint columns and elevators in the parking garage colors... seems like your intern could have done that the first week.

    Why not focus on one property first before further ruining another one (Prospect Park) with your excuses and propaganda.

    Where are all these new tenants that you spoke of? Where are all these local merchants that you spoke of? Seriously, seven months and not one and you've lost a restaurant (not a club) that was unique to our area and two large national tenants. Just like the "Streets of Buckhead" was renamed, perhaps "Atlantic Station" should be renamed to "Unground Atlanta North".

  75. @marktoro... get over yourself and stop oogling about yourself on the cover of a trade magazine that only a handful of industry people care about and come back to reality.

    let's see what you've done so far...

    - Evicted Geisha House (because it was a club)... NOT TRUE

    - Let STRIP stay even though it caters to the "wrong demographic"

    - Basically admit that the "wrong demographic" is the African American youth (you do realize that the majority of the Atlanta population is African American)

    - Lost two national retailers (Banana Republic and American Eagle

    - Lost a local retailer (FIO360) that was backed by Earthlink founders... so money was not really an objection

    - Brought in Food Trucks to take away business from rent paying merchants (you think Tin Drum or Atlantic Grill is happy with this???)

    - Added a pet store to the retail mix (really... this is the best you can do. They won't be open past the end of the year... oh wait, never mind, you are GIVING AWAY retail spaces... so perhaps they will stay longer).

    - Added street performers... which increases loitering

    - Added "events" that attract people but do little to get them to SPEND MONEY in the development

    - Changing parking to paid (to obviously get rid of the African American Youth that loiters--your words)

    - Painted the elevators colors

    If these are not all positive then why are there still empty stores? Where are all these local businesses? Why are over 50% of the apartments above the retailers sitting empty?

    What's next... are you going to plant some flowers? Add speed bumps?

    WHAT A JOKE... Time to get off your soap box and actually make a MAJOR improvement instead of buying a few gallons of paint and preaching progress.

  76. @ Local Foodies - You sound like the individuals who criticize Obama for creating a recession, despite the fact that we were already in it by the time he took office.

    - The wrong demographic is the demographic that loiters on the property you own, causes congestion, instigates trouble, and commits crime. The fact that the majority of this demographic, as it relates to Atlantic Station, happens to be African American is unavoidable.

    - Lost two national retailers - They are required by lease to pay rent and stay in their space until that lease expires. These two retailers were likely planning on leaving a long time before NAP took over, and were just waiting for the lease to run out. I'm hypothesizing, but it makes sense.

    - Lost a local retailer (FIO360), which most people were completely unaware of what the service they actually offered was, much less knew they were even there. Bad business models aren't the fault of a landlord.

    - Brought in food trucks, a highly popular meal alternative right now, and a great way to draw people into your development

    - Brought a pet store, a paying tenant who wants space, into the development. So you're against NAP losing tenants, and you're against them signing new ones. Sounds like you've got quite a model for success!

    The fact is, that turning around an abysmal failure, like Atlantic Station, doesn't happen in 7 months. Period.

  77. Wait, Banana Republic is closed? I don't get it, that place was always pretty busy when I went there. That sucks. I don't get why the National retails like Banana Republic and American Eagle are closed? Were they not doing well or is this part of the revamp of Atlantic Station?

  78. I think it will take a minimum of 2 years to get AS re-tenanted to the point of having even a small impact to the project as a whole. And it could take much longer depending on when either the current leases expire and/or NAP's ability to negotiate the lease terminations of the tenants they would like to remove. It's an uphill battle for NAP but lets at least be reasonable in our expectations at this point.

  79. WOW Mark Toro...

    That's some pretty "great marketing" you've got going on there.

    What a way to bring in the customers,cliental and really change the look and "feel" of A.S.

    MarkToro says: July 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    @LocalFoodie sit back, relax, whine, bitch and moan

    Did you come up with that? or/ was that your "dream team" marketing team?

    and @greg... looks like you're following your mentor closely...
    Impressive! Mark surely is proud.

    "Geisha house was making $70,000 a night? Then why weren’t they paying their rent to the previous owners? In fact, none of the Dolce group spots were paying rent… and guess what? Those were the favorite hangouts of your “ballers.”

    WOW>.. I'm sure the National Retailer are signing those leases, with marketing like that. I bet CBRE couldn't be prouding.

    Maybe they could print those remarks in the next article about A.S.?

    and @AUC Professor.... Nicely said!

  80. Please forgive me, as I have not actually sat down to think about a restaurant I would like to see in this spot. I do realize that that was in the initial question.

    I would love to see an Art Supply Store (I know there are some within a few miles, but they are not so easily accessible-due to traffic, etc. when coming from another area of town)... perhaps that is something that would bring in the cool, creative midtown urbanite that seems to be missing in AS. .. and now I'm just brainstorming... but what about a music store ... I imagine there are plenty of musicians in the area that absolutely hate trekking to Guitar Center off of the 85 access road. It'd be yet another type of spot that would attract a creative and "productive" crowd.

    As far as a food joint... I'm all about a cool, eclectic little breakfast/brunch spot. It'd be great for visitors (friends/family) who come into town and want to see Atlantic Station and, i imagine, for the local residents of AS, as well.

    P.S. I hate to mention a chain, but I'd LOVE to see a World Market somewhere south of Buckhead.

    About me: I live near EAV and work at the top of the perimeter, and like many atlantans, I have to travel through town to get to where I need to be. AS is very accessible from my daily route. I think it's great that Mark Toro is seeking input from Atlantans, and I look forward to seeing the evolution of Atlantic Station. Also, thank you, Concerned Resident, for clearly and eloquently stating the main problem.

  81. I moved here about 9 months ago from the Twin Cities and really don't understand all of the Atlantic Station (or for that matter, City of Atlanta) bashing. I live in the heart of downtown, within a few blocks of Underground Atlanta, and I don't have any concerns that Atlantic Station will become another Underground Atlanta. Atlantic Station is near some of the most affluent parts of the City, off a major Interstate, Georgia Tech, and surrounded by housing that will someday be full. Underground Atlanta has none of that. Having moved from a Metropolitan area that is universally ranked at the top of everything (although yes, it snows), greater Atlanta (OTP) has issues. But Atlantic Station isn't a contributer to that. To this outsider's eyes it's one of the few spectacular things Atlanta has managed to create. It's one of the greatest urban redevelopments of a brownfield I've seen. For the life of me I can't understand why Atlantan's won't use it, or MARTA trains, or why they're afraid of downtown and drawn only to traffic jams and strip malls (since that seems to be the metro area's primary product). But bashing Mark Toro is ridiculous. I guarantee he had nothing to do with American Eagle or any of the other retailers closing. Those were corporate decisions made based on how WE, the consumers, behaved. If you want them to stay open, patronize them.

    That rant over, it's been said before that we need a bookstore in Atlantic Station. Given Border's closings, I doubt any National chain would be interested. But there aren't any decent used bookstores in town either. It would be difficult to get an independant up and running in the mall, but there is a national used bookstore chain that could be an option. Half Price Books is based in Dallas, has large bookstores all over the country. They're very well run and the ones I've been in fit in a store about the size of the vacant Pier One. I'm assuming the economics of your purchase of the mall would allow you to cut a deal similiar to their typical rent and they would draw the type of literate customer you want visiting. They serve a unique niche, since there aren't any good used bookstores, and Atlantic Station could provide good visibility as a flagship store in a new market with limited competition. It seems to me like it could be a match, and while it's not new and hip, I'm upper middle class and it would definately make me visit more.

  82. I like the idea of an Art Supply store. I would like even more if a restaurant like Fuego Mundo opened up at Atlantic Station.

    Gluten-free, wheat-free options available on the menu.

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