Atlantic Station’s 7 page progress report (word for word)

Atlantic Station releases six month progress report.

Six months into its reign over Atlantic Station, real estate developer North American Properties (NAP), released a detailed, seven page progress report.

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And while other media outlets decide what the hell to do with it, What Now Atlanta decided to go ahead and share — word for word — what Atlantic Station so diligently put together.

Enjoy!

P.S., make sure to speak your mind in the comment section after reading the report (NAP is begging for community input).

ATLANTA – Aug. 16, 2011 – Atlantic Station announced today a six-month “Progress Report” to give its neighbors an update on the transformative steps taken to remodel the Midtown center, including new tenants, shops and restaurants, a sweeping new public safety initiative and a $2.5 million investment to overhaul the parking facility and more than $2 million invested to improve the “guest experience.”

The progress report announced today includes the most new retailers and tenants announced at Atlantic Station since its opening in 2005, including:

  1. The new office of Creative Loafing/Atlanta, which will bring more than 40 reporters, editors and staffers from Atlanta’s legendary city weekly newspaper to Atlantic Station in November
  2. The first Atlanta location of Yard House, the California-based American fare, beer- forward, classic rock restaurant. Yard House will take the former space occupied by Dolce Enoteca in April 2012

Atlantic Station announced in January a plan to make the center more responsive to the Midtown community. As part of that process, Atlantic Station asked its neighbors – through social media and public meetings – what they wanted the center to be. The response was overwhelming, with more than 1,000 comments and suggestions. Based on that feedback, Atlantic Station announced in May a “10-point Plan,” or a list of pledges to make over the center.

Included below is Atlantic Station’s Progress Report on those pledges:

1. Listen – We promised to seek the input of the Midtown community to identify the retailers, events and programming our guests wanted to see.

WINS:

  • Asked Midtown neighbors what they wanted from Atlantic Station
  • Logged more than 1,000 responses and comments
  • Created “10-point Plan” to re-imagine Atlantic Station
  • Selected Pinkberry from numerous yogurt options via social media
  • Established a Blog in order to update, monitor and provide an open door policy for feedback

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Re-launching a completely overhauled Atlantic Station website, coming in September
  • Continuing to ask for weekly feedback via Twitter, Facebook and other outlets

2. Improve public safety – We pledged to emulate the Midtown Blue public safety model to make residents and guests feel more comfortable

WINS:

  • Opened a 24-hour Public Safety Office in the heart of the center
  • Deployed a new force of uniformed private officers
  • Doubled Atlanta Police Department man hours on property
  • Monitored parts of the center with video surveillance
  • Imposed a zero-tolerance code of conduct aimed at loitering and non-productive activity
  • Hired Wayne Mock, head of the Midtown Alliance’s successful Midtown Blue public safety program, as a consultant
  • Assigned public safety personnel to public transit shuttles

WHAT’S NEXT?

3. Fix the parking – We promised our neighbors we would completely change the parking experience

WINS:

  • Continued enforcement of Code of Conduct and zero-tolerance policy
  • Ongoing partnership with Atlanta Police Department and key city officials
  • Investing $2.5 million this summer to overhaul the parking facility, making it brighter, neater and easier to use
  • Provided a new valet service to give guests more comfort and convenience, parking 800 cars per week
  • Installed easy-to-use Parkmobile card swipe pay stations on street level spaces, the first deployment of the technology in metro Atlanta

WHAT’S NEXT?

4. Get the word out – We committed to build an unparalleled digital platform to give guests up-to-the minute information and regularly ask for comments and feedback

WINS:

  • New signage and lighting for the parking facility to deliver in September
  • Doubled social media following since January 2011: 13,750 Facebook likes, 5,800 Twitter followers
  • No. 1 Klout score (rating of social media influence) among comparable U.S. centers
  • Launched YouTube channel (15,000 unique views since launch)
  • Hired a full-time social media manager

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Re-launching new and improved Atlantic Station website in September focused on interactivity, social media channels and property-community communication
  • Continuing to lead the industry in leveraging social media to engage our neighbors, guests and the community

5. Close the nightclubs – We said late night partying and associated behaviors were not part of our vision and we would take steps to ensure a comfortable, friendly atmosphere

WINS:

WHAT’S NEXT?

6. Meet the market – We recognized that the retail and restaurant mix did not resonate with our Midtown neighbors, and we promised to retool it

WINS:

  • Signed leases for new restaurants and retailers that are more responsive to Midtown’s young, affluent consumers, including:
  1. Yard House (first location in Atlanta)
  2. Pinkberry (new intown location)
  3. Drew Lewis (local boutique)
  4. Sole (local boutique)

WHAT’S NEXT?

7. Go local – We understood our neighbors wanted fewer chains and more locally operated retailers and chef-driven restaurants

WINS:

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Introducing Designer Pop-up shops during Fashion’s Night Out – and an ongoing Pop-up shop program as a home for local retailers
  • More new local retailers, chef-driven restaurants and exciting concepts to be announced later in 2011

8. Reach out – We pledged to improve Atlantic Station by partnering with stakeholders in the community like Georgia Tech, SCAD, Piedmont Park and the Woodruff Arts Center

WINS:

  • Established new partnership with SCAD, including hosting student gallery showings and fundraisers
  • Partnered with Piedmont Park to provide green shuttles for the 2011 Dogwood Festival
  • Helping expand awareness of events, showings and concerts at Woodruff Arts Center, High Museum and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Partnering with Center for Puppetry Arts to promote shows and events

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Georgia Tech football season kickoff with the Yellow Jacket Marching Band in Central Park (August 27)
  • “College Night” – with student discounts and entertainment – coming this fall
  • Continuing the Atlantic Station “Road Show” presentations, inviting local community groups to join our transformation

9. Reprogram public spaces – We saw a need to re-imagine the open spaces at Atlantic Station to make them more welcoming, appealing and fun

WINS:

  • Food Truck Fridays – weekly lunch and dinner event based on national trend
  • Hosted two finalists from Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race”
  • ½ Street Artists Market (monthly open-air market)
  • Movies in Central Park (weekly outdoor movie series)
  • Friday Night Live (weekend local music concerts in Central Park)
  • Street performers (music, magicians and artists from around Atlanta)
  • Great American Campout with REI (partnership to promote the outdoors)
  • Wi-Fi access across the center
  • State-of-the-art Bose ambient music system with 112 speakers
  • Outdoor dining/café tables
  • Scooter & motorcycle parking
  • New landscaping, plants & flowers

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Atlanta Bar-B-B-Q Festival (returns in October)
  • Whiskey Barrel (fall Scotch festival)
  • Atlanta Track Club Sunday Marathons
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
  • New, expanded Holiday Festival (coming in November)

10. Introduce non-traditional uses – We realized that Atlantic Station had an opportunity to offer unique uses to attract positive energy to the center, such as classroom space,

  • TV and film studios

WINS:

  • Creative Loafing at Atlantic Station
  • SCAD Student Art Showings

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Atlantic Station Market Hall (coming soon!)
  • Weekly Improv in Central Park

“Atlantic Station’s improvements are already making an impact,” said Mark Toro, Managing Partner of North American Properties, which took over leasing, management and ownership of the center in January. “Since adding new experiences and amenities, guest traffic has increased and retail sales have begun to improve.” Tom Miles, General Manager for Atlantic Station, reports: “Eighty percent of our retailers are reporting double-digit increases in sales over the first six months of 2011, close to triple the national average. A number of our apparel retailers are up more than 30 percent.”

“The ‘Progress Report’ announced today is meant to show our neighbors that we heard them, and how we’re doing on our promises to remake the center,” Toro said. “We’ve made progress, but we’re just getting started. And I invite our neighbors to keep telling us how we can make Atlantic Station what we’ve wanted it to be since Day One, ‘THE center for Midtown Atlanta.’”

###

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Media Group, Inc., the publisher of What Now Atlanta, What Now Los Angeles, What Now San Diego, and What Now Las Vegas.
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AJ
9 years ago

Thanks for posting. An interesting read. I know there’s lots of patting themselves on the back, but I do believe these changes are for the better. Interesting that they’re so nonchalant about Pinkberry. While there’s a ton of yogurt places around Atlanta, Pinkberry seems to have a following. I think having the midtown Pinkberry in AS is a big win.

CB
9 years ago

Very well done, Mr Toro! All my best wishes for you. I live on the westside and am very happy to hear of the changes.

Dan
9 years ago

“Great American Campout with REI (partnership to promote the outdoors)”

Kind of makes me wonder if REI is coming to AS.

Robbie H
9 years ago

‘non-productive activity’

So, if you’re not buying something at all times, the rent-a-cops will chase you out of the area.

John
9 years ago

They took 3 “wins”, Yard House, Creative Loafing, Pinkberry and spread them thin over 10 points. I think we can all applaud the addition of mimes and jugglers. WIN!

Chris F.
9 years ago

What is/was wrong with Fox Sport Grille? It is a win for me. Seemed popular with businessmen during the day/after work and typical sports fans otherwise. Great for big groups, too.

CP
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing this progress report. Impressive so far.

Any updates on the status of efforts to expand Atlantic Station shuttle service to the Westside? Maybe some pick-up points at GA Tech, Kool Korner, Howell Mill/White Provision and/or Marietta Street?

Midtown dude
9 years ago

No fees for parking. No fees for parking. No fees for parking.

If I am going to spend cash at your shops, I want free parking. I will never, never visit until that happens.

JoeInAtlanta
9 years ago

I live in the Old Fourth Ward. My most common activity areas are, in descending order, Little Five Points, Poncey Highland, Emory Village, East Atlanta, Downtown, Midtown. I go to Atlantic Station occasionally when I need something there, but it’s not a regular destination for me. As I was reading through this list, I found myself thinking several times, “That’s something I’d enjoy checking out.” Based on their several mentions of social medial, I “Liked” them on Facebook (at least temporarily) to get a sense of what’s going on there. Well done, Atlantic Station. (And I really hope the REI… Read more »

Randee
9 years ago

“And I really hope the REI event is a precursor to an REI store”
…but thugs don’t like REI, what can they do in a store like that?

ethan
9 years ago

I was actually impressed with the plan. As a gay man i really like Drew Lewis and would totally go there to shop now. i’m not a fan of the parking situation at their metropolis location. i would also try Yard House. i would love to see a Taqueria Del Sol and a J Crew open at Atlantic Station too.

Mike
9 years ago

An REI store would be a great addition. Plenty of empty space next to Dillard’s to build a new store.

Also heard a rumor Dillard’s might be replaced by Nordstrom. Not holding my breath but it is a prime spot for one (highway frontage is always a plus).

beachtoes
9 years ago

Unitl you clean this place up and make it interesting most of us have little interest. it is frequently discussed only in negative terms. I go over there for west elm or h&m on occassion but i can shop at other malls for everything else and with much less hassle and without police everywhere everytime i go. we won’t go to the theatre because it is most often aggressive rude teenagers who are behaving horribly, we do not eat there and the few clients i have sold a condo to there are angry at me now because they had hoped… Read more »

Free Ride
9 years ago

I like the direction AS is taking here. They still have a ways to go(In my opinion drop free ride…it costs my HOA alone 70k annually I’ve been told…can you imagine how much the annual costs are for this “free” ride that brings nothing to AS), but they are on the right path.

Sarah Palin Bachman Numbskull
9 years ago

@Chris F. Fox Sports Grill attracted a volatile, intimidating ghetto crowd – redundant – and was one of the primary purveyors of the hood atmosphere that has plagued Atlantic Station since its debut. The whole report is essentially a semantic exercise avoiding the actual words “We’re really trying to get rid of the ghetto garbage.” “Close the nightclubs” and “associated behaviors” are euphemisms for “we understand our civilized patrons may have been terrified by the ghetto atmosphere. We’re trying to get rid of every element that attracts that.” It’s about time. Pinkberry is a good start (more suburban than ghetto… Read more »

Suburbanist
9 years ago

11. Hire a PR firm to write our 12-month “Progress Report”.

Chad
9 years ago

I want to hear about future construction. Phase 2 of Atlantic Station never materialized and the gaping holes where buildings should be are kinda depressing. Most notably across the street from Lobby and next to where Pier 1 used to be (where the volleyball tournaments take place now). But what about the left side of 17th street? The Atlantic is the only building there. And the area behind the cinema (Where Cirque de Soleil parks their tents). Yeah yeah, I know it’s going to take time to ramp up. You have to walk before you run, but are there any… Read more »

mypitboss
9 years ago

Very nice job, Mr. Toro. I’ll come back now.

imagine
9 years ago

Yeah…until I see a free parking update there will still be a barrier from AS becoming what it should be. A nice hassle free place to shop in an urban environment. Some places you expect to pay for parking – like downtown. But for a mall not located in downtown to force you to pay for parking or buy something to waive the parking fee is still ridiculous.

ugh
9 years ago

Yo foilks…parking is still free. Don’t complain about having to pay for parking…it just shows that you never go to AS.

Midtown_DD
9 years ago

@ Free Ride

They’re not legally allowed to drop the free shuttle. To build the 17th Street bridge AS was required to provide a transit service across it that matches the headway of local MARTA trains. The free shuttle will be around for quite a while still.

Urbanist
9 years ago

@ RobbieH – Yes, and that’s a good thing.

@ ChrisF – Do you want that list alphabetically?

@ Dude – I think that has been part of the plan all along – buy something and get your parking validated.

@ Beachtoes – typical real estate broker…head in the sand, with no real knowledge about what’s actually going on.

Khadija
9 years ago

“REI would be like ghetto kryptonite”
I love that! The bling would melt off their ears, their grillz would dissolve, the FUBU jackets would burst into flames and the pitts would scatter.

The Truth
9 years ago

While we do applaud the new Atlantic Station team for making some changes in the new retail mix, the Press Release reads like a “Progress Report” a child would receive from 1st Grade… All thumbs-ups, smile faces, and “at-a-boys.” Perhaps as a journalist, Caleb, you should separate yourself from someone who just reposts the positive PR Image of Atlantic Station and dive into things a little more than just believing what they tell you. For example, Both Drew Lewis and YardHouse have a lease that is 100% based on them paying utilities and a percentage of sales… there is no… Read more »

Urbanist
9 years ago

@ Truth – I, personally, could care less about the details of the lease. I know some people probably do, but I’m just glad to see CL & Drew Lewis changing the composition of the development. If they’re paying percentage rent, if the lease is NNN or Gross, or if they pay in monopoly bucks, is kind of immaterial at this point. I’m fairly certain that those lease terms were agreed upon, because Toro & Team want to make that transformation from old to new as soon as possible, where they can. Yardhouse will likely dump a bunch of money… Read more »

AJ
9 years ago

Ack! I agree with Urbanist on both his posts. Especially the one regarding Beach Toes. I wish I knew who she was because I would stay FAR FAR away from her when the time comes that I need an agent. She’s like the real estate agent that was showing my parent’s house to potential buyers and said loudly, “wow, your real estate taxes are high.” No one ever claimed real estate agents were smart!

Daniel B.
9 years ago

I think the new ownership is doing a good job so far. They added froyo and they are addressing Fox Sports Grill.

I’m not sure what to think of Yard House yet. I’m still waiting for a big local restaurant announcement.

Chris
9 years ago

Ok, so this is just a big campaign to get rid of “the element”. So where are they going to descend on next? They have to go somewhere. Then we will be doing this all over again.

“Ghetto Kryptonite” That’s awesome. I want that on a t-shirt.

Free Ride
9 years ago

I dont care where “the element” goes as long as its the hell away from here.

Chris F.
9 years ago

RE: Fox Sports Grille

Ah, I see. I don’t have an issue with black people, even large black males, even groups of large black males. C’mon, it’s freaking Atlanta. We really want Atlantic Station to be a segregated place? No young black people allowed?

Urbanist
9 years ago

@ Chris – Way to go dip…you’re now going to turn the conversation on it’s head because you couldn’t leave the racial commentary alone. I guess it should have been expected from the guy who questions “what’s wrong with Fox Grill”…

Syzygy
9 years ago

How about Souper Jenny opening an additional location at AS…………..

Sarah Palin Bachman Numbskull
9 years ago

@Chris That’s the defining question. My initial guess would be the humming Westside. But since there are no frozen daiquiri establishments or decent parking nearby, there may be another area poised for victimization. Their takeover of Lindbergh is not yet complete so that could be poised for further thrashing. There are several convenience stores nearby there so there is also a steady supply of do rags, blunt-ready cigarillos, Orange Fanta and “ceyul fon” accessories. Add that to the MARTA line and Lindbergh is essentially doomed. There has to be a sacrificial lamb and Lindbergh might be a necessary casualty/pawn if… Read more »

StevieK
9 years ago

Obviously they need to market the new stores and FREE PARKING. Also get rid of LA Fitness. Guys in “Stop Snitching” t-shirts … oooops, did I just snitch?

Urbanist
9 years ago

@ Palin – you’re as dimwitted as your namesake. I am more than happy to accept, admit, and discuss the situation. However, when the argument focuses on race, it draws in all of the least intellectually savvy people – come to think of it, you’ve only been around recently, haven’t you? Until the city officials, developers, and citizens demand the proper type of element, we’ll be plagued by narrow-minded people who think the only thing that acts as a catalyst to crime is the color of someone’s skin. Get your head out of your tail, and start thinking about how… Read more »

Sarah Palin Bachman Numbskull
9 years ago

@Urbanist ” you’re as dimwitted as your namesake.” Name calling as a retort. Seems like obfuscation to me. ” I am more than happy to accept, admit, and discuss the situation.” No, you’re not. You avoid it at all costs. “However, when the argument focuses on race, it draws in all of the least intellectually savvy people” Ah, when people want to discuss an issue, they’re too stupid so you won’t engage. Nice backdoor out of cowardice. And who’s talking about race? This is cultural, not racial. “Until the city officials, developers, and citizens demand the proper type of element,… Read more »

Urbanist
9 years ago

I’m not avoiding anything. I’m saying it now, just like I said it before, that the issue is the way in which we’ve developed, and continue to develop, our city. The problematic element exists all over the world, and is not unique to Atlanta. However, a lot of other cities that don’t have the problems Atlanta has, have learned that you can create infrastructure and real estate that mitigates the problem. Where I said “element”, I meant to say “development”. That should clarify what I meant. If you’ve read anything else I’ve written on here, you’ll see a few if… Read more »

Midtown Bike Commuter
9 years ago

An REI at Atlantic Station would be incredible. Please let that be true! There’s one in downtown Seattle that I could walk to when I lived there. I miss that. Driving way up I85 to get to the one here in Atlanta is a drag. Also, I just visited Atlantic Station for the first time in a long while during the Feast Noir last Sunday. I was initially bummed out when I heard it was going to be located there, but I have to admit, it turned out to be a great event. Thanks for letting that happen there! I… Read more »

beachtoes
9 years ago

Funny stuff Urbanist. I think the Sarah Palin Bachman Numbskull pretty much said it all about you. Just curious from this post and others I have seen you on, who appointed you as the City of Atlanta race relations and city planning expert. The only expertise I see from you is erroneous presumptions and inciteful name calling. You offer no real solutions but are very quick to tell everyone else how stupid or racist they are. And yes, I have seen you use this tactic on many posts, not just here. I have also seen many people call you out… Read more »

StevieK
9 years ago

Urbanist, AS is a great location for a gym and it is the most convenient one for me. I rarely go to that LA Fitness because of the clienetelle. I’m thinking it could become a great local gym like Urban Body which has won Best of Atlanta. Tim Mullins also opened some high quality gyms in the city. The new mall owners could talk to LA Fitness about getting some new mangement in that location so it’s cleaner, weights get put away and generally feels less like hip hop night club.

StevieK
9 years ago

… and another thing, how about an upscale design/hardware store or something like a Restoration Hardware. We have a lot of old homes in the area that need fixin’. Also, how about a local store that sells quality bikes and scooters and does minor repairs.

Jason Jason
9 years ago

The biggest security problem is the HOTEL and the restaurant, “Lobby” across from The Atlantic. Caters to pimps and drug dealers LITERALLY. Needs to be taken over by a reputable high end chain that won’t let cash carrying thugs use it for drug deals and partying with hookers. Nice job otherwise Mr. Toro.

marktoro
9 years ago

Thanks to all who’ve commented on this and the many other posts about the evolution of Atlantic Station. It has been a great joy to work in a community that cares enough to take the time to share their perspective. We are making great strides toward making The Atlantic Station Experience one that all Intowners will share and enjoy. Your support and encouragement is much appreciated.

smarty pants
9 years ago

I hate the south. Its full of closed minded individuals looking to preserve an aesthetic that never existed. Atlanta is the birthplace of civil rights & Dr. Martin Luther King considered the “city to busy to hate” during a time when the entire south was hating. If the almighty white folks that are looking to redefine Atlanta don’t understand that than Its a shame. People all over the world look at Atlanta as a small town with big town ambition but the city that was “too busy to hate” has turned into the city that is “too busy to love… Read more »

TwoToneJerome
9 years ago

When will people get over the supposed “race” issues. It’s not about race, dag nabbit! It’s about CONDUCT. If conduct at A-Station, Lindberg, or anywhere else is thugish and repelling, those places will fail.

Enough w/calling it racists to criticize the CONDUCT of people, regardless of color.

Mike
8 years ago

I’m a bit late to this blog post but they should have specifically mentioned the playing of country music over the property’s sound system. I was at AS last weekend and I have to say their changes are successful and are thus far transforming AS.

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