Monday, November 29, 2010

Home Titans Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware on the Move

Corte Madera, California-based Restoration Hardware will soon begin a shuffle of its Atlanta retail operations. Having heard rumors for months, I have now confirmed that the Restoration Hardware at Lenox Square will close as of January 31, 2011. This closure is due in part to the fact that the store's lease is up, but also because Simon has secured
XXI (the flagship store of Forever 21) . XXI will open next fall and will occupy the current Restoration Hardware, the shuttered Ann Taylor store, DASS Salon (consolidating to just Perimeter), a few other small stores, as well as a portion of current public space. As a result, the elevator currently located near the shuttered Ann Taylor store will be relocated to the old United Artists Theater space, adjacent to the escalator.

Restoration Hardware will also consolidate locations in Seattle and Miami. In Miami they will close a location at The Falls in favor of their location at Aventura Mall. In Seattle the company will close their location at Pacific Place Mall in favor of their existing location at University Village. The closures of all three stores will occur on January 31, 2011.

Interestingly, in Atlanta, where the chain closed their location at Mall of Georgia in 2008, the closure of Lenox will leave them with one location in the state, that being at Perimeter Station near Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. The plot thickens, though, with the revelation that the lease at the Dunwoody store is up in about 18 months, at which point the chain hopes to open a "30,000-50,000 s/f flagship-like store." (The Lenox store is 7000 s/f and Perimeter is 15,000)

The hope would be for this store to be in the Buckhead area, with The Shops Around Lenox currently the target locale. At Shops Around Lenox, there is talk that Restoration Hardware would take the remaining space of the former Comp USA, with the new DEKA Athletics and lululemon athletica already occupying the remaining space. At one point, there was talk that Restoration Hardware might end up opening in the former Buckhead Chrysler Plymouth dealership on Piedmont, but those plans fell apart before they got anywhere.

Northbrook Illinois-based Crate & Barrel may also be on the move from Lenox Square. The chain has moved away from traditional mall locations in recent years and is in talks to relocate. In 2008, the chain closed its store at Perimeter Mall, leaving the chain with locations at Lenox Square and on North Point Parkway near North Point Mall. Earlier this year, the chain opened their CB2 concept store within the street level retail of 1010 Midtown.

In South Florida, the chain left the uber successful Aventura Mall for The Village Shops at Gulfstream, a newer lifestyle center not far away. Similar moves took place in Boca Town Center and Southpark Malls in Boca Raton and Charlotte respectively. In each instance, SIMON added on a lifestyle center type element to each of its existing properties, and in each case, Crate & Barrel opened within the new outdoor elements. In Charlotte, the store was new to the mall whereas in Boca Raton, the store re-located from within the mall.

Crate & Barrel has stated that they would plan to open a "24,000 s/f location" and according to recent real estate documents, the far left side (the former Tower Records) should provide ample room. I have even seen a sketch of what it the center would look like and is has Crate & Barrel in that position. I've heard that it would be only a single story which makes me wonder what will be made of the old Bally Total Fitness space that is directly below the center on that end.

Healey-Weatherholtz has wooed a number of local tenants to its Shops Around Lenox development, quite possibly telling them that the aforementioned big guys were coming. Despite seeing the downsizing and subsequent closure of both Blue Genes and Rhinoceros Boutique, the center has added DEKA Athletics and lululemon athletica to its retail lineup in the past month and already added local boutiques Bill Hallman and Fab'rik in addition to Birmingham-based SWANK.

While Lenox Square currently has nearly 100% occupancy aside from a couple vacant food court spaces, the loss of Crate and Barrel would be a huge loss not only in retailer variety but would leave the front of the mall with a gaping two-story hole. I'm sure that the brilliant minds over at SIMON are already in talks with new retailers should they be unable to retain Crate and Barrel, but it will be interesting to see what retailer they land for such a large and prestigious space. Despite the fact that the shuttered Calvin Klein space in the luxury wing is currently occupied by Harry & David, that is only a temporary lease and will be vacant again soon.

Surely Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware are paying gobs in rent to be at the destination mall that is Lenox Square, but if they can be the destination at a nearby center and get a more reasonable rent, they'd be foolish not to move. ToNeTo Atlanta

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad to see Crate and Barrel moving, but now H&M can move in! They've been looking for a large 2-story space.

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

Yes, will be sad if Crate & Barrel leaves but it all comes down to money and if they can get a better deal not far away, they'd be foolish not to move.

As for H&M, they actually looked at the Shops Around Lenox space years ago but talks never progressed as I'm told the girls over at the now closed Blue Genes protested. They felt the moderately priced retailer would compete with them and would cheapen the shopping center as a whole. If H&M were to open at Lenox, it would join a crowded array of cheap chic retailers such as Gap and Zara and the soon to open XXI.

Atlanta remains without a UNIQLO (Japan), Topshop (UK) and Mango (Spain), all with many devoted fans but without significant presence in the states. It will be interesting to see what happens at the mall in the coming months...

Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

As you know, DASS is 2 stories, what will become of the lower level of that location?

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

Damn good question. As you may be aware, Simon and its agents are not exactly open or helpful when it comes to announcing or confirming new tenants. Only thing I know for sure is that Steve Madden will relocate to the Luxury Wing, presumably in the old Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic on the upper level.

I will post an update if I hear anything more concrete about DASS.

Thanks for reading and for the question.

Atlantan99 said...

I got word today that Crate & Barrel is close to signing for a lease at Shops Around Lenox. At the same time I was informed that while Restoration Hardware does want to still be in Buckhead once they vacate Lenox Square, Shops Around Lenox will not have enough available space after the C&B signing.

Anonymous said...

Crate and Barrel is relocating to that spot.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

Do you work for C&B? I knew it was all but a done deal, but is now signed?