|New Gen III QuikTrip|
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based QuikTrip (QT) is eyeing another intown location.
The popular convenience store / gas station known for simple design, cheap prices and more recently, expanded food and drink options, wants to build a new "Gen III" location at Chattahoochee Avenue and Howell Mill Road. The new location would take the place of an existing Just Brakes, a car lot and two other adjacent lots, one of which is currently vacant. Newer "Gen III" QuikTrips are about 1000 square feet larger than older stores and offer expanded varieties of ready made food as well as assorted bottled and freshly made beverages.
Recent Gen III openings have included new locations at Clairmont and Briarcliff Roads on the site of a former grocery store as well as another on Buford Highway that replaced another gas station. A new location also opened in Suwanee at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Satellite Boulevard. Another is currently underway on Chamblee Tucker Road in Chamblee that will replace an older location across the street.
Not all neighborhoods are in favor.
In 2011, QuikTrip faced community opposition in its attempt to open a new location on Moreland Avenue in Southeast Atlanta. Community concerns there related to both the station's proximity to residential neighbors, as well as a likely increase in traffic. The neighborhood even started a Facebook page "No QuikTrip Here" to help spread their message. They were careful not to say they were anti QuikTrip, just anti them developing a location so close to residential neighbors.
The Howell Mill site is no different in that while community members would like to see development, most feel that a QT would bring too much additional traffic to an already congested intersection.
There are a number of issues still to be worked out, but (as I understand it) thus far QuikTrip has failed achieve necessary approvals as their proposed site is within the Beltline Overlay (District). A presentation last fall before Neighborhood Planning Unit-D (NPU-D) was met with more negative and harsh comments from neighbors than positive. Some reports claim that QT is already paying on the property and that a ground lease is already in place. Neighbors I spoke with doubt this is the case, but admit the station may still be built, even without their blessing. As one community member put it, "A deal is not done, but it ain't dead either."
In related news, a BP / Circle K recently opened at the corner of Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard and Chattahoochee Avenue.
Last year the neighborhood unsuccessfully pushed for the developer of a planned Advance Auto Parts to abandon his plans for a new store on Howell Mill Road. The neighbors said there was already an abundance of auto related businesses along Howell Mill, and that the site's entry / exit point on Holmes Street was a safety hazard. Despite email bombing AAP executives as well as developer Trinity & Associates to try to persuade them to build elsewhere, the location opened late last year. The auto parts store displaced Bell Street Burritos, a local burrito joint that had just opened their restaurant a few months earlier.
RaceTrac, QT's chief competitor, also faced issues at Powers Ferry Road and Windy Ridge Parkway in East Cobb. The Cobb County based business sought to build one of its new gas stations and convenience stores on a parcel currently home to a shuttered T.G.I. Friday's restaurant. The neighborhood has been vocal in expressing their anger with and disapproval of the proposal.
RaceTrac also faced community obstacles in their failed attempt to open a location on Lawrenceville Highway near North DeKalb Mall. The new RaceTrac would have been built on a large vacant parcel of land currently home to trees and shrubs, and adjacent to nearby single family homes. The parcel is across the street from a QT.
What are your thoughts on QT's planned opening on Howell Mill? What type of business would you like to see opened on the site(s) if not a QT? If you have visited new locations of both RaceTrac and QuikTrip, which do you like more? Why?