|Tesla's existing showroom at Tysons Corner Center in Virginia|
Possibly one of the worst kept secrets in metro Atlanta real estate, Tesla planned to have a store in Buckhead and planned to have it at Lenox Square. Where was known, it was the when that was a mystery up until earlier this week. (A Tesla Model S has been on display near Starbucks in the mall for months, foreshadowing the imminent store.)
A source within Lenox Square got wind of Tesla leasing a portion of the former Gregory's space in the Luxury Wing, adjacent to Neiman Marcus. (The luxury wing is already home to designer brands including Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Ermenegildo Zegna.) This intel was verified yesterday when the mall submitted a building permit to the city of Atlanta for alterations to the space for the popular electric car maker. The new showroom at Lenox Square will be complemented by a charging station.
|Tesla will occupy a portion of the former Gregory's|
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) already has a showroom and vehicle service center in Marietta. In addition, Tesla will soon begin work on its planned Decatur showroom on Church Street.
Tesla is not new to malls. A number of Tesla showrooms are already open in premier malls around the country. Among them are Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, Town Center at Boca Raton, NorthPark in Dallas as well as The Westchester and Roosevelt Field in New York's White Plains and Long Island neighborhoods.
Tesla has performed especially well in metro Atlanta with reported sales of more than 500 of its $70,000+ Model S sedans from its current Marietta store. Metro Atlanta is among the top U.S. markets for electric car sales and new more affordable models from Tesla will likely strengthen demand.
|A Model S inside the Tysons Corner Center showroom|
The 3,245 square foot space Tesla will occupy at Lenox Square will reportedly cost about $330,000 to build out and should open by year end. (There are reportedly multiple interested parties for the remaining roughly 3200 square foot space, but nothing has yet been confirmed.)
|Tesla merchandise for sale in its Tysons Corner Center showroom|
Like many in the mall and in metro Atlanta, some may be wondering how a vehicle showroom will "fit" into a mall. I wondered this too, but visited the existing Tesla showroom in Tysons Corner Center in Virginia to better understand it. The showroom is often stocked with only one actual vehicle in addition to a stripped down "skeletal" model so consumers can see the inner workings of the car. The rest of the showroom is basically a retail accessory store with Tesla hats, shirts, water bottles etc.