Friday, March 4, 2016

Popular Buckhead Boutique to Relocate

Another Buckhead boutique is on the move. 

Susan Lee, a high end women's apparel store, will be relocating from Andrews Square (56 East Andrews Drive) to the West Paces Ferry shopping center (1240 West Paces Ferry Road) in early April. The nearly 20 year old dress shop will be reopening in the old Belle Chambre space, next to Mountain High Outfitters, in the Publix-anchored center. (Belle Chambre closed in 2014  after 24 years in business.)

Company founder Susan Lee Drenning passed away in 2014 and the company is now being run by her daughter Melody Pass.   Susan Lee draws customers from around the southeast, many mothers of the bride in search of the perfect dress, a specialty for which the boutique is known.  

Susan Lee is the latest tenant to depart Andrews Square following the closures last year of the multi-concept Andrews Entertainment District. Souper Jenny plans to relocate from Andrews Square to the Atlanta History Center later this spring, while Blast relocated to Gateway in Sandy Springs.  This past week SWOOX, a high-end consignment store, also relocated from Andrews Square to 28 East Andrews Drive, where Kathryn's Boutique recently closed.  Susan Lee's neighboring boutique Poppy's is actively looking to relocate elsewhere.  The relocations and closures are promoted by what some shop owners call "extreme rent hikes" by new owner Edens, a Columbia, South Carolina-based real estate firm.  

Beth Ann, located on Irby Avenue, around the corner from Susan Lee, is also closing in what owner Beth Ann Taratoot is calling  a "moving on" sale.  Taratoot plans to close her brick & mortar store by May with plans to launch an online presence in the near future.   Her property, likely a growing number around her, have been purchased by Edens.  
Despite the overall sentiment among those who are fleeing the center that new owner Edens is increasing rents in an effort to force out existing tenants, Lucy's Market, a local market currently at 102 West Paces Ferry, actually plans to move TO Andrews Square later this spring.  This move is especially interesting given the two previous spaces that the market has occupied have been in moderate to low rent spaces.  

What are your thoughts on the exodus of boutiques from Buckhead Village?  What would you like to see open in Andrews Square?  Where should Poppy's relocate?

Please share your thoughts below  

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