Learning Express, an educational kids' toy store, plans to shutter its Toco Hills Promenade location March 27th. The store is currently offering 30% off most in-stock merchandise in anticipation of its closure. No word on what may replace the 2,000 square foot space in the Publix-anchored center. Learning Express will continue to operate its Buckhead location in the Wieuca Roswell shopping center on Roswell Road anchored by The Fresh Market.
A new Bojangles' restaurant is planned for the 5000 block of Bill Gardner Parkway in Locust Grove in Henry County. The approximately 3,200 square foot restaurant will replace Bronco's, a long shuttered full service Mexican restaurant.
A new rolled ice cream shop called Where's The Scoop? plans to open later this spring in the Publix anchored Haynes Bridge Village shopping center in Johns Creek. The new shop will occupy a roughly 1,000 square foot space to the right of Publix. The shopping center is located at the corner of Haynes Bridge and Old Alabama Roads.
Vickery Village in Cumming will welcome a brick and mortar location of Happy Belly Curbside Kitchen early this summer. The restaurant Happy Belly Kitchen is expected to feature many of the popular dishes from the food truck as well as some new additions. This past January, Happy Belly Curbside Kitchen celebrated its sixth anniversary.
Following last years acquisition of LifeStorage by Sovran Self Storage dba Uncle Bob's Self Storage, all local Uncle Bob's Self Storage facilities have been rebranded as Life Storage. The combined company adopted the Life Storage brand and debuted a new logo to accompany the expanded footprint. The combined company operates about 650 self storage facilities in 29 states. In metro Atlanta, Life Storage operates over 20 facilities including locations near REI in Brookhaven, on 14th Street in West Midtown, on Roswell Road in Marietta, and on North Decatur Road not far from DeKalb Medical Center.
After releasing disappointing fourth quarter and overall 2016 performance, office supply store Staples announced last week it plans to close 70 stores this year. The company has yet to publicly disclose when and where it will close the 70 stores. In Atlanta, Staples has already closed locations in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Roswell among others, while it has pared down its presence in Midtown at Midtown Place. Whole Foods Market, Staples neighbor in Midtown Place, leased the vacated space, and will soon debut a larger store and a fast casual Brazilian eatery: "Roast."
My friends at The Douglasville Menu are reporting that a Panera Bread has been approved to replace a former Joe's Crab Shack on Chapel Hill Road in Douglasville. Joe's abruptly closed its Douglasville Pavilion location this past fall after which there was early word that casual Mexican chain Huey Luey's was in talks to open in its place. Apparently those plans failed to materialize. The existing structure will reportedly be trimmed from 6,000 to 5,000 square feet to accommodate the Panera Bread and a drive-thru. The restaurant reportedly hopes to be open "before the Thanksgiving holiday."
Panda Express plans to open a new freestanding restaurant on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Satellite Boulevard in Suwanee. The new 2,200 square foot restaurant will be built on a roughly 1.25 acre parcel in an outparcel of the existing Lowe's Home Improvement store. The collective property, known as the "Terraces at Suwanee Gateway" is also home to a Main Event entertainment facility among other tenants.
Crunch Fitness plans to open at least two new Atlanta locations in Chamblee and Snellville. In Chamblee, Crunch plans to open in an existing, roughly 22,500 square foot space in Chamblee Plaza on Peachtree Boulevard. Crunch is reportedly the first tenant to commit to the latest renovation plan of the dated intown center. In Snellville, Crunch plans to construct a new, roughly 22,000 square foot space on Scenic Highway across the street from the new Snellville Exchange shopping center. Snellville Exchange is anchored by Hobby Lobby, AMC Dine-In Webb Gin 11 (formerly Ovation Cinema Grill 11) and Gander Mountain which was recently announced to be closing. In metro Atlanta, Crunch Fitness already operates a location in Johns Creek and will soon open a new facility near Perimeter Mall. Another facility opened this past December in Athens in place of BodyPlex in Beechwood Promenade shopping center.
Neiman Marcus is said to be in "advanced talks" to sell itself to Hudson's Bay, the Canadian parent of Saks Fifth Avenue and other retailers, according to people familiar with the matter. Neiman Marcus recently delivered disappointing fourth quarter earnings and a bleak future outlook as more customers shop online. Hudson's Bay was also reportedly in talks to acquire Macy's under similar circumstances. Neiman Marcus is currently owned by private-equity firm Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Interestingly, Atlanta Hawks majority owner Tony Ressler is the co-founder of Ares Management. In metro Atlanta, Saks operates one full-line store at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead while Neiman Marcus operates one full-line store in Lenox Square. Both retailers operate a number of off-price outlet stores in metro Atlanta.
Work has begun on the new Extra Space Storage in Chamblee. The new facility is being constructed at the corner of Sexton Woods Drive and Peachtree Boulevard in place of a number of recently demolished properties. The project is slated to be a "mixed-use" building, 60 feet tall, with as many as 600 climate-controlled storage units. Plans call for about 3,600 square feet of retail/office space along Peachtree Boulevard. Extra Space is one of the largest self storage operators in the country with over 1,400 locations, including dozens in Georgia. One of the company's newest and most controversial locations is on Lindbergh Drive in Atlanta where it replaced the shuttered Varsity Jr. restaurant. The Lindbergh Drive location, which also offers 600 self-storage units, was paired with 10,000 square feet of street level retail which remains vacant in the several months since the building opened.