Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Your Pie Lands at Embry Hills, Kroger Store Rebuild Still Up In The Air?

Athens-based quick-serve pizza restaurant Your Pie has leased the 2,854 square foot former Camille's Sidewalk Cafe in Embry Village shopping center.  The new pizza restaurant will mark the return of pizza to the complex after the closure of The Loop Pizza Grill in 2010.  Three Dollar Cafe opened in place of The Loop in early 2011.  Your Pie, like other quick-serve pizza restaurants, offers customized individual pizzas for about eight bucks.  

The chain, which was started by entrepreneur Drew French in Athens in 2008, today has about 50 locations, primarily in the southeast, but as far west as Indio, California.  The chain's metro Atlanta locations include outposts in Buckhead, Dunwoody, Roswell and most recently, Grant Park.  

Your Pie is the second new restaurant to lease space in the center following previously announced quick-serve burger joint Wayback Burgers, which is opening adjacent to Moe's Southwest Grill.  [Wayback is strangely absent from the property's site plan.]

The space Your Pie will occupy 
Despite an updated  Embry Village site plan, which now shows not only Your Pie but also Walgreens in place of Rite Aid and the post office in its new space, no Kroger expansion is noted and the spaces around it are all marked as "available."  Additionally, the Embry Village property website still shows a competitive aerial that was created 1/25/08 and later revised 8/31/12.  The aerial indicates there is a Goody's in Cofer Crossing, Parisian in Northlake Mall, Haverty's and Toys R Us in Northlake Tower Festival and Big K Mart on Buford Highway in Doraville - all of which have been closed for years.

Embry Village, owned by Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Kimco Realty Corporation, is anchored by a Kroger that was previously announced to be undergoing a complete rebuild to become a Kroger Marketplace.  The Kroger, currently about 57,000 square feet, was to swell to about 113,000 square feet in its conversion from traditional grocer to Marketplace, with added features and amenities, among them a fuel station, Starbucks and a wider variety of prepared foods.  

26 year old Christian Thompson, who became the store's general manager this past November, told Tucker Times last month “This project was initially to be done in 2018. It was pushed back to 2019."

Given Thompson's rather definitive timeline, we contacted Kroger's regional headquarters seeking clarification, asking:  "There seems to be conflicting talk on the status of the Marketplace store at Embry Village.  The store's new manager recently told a Tucker area publication that the replacement Marketplace store is still happening and is due to be completed next year.  Can you confirm that and its timetable?"

Felix Turner, Corporate Affairs Manager for Kroger, responded on April 13, saying: "There are no updates from the previous statement we gave concerning a Marketplace store at Embry Village.  When we have any new updates, I’ll be sure to follow up with you." 

The previous comment to which Turner referred was supplied to ToNeTo Atlanta on December 29th. "The on-site redevelopment of the Embry Village Kroger remains a top priority for the Atlanta Division.  I will share details as more information becomes available." 

Our two subsequent attempts to get concrete clarification as to whether Thompson misspoke or was otherwise misinformed as to the status of the redevelopment were unsuccessful.  

Given the conflicting stories, it's startling to witness the lack of interest in setting the record straight, so is not to further confuse area residents.  

Are you excited for the addition of Your Pie to Embry Village?  Have you heard any updates about the Kroger Marketplace at Embry Village?  Do you think the Kroger Marketplace will open in 2019 as Thompson says?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the new manager is even still employed by Kroger? He made several glaring head-scratching comments like how the Buford Highway store hasn't been profitable in 30 years but he somehow single-handedly turned it around. Surely they didn't appreciate that

Anonymous said...

I would just like to go into the Kroger at Embry Hills and the employees not act like hostages. Nobody every smiles, nobody looks happy. Just working for the pay check.

Anonymous said...

That’s interesting. I’ve also experienced Kroger managers freely willing to share profitability info without being prompted. One of the managers at Cambridge Square shopping center had expressed a couple years ago that the Kroger there at Cambridge has never, ever been profitable and loses money hand over fist and that it is simply a store that exists only because Publix is nearby and Kroger will not subcumb to Publix in that market. This manager was closer to 62 then he was 26.
Since the community put a Kabosh on the proposed Kroger gas Station adjacent, they should do something with that land and extend the retail shopping center offerings.

Jay Brower said...

Which community? At which Kroger? The community surrounding the Embry Village Kroger has been in favor of the proposed new store and gas station.

Anonymous said...

The 'employees' at Kroger work for the Union. What Kroger wants is secondary. Customers are a necessary evil to be tolerated. Despite all the 'happy talk' TV ads for Kroger, it is obvious within 10 minutes inside Kroger that very few workers are happy to see you.

Anonymous said...

Agree, the community has wanted the new Kroger and Kroger gas station for years. The area is being under-served. C'mon Kroger!

Anonymous said...

The community at Cambridge Square opposed to gas station. This was very widely publicized.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard about Kroger being part of the Northlake Mall renovation? There was a rumor that when the mall owners bought the Sears building last year, it was so it could be demolished for a new Kroger Marketplace. The auto center would be converted into the gas station.

Anonymous said...

Love that we are getting a new pizza place!

Glenn Morris said...

Kroger is considered the least desirable grocery store chain in Atlanta.High prices, dirty stores and snail paced check out.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Cambridge Square? Where on earth is it anyway? Embry Hills community supports the new Kroger.

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