Friday, April 28, 2017

Play Ball! SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta Are Open!

Braves new home welcomes host of new shops and restaurants.

The Battery Atlanta, the 350,000 square foot mixed-use component of SunTrust Park, the new Cobb county home of the Atlanta Braves, is open for business, albeit with only a portion of its lineup.

Yard House, the popular beer-centric restaurant from Orlando-based Darden restaurants, opened their second Atlanta area location at The Battery, while Atlanta's Antico Pizza Napoletana opened its third local outpost.

First & Third - Hot Dog and Sausage Shack, a new restaurant from Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson, is also open, as is the Terrapin Taproom featuring Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.  Gourmet ice cream shop Häagen-Dazs is also open.  

Live! at The Battery, the center's "anchor," features three concepts over two floors and 40,000 square feet.  Sports & Social, a trendy sports bar with a 30 foot LED TV, opened last week and will be followed by the chef driven Todd English Tavern today.  English, who calls New York City  home today, grew up in Sandy Springs and actually was in the stands for Hank Aaron's record breaking 715th homer at Fulton County Stadium in 1974.  The third concept, PBR Atlanta, is a cowboy bar, branded by the Professional Bull Riders Association.  PBR is expected to open Friday May 12th and features "a large dance floor and stage, Coors- and Banquet-branded lounges and bars, outdoor balconies with fire pits and multiple bars."  Essential to any good cowboy bar is of course, a mechanical bull, which PBR will have.  The bull, named "Druw," is named for Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Andruw Jones.  Jones will be on hand to celebrate Cinqo de Mayo at the bar, and will ride his namesake bull for the first time.  May 12th will mark the bar's official grand opening where Athens native and country star Colt Ford will host a free concert in the outdoor Plaza, just outside of Live!. 

A handful of retailers have opened at The Battery thus far including Tomahawk Harley-Davidson and Baseballism, a baseball centric retail concept, a Mizuno Experience Center, where customers can "experience" all that Mizuno has to offer.  

Future retail openings include boutiques DressUp and Sugarboo & Co, along with local sunglass retailer Select Shades, which opened its first ever location earlier this year in Inman Quarter in Inman Park.  BURN by Rocky Patel, an upscale cigar lounge, is also expected to open in the project.  

Upcoming restaurant openings include CRÚ Food & Wine Bar, Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli, C. Ellet's, a new steakhouse from Linton Hopkins, Feed Fried Chicken & Such, a new chicken joint from chef Marc Taft, Punch Bowl Social, a Painted Pin-like bowling, restaurant and entertainment venue, Wahlburgers, from Marky Mark Wahlberg and family, The El Felix, from Chef Ford Fry and Sweet Pete's, a candy store.  

The Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre is also open at The Battery and will host hometown rapper T.I. on June 18th.  

A 264 room Omni Hotel is also expected to join the project but has been delayed a number of times.  Originally expected to open in time for opening day, the hotel's current timeline is for an "early 2018" debut.  

A number of other tenants have been mentioned as "possible" or "interested" at The Battery, but I have thus far been unable to get confirmations of anyone new. 

Among the possible new tenants are a grocer, a movie theater, an Xfinity store (which given Comcast's involvement seems in the project seems super likely,) and "experiential retailers."  

Speaking earlier this week at SunTrust Park to an event hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jeremy Strife, a veteran of Simon Property Group and current General Manager of The Battery, said he and the Braves are always "pivoting" as it relates to their retail strategy.  Earlier merchandising plans seemed to show what I would consider to be an aspirational list of retailers ranging from Williams Sonoma to Lilly Pulitzer, and everyone in-between.  Given the confirmed roster and what Strife referred to as a "spongey" retail market, its likely that there will be a lot less retail than plans may have originally reflected.  

By no means do I see this as a negative thing, as at the end of the day, the project seems best suited as a regional entertainment destination vs. a regional mall.   

Have you been to The Battery Atlanta?  If so, what did you like or dislike?  What other tenants or types of tenants would you like to see open at The Battery?  If the choice of additional tenant was between a grocer, a big box store or a movie theater, which would you prefer?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

It's too bad this project is going in the suburbs and not downtown. Downtown Atlanta is a miserable awful place and desperately needed some life breathed into it. Instead, the opposite is happening. Cities all over the south are building downtown baseball stadiums and making downtown a destination and a place everyone can be proud of. Here, the opposite is happening. Pretty sad and disgraceful and depressing that no one is taking the lead in trying to reinvent and clean up downtown Atlanta once and for all. It'll remain a place people avoid for the forseeable future.

Ham said...

I agree it is sad that all of this isn’t going on at the old location. However, the Braves begged the City for decades to do something like this. Now, not only are Atlanta Political Leaders not analyzing what they did wrong they are making statements like the Braves are, “dead to me” as City Council President Cathy Woolard did. Could you imagine all this connected to Olympic Park via the Atlanta Street Car? This area would have been popular not only with Braves fans, but also visitors and those all-important conventioneers.

Anonymous said...

Kasim Reed, Cathy Woolard, et al only care about their voter base that are demographically Falcon fans. Braves fans are deplorable in their minds.

Suntrust Park & The Battery is a spectacular venue. Rest assured the above mentioned leaders will be Oh So Proud and bragging about their their sphincter style roof.

J Leeds said...

The Braves fought the city over any plans to redevelop and improve the area around Turner Field. The only acceptable plan for them was for the city to give them the land and let the Braves get everything. As a Fulton County taxpayer, I'm glad that it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to visit SunTrust Park for my first game next week. The Braves tried and failed at the old site for 50 years. This new site looks like a success already and only a few places are even open yet.

It's in a much better area geographically. Having to drive through downtown at rush hour was always tough and since there was nowhere to go adjacent to the stadium everyone arrived at once making downtown traffic worse for everyone.

Downtown has gotten much, much better over the last 10 years. CF Hall of Fame, Aquarium, etc. After an afternoon Hawks game a couple months ago we walked over to Centennial Park and the surrounding area had lots of people walking around and enjoying the beautiful day. Of course, the park was closed for the Chinese New Year event where they were charging $30+ ticket to walk through and look at the lights.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, when the decision was made to build Olympic Stadium next to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium instead of actually downtown the die was pretty much cast. The Turner Field site was simply too far away from actual downtown (Turner Field was in SE Atlanta plain and simple) and too far away from MARTA rail to have been ever able to support something like the Battery year round. And with all the development now around Centennial Olympic Park there wasn't enough land around to build a baseball only stadium near the Dome/Phillips/MB stadium by the time the Braves had decided they had had enough.

Anonymous said...

If the above is the case, then how could a stadium much further from downtown and still without any MARTA service support the Battery year round? Braves fans live in the 'burbs.

Anonymous said...

The old stadium was in a very scary area! I would never let my kids go to a game without me. Then have to lock the doors when we drove through the area. Glad it moved.

Anonymous said...

Given the logistical challenges of the area, I have a hard time seeing how retailers that aren't right next to the stadium will survive.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous # 8

Summerhill is no more " scarier " than being at SunTrust only that it has way more to do than the former Turner Field stadium.

For the life of me, I have never understood people's logic into their ideas of what safe/non-safe is. Very recently, STP had 2 violators already..and the park has not been open barely a month yet these incidents have already happened. Most times when you hear about incidents like attempted break ins, you hear about them later in the year but to hear about it THAT early?! that is not good.Just imagine what could happen if someone commit a major crime there.

Notice when you hear about robbers stealing/violating people you hear about it you hear about it in any part of metro Atlanta and all over the United States but most times, they do their dirty work in these so-called " safe" areas that are more upscale and they do them because of naive thinking and supposedly, that is where all of the money is supposed to be.

In 2017, there is no such things as safe communities. There are people who live near Summerhill that have never seen a robber in their lives and people who live in upscale communities in Cobb county 70 times. Far as fear, fear all areas because when it comes to crime, it doesn't discriminate.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day when it was the Atlanta..then Turner Field stadium. Residences wanted a similar development to take place in their communities.It seemed that no matter how much they told the Braves that, they ignored them, pretending that they were on board with their requests.

When they moved to Cobb County, I was a little pissed at the move but it has subsided since them. I see the Braves move like this: things happen for a reason. Initially, it may seem like a bad move but I have a strange feeling that move may be for the better. Slowly but the Phoenix is rising again. Underground Atlanta may be redeveloped, the Mercedes Benz Stadium/development, possibly Phillips arena, Centennial Park and GSU development seems all good and along with things already to do in Midtown Uptown Atlanta all of that seems really good.

I could be absolutely wrong about SunTrust Park and I want to be wrong about it but unless the Braves better consistently win more games then they are winning. Sure, it will seem fun and exciting for a while going there but after a while if the losses continue , those ticket sales will dry up..and so will the fans.

Anonymous said...

It takes more than just "wanting a similar development." Someone has to invest the money to develop that sort of complex and nobody was going to do that near Turner Field.

This old article explains some of the problems:

Apparently, any money that is poured into Summerhill somehow disappears with no accounting.

I visited the new park last night for the first time - it's a great place. Sure there are plenty of bugs to work out, but give them a little time.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:47AM - That article was a great read. People think the Braves could have just built the equivalent of the Battery down at Turner, but that just wasn't an option. I went to Billy Joel last week and got to the Battery at 4:30 and hung out at Yardhouse until 7. Those options just didn't and would never exist at Turner. I hope for the best with Turner's transformation into GSU property, but there's a lot more that needs to be done to the area as a whole and GSU can't do it all.

Anonymous said...

The new park and complex cost over 1 billion. I agree with a previous poster, no one would pour that much money into redeveloping the Turner Field area. It's just not a decent area, hopefully GSU can make it happen.

Putting a $1B complex where Turner Field was wouldn't solve problems of Downtown. It will take 20 years for downtown to be revitalized enough where you would feel safe to walk around.

Atlanta gave up on Downtown a long time ago, Midtown and Buckhead exist for a reason.

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