Monday, August 13, 2018

[EXCLUSIVE] Monarch Plaza Looks to Add Freestanding Restaurant Along Peachtree Road

A new restaurant space is being marketed for lease along Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead.  The site, which sits in front of Monarch Plaza and across from Lenox Square, was a few years ago landscaped and reconfigured to create a more modern, aesthetically pleasing entrance.  Now, a 9,000 square foot, multi-story restaurant is being proposed for the site.  Atlanta-based The Shopping Center Group earlier last week released renderings and a marketing brochure for the would-be restaurant.
The marketing materials describe the proposed site:

"Pad site fronting Peachtree Road directly across from Lenox Square located in the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta’s premier dining/shopping district. The pad site can accommodate a restaurant with up to 9,000 SF, a roof top deck, and expansive patio area."

Highwoods Properties, who owns and manages both Monarch Plaza and the nearby Monarch Tower, is seemingly hoping to take advantage of their property's prime location along Peachtree Road the way Cousins Properties did in 2016 when South City Kitchen opened in converted lobby space within their 3350 Peachtree building nearby.  Highwoods is also likely trying to generate interest in their circa 1983 building, which while well located, is still old and stale like its sibling hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, which last year was stripped of its Ritz flag and is known today as "The Whitley." 

As part of its rebrand, The Whitley added "Trade Root," a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that replaced its former restaurant known simply as "The Cafe." 

In recent years there has been a tremendous amount of development of restaurants along Peachtree Road.  In many cases, the restaurants represent new additions to the area, while in some cases, there are new restaurants opening in place of ones that have closed. 

At Phipps Plaza for example, Genuine Pizza and Daniel Reed's Public Kitchen & Bar recently opened in place of Yebo and Twist respectively, while Grand Lux Cafe recently opened in space most recently occupied by Frontgate.  Late this year, a new Ecco restaurant will open in a previously undeveloped outparcel of the mall at the intersection of Wieuca and Peachtree Roads, and in 2021, a Nobu restaurant, hotel and food hall, aong other things, are expected to open at One Phipps Plaza as part of the redevelopment of the recently shuttered Belk store.

Del Frisco's Grille opened in front of the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta in late 2012 in a two level space previously home to Tom Colicchio's craft and craftbar.  Del Frisco's made the wise decision to add a two story patio to take better advantage of the restaurant's premiere location along Peachtree Road.    

Also in the area, Little Alley Steak recently opened in the former Aja space in One Alliance Center on Lenox Road, while Sage Woodfire Tavern opened in the former Morton's The Steakhouse at 3379 Peachtree Road, adjacent to Lenox Square.  Mission + Market, a new Mid-Century Modern-ish restaurant, also opened recently in Three Alliance Center, also on Lenox Road.  

Despite the many openings, there are still a number of large restaurant spaces vacant in Buckhead.  Among the more notable vacancies are the former Brio - 2964 Peachtree Road (+/- 9,000 square feet), former Prime - 3393 Peachtree Road/Lenox Square (6,230 square feet),  former The Cheesecake Factory3024 Peachtree Road (15,360 square feet) and former Ocean Prime - 3102 Piedmont Road (9,706 square feet).  

Given Buckhead's glut of high-end steakhouses and lack of upscale Chinese or Mexican eateries, one would hope that something not yet offered in the area opens. 

Donlan & Greenbaum's New York Prime, an upscale steakhouse from CentraArchy Restaurant Management Co., opened in early 2003 in Monarch Plaza, replacing former restaurant Chequers.  

There is no indication that the Monarch proposal has been brought before any planners or the Buckhead CID (Community Improvement District) so it may just be getting shopped to determine if there is enough interest to move forward.    

According to their website, the fifteen story, roughly 370,000 square foot Monarch Plaza is currently about 73% leased.  

What is your favorite Buckhead area restaurant?  Do you think metro Atlanta has too many restaurants?  If the proposal comes to fruition, what type of restaurant would you like to see open on the site?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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