Wednesday, December 19, 2018

[NEWSFLASH] Publix to Pull Out of The Prado in Sandy Springs

Publix Super Markets plans to close its small format store at The Prado in Sandy Springs.  The 28,800 square foot store is located along Roswell Road and opened as part of the center's redevelopment in late 2008.  The grocer is the second junior anchor to close in the center following the late 2014 closure of Staples. (The Staples store has subsequently sporadically been home to various random furniture/mattress/holiday stores.)  Signs posted on the grocer's doors indicate that they will close at 5PM on Saturday, December 29.  There are reportedly no immediate plans for a new tenant in the space.  

Primary anchor Target remains in place as does fellow anchor Life Time Athletic, which opened in the center in space previously earmarked for a Home Depot store.  Many restaurants in the center have also come and gone, or in the case of Bruegger's Bagels, simply never opened.  Most recently, Barberitos, a quick-serve burrito eatery, closed in the project, while Iron Age, a Korean barbecue eatery, opened in the former Kobe Steaks space.  

The biggest challenge for the grocer, or anyone who might take the space the Publix will soon vacate, is the deck parking with basically zero "up-front" parking for would-be grocery customers.  Target has a spacious parking lot on the top level of the deck, but Publix had to rely on parking in the deck which was situated not below or in front of the grocer but across a side street, instead.  

While Publix store closures are rare, they have happened a few times over the years in metro Atlanta.  Publix previously closed stores in Atlanta at Historic Westside Village (2009),  Roswell at Roswell Village (2005), in Brookhaven at Northeast Plaza, in Lilburn at Killian Hill Village, in Woodstock at the Shops at Town Lake (2009), in Hampton at Lovejoy Station (2015), and in McDonough at McDonough West Plaza. 

The Atlanta store was subsequently demolished and replaced by a Walmart Supercenter.  After sitting vacant for over the decade, the former Roswell Publix and the entire center is undergoing an extensive renovation that will bring ROSS and Marshalls to the former Publix space and other new tenants to the complex.  The Brookhaven store is today occupied by City Farmers Market, while the Lilburn store is occupied by Burlington.  The Woodstock store was for a time occupied by a Tuesday Morning, after which the retailer relocated to accommodate a Sprouts Farmers Market that opened in 2017. The Hampton Publix reopened in 2016 as a Food Depot, while the McDonough Publix was backfilled by a Goodwill store & donation center as well as a Planet Fitness.  

The former Woodstock and Atlanta stores, like the store closing in Sandy Springs, and remaining stores in Lenox Marketplace in Buckhead, Cheshire Square in Atlanta, and Shallowford Exchange near Chamblee, are all small format stores, each less than 30,000 square feet.  The stores were developed in the early-to-mid 2000s.  

More recently, Publix has adopted a pretty standard approach to stores with basically all new stores in metro Atlanta measuring 45,600 square feet.  

This size applies to the recently opened Publix stores in Jonquil in Smyrna, Moores Mill in Atlanta and Dawson Crossroads in Dawsonville.  The upcoming store at Madison Yards along Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown was orignally reportedly to also be 45,600 square feet but will instead be about 55,000 square feet.

The one exception to the grocer's store roll-out is with their recently reintroduced "Publix GreenWise" store banner.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported this past June that Publix plans to open a new GreenWise store in East Cobb which real estate sources indicate will be about 25,000 square feet.  A Publix press release in September announcing the store's planned opening confirmed its location but did not specify an exact size.  

Patrons of the Publix at The Prado are encouraged to patronize other nearby Publix stores such as those at Chastain Square on Roswell Road in North Buckhead, Publix at Perimeter on Hammond Drive at Peachtree Dunwoody Road, and the Publix at Abernathy Square on Roswell and Abernathy Roads. 

Are you surprised that Publix is closing their store at The Prado in Sandy Springs?  What would you like to see open in place of the Publix at The Prado?  Where do you do your primary grocery shopping?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Greenwave said...

There isn't a Publix for miles. Whoever runs The Prado needs to be fired. Horrendous turnover.

Craig "Speedy" Ehlo said...

Not surprised. The parking was tough but I think the biggest issue was the format. Being a small store meant a lot of items were either not stocked or hard to find. Hard to make a trip to the grocery store when you're not sure if they have what you're looking for.

I really want to see an indoor game/family fun center in that area (arcade games, mini-golf, etc.). Sorely lacking in Sandy Springs/Buckhead.

Anonymous said...

I had heard for years that Publix at Prado didn't have enough customers. I never do much shopping at Prado. I used to stop at the Chastain Publix often but at times that parking lot is so crowded I avoid it. I love the smaller size Publix at Shallowford Exchange . The small stores take getting used to because products can be in different places than the big stores. I remember one other Publix closed in Lawrenceville at 3059 Lawrenceville Highway. It is now a Walmart Market.

BK said...

I was on the team that did the Architectural construction drawings for the Publix back in 07/08. That had to have been one of the most expensive Publix's built for the size store it was. Finished on all four sides plus rooftop screening for their equipment, canopies galore because they had to have their doors in the prototypical location 50+ feet from where the pedestrian access from the ramp was and numerous other requirements from city of Sandy Springs. It was like shoving a square peg in a round hole, but we got it all in there somehow. The city required fake backlit storefront area along Roswell road never looked right to me but overall it was a pretty good looking store. But a good looking store doesn't necessarily drive traffic and there was nothing convenient about that store, especially grab n go type trips. Hopefully someone else can come in and do something successful in there, but its going to be a hard fit without a ton of rework.

Anonymous said...

Great insight BK! Always interesting to hear how things went down from someone who actually knows.

I have heard that Sandy Springs is one of the worst municipalities to deal with insofar as permitting and sign offs. One of my friends who lives there calls it "The People's Republic of Sandy Springs."

I've never been to the Prado Publix, but occasionally visit the one at Peachtree Dunwoody and Hammond which is also a small store and I really don't like it. There is one at Holcomb and Spalding which is even smaller and that one is terrible for anything other than a staple grab ad go. The best Publix in Atlanta is on Paces Ferry and Cumberland Parkway in Vinings. It is huge and has the cafe inside where they make burgers and stir fry and quesadillas to order at lunch.

Anonymous said...

This is THE Publix that I frequent because they always had consistent bakery items and it's down the street. Once this one closes, the most closest one will be the Publix on Abernathy. Definitely too far. I guess we'll be shopping at Whole Foods now.

MLSB said...

A Five Below or activity center (xdrenaline) which focuses on teens or bowling alley. Or a fitness center. They shouldnt mind the walk to the parking lot.

MLSB said...

A Five Below or activity center (xdrenaline) which focuses on teens or bowling alley. Or a fitness center. They shouldnt mind the walk to the parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Having a grocery store walking distance was a main attractor for where I decided to live for the past 3 years. Because of the smaller format, it was harder to find a lot of the "specialty items", but I feel it did well for me for general groceries. I didn't mind having to cross the side road for parking. I never had an issue with cross-traffic. It was a much different layout from what we're used to overall, and that's probably what led to this point.

I do hope another small-format grocer moves in to the space-- one that can probably handle the habits of the area shoppers. Maybe a Walmart Neighborhood Market or something similar.

Anonymous said...

There was a Publix on South Cobb Drive in Smyrna that closed and is now Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market. I think it closed because of the one at Jonquil opened.

GM said...

Yes, that's exactly what happened. The store at Jonquil was built as a replacement for that one.

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