Monday, January 14, 2019

Bits & Bites [Commercial Real Estate News Atlanta]

As you might have noticed, Bits & Bites has been absent from the site over the past few weeks. ToNeTo Atlanta apologizes for the delay and hopes you will enjoy the following GIANT Bits & Bites, chock full of bits and bites and a few things nice.  As always, please message us if we missed anything and don't forget to follow us on Instagram for exclusive update pics, contests and other fun stuff. 
Kremo, a rolled ice cream eatery, and Gong Cha, a tea shop, are both opening new locations along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The two new businesses will share space in a converted building at 6135 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, just north of the new Modera Sandy Springs apartment complex.  There are existing Kremo locations at Avalon in Alpharetta and on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.  Gong Cha has an existing locations on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth and another in the works within the Perimeter Mall food court in Dunwoody.

Ministry of Supply, a retailer previously located in The Shops Around Lenox, has relocated to the former Agent Provocateur space on the first floor of Phipps Plaza near Starbucks.

A long rumored Chipotle Mexican Grill is finally making headway at 1010 Midtown on Peachtree in Midtown.  The quick serve burrito joint will occupy a storefront on Peachtree Street alongside Panera Bread.

The freestanding 80s era Chick-fil-A on Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners closed November 30 and has now been completely demolished.  The restaurant, like others around the metro Atlanta and around the county, is being rebuilt as a slightly larger, updated version.  Plans call for the restaurant to reopen in May.

Benihana at Peachtree Center closed as of early December.  The restaurant seemingly closed without prior notice and despite having completed a $200,000 renovation in 2012 after two decades in business.  The popular hibachi chain is still open in south Buckhead near Piedmont Hospital and in Alpharetta near North Point Mall.  The company's casual concept, RA Sushi is also still open at 1010 in Midtown.

Hobnob opened its newest location at Perimeter Place December 12.  The restaurant opened in place of Mimi's Cafe which closed in the development in late 2017.  Next up for Hobnob is a new restaurant in the redeveloped Central Park at Atlantic Station.  The Atlantic Station restaurant will likely serve as a replacement for the current Hobnob at the corner of Monroe Drive and Piedmont Avenue that is due to close as part of the Piedmont Park expansion.

Boba Theory, a bubble tea and coffee shop, recently opened on Clifton Road at Emory Point in a space formerly occupied by Indian eatery Paradise Biryani Pointe.

1000 Degrees Pizza planned to open its latest Atlanta area location Thursday January 10, but has since pushed its planned opening on Chastain Road in Kennesaw to Thursday January 31.  The postponement was blamed on "construction delays."  The quick-serve pizza chain is already open on Cobb Parkway in Marietta with another coming to Woodstock Road in Roswell.

A new RaceTrac is planned for Peachtree Corners at 5780 Peachtree Parkway Engineering Drive, just off Peachtree Parkway.  The new roughly 5,500 square foot convenience store and gas station has been in the works since at least early 2018 and could open by late this year.  

Abodo Tacos on Lenox Road has already closed.  The restaurant, a satellite location of the restaurant's original outpost in Johns Creek, opened late this past April in place of Vine & Tap in Lenox Village.  The 2,800 square foot space is currently being marketed for lease. 

Performance Bike is actively liquidating all four of their Atlanta area stores including those on the Northeast Expressway near Children's Heathcare of Atlanta, on Alpharetta Highway in Roswell, on Ernest W. Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw, and on Woodward Crossing Boulevard near Mall of Georgia in Buford.  Advanced Sport Enterprises, the 2-year-old company that is parent to the Performance Bicycle retail chain, Bike Nashbar and distributor ASI, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-November. The company is due to be put up for auction January 15 after which someone may buy the business and may continue it a going concern, or the company may cease operations.  All Atlanta area stores are offering between 30-70% off on-hand merchandise with all stores slated to close no later than late February, pending the result of the auction. 

Grindhouse Killer Burgers is planning to open their seventh overall location in Brookhaven at the corner of Apple Valley Road and Dresden Drive as part of the forthcoming Dresden Point development.  

Gino's East, a Chicago-style pizzeria, has opened at 675 North Highland in the former Rize Artisan Pizza space.

Metro Atlanta will this year get two locations of Nashville's Slim & Husky's Pizza Beeria. First up, the hip-hop themed eatery will open in the space previously occupied by One Rooster Mongolian Grill at 1016 Howell Mill Road in West Midtown.  Work on the second generation restaurant space is well underway and the company hopes to open at the end of February or the beginning of March.  A second location, planned for 581 Metropolitan Parkway in Adair Park in southwest Atlanta, will be built from the ground up and should open later this summer, or early fall.  Additional locations could be added around Atlanta in the years to come.

A new Arden's Garden, the Atlanta-based company's 17th overall, is planned for west Newnan. The new juice and smoothie shop will open at 98 Temple Avenue, converting an existing building to suit their needs.  Our friends at The City Menus spoke to Leslie Zinn, daughter of founder Arden Zinn, and current President/CEO of Arden's Garden about her plans for the Newnan location.  Zinn tells The City Menus that  “We are excited about putting a location in Newnan, We’ve been interested in opening in south Atlanta. We look forward in expanding our mission to offer healthy options that are convenient and affordable.”  A renovation will happen very soon to the current 280 square foot space along with a 670 square foot addition. In addition to their own shops, Arden's Garden juices can be found in Whole Foods Market, Publix, Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market and The Fresh Market, among other grocers and shops.
Subway has closed its restaurant at Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall.  A sign on the restaurant's front door indicates it closed due to "a leasing issue."

The LB Brand "Flagship" at Ponce City Market has quietly closed.  The newish brand's target market is young women and mothers, but it also has a small collection of men's t-shirts.  Given that, one would think it would have done well at Ponce City Market, but the popular center has proven difficult for many retailers and there could be more closures to come.  

The Juicy Crab is opening a new location in the former Papi's (and before that Buffalo's) at Cofer Crossing in Tucker.   The growing Duluth-based restaurant franchise will open in the 4,200 square foot space in the coming months.  There are existing Atlanta area locations of The Juicy Crab in Duluth, Smyrna, Conyers, Douglasville, East Point, Kennesaw, Fayetteville, Augusta, McDonough and East Point, with another location coming soon to Snellville.

A new Planet Smoothie is coming soon to the Publix anchored Piedmont Commons shopping center at 1050 East Piedmont Road in Marietta.

Retailer Guess has closed its store at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. 

Sonny's BBQ on Highway 20 South in Conyers has closed.
Texas-based Tiff's Treats recently opened its newest Atlanta area location at Peachtree Corners Town Center in Peachtree Corners.  The new cookie shop is the growing chain's seventh in metro Atlanta joining existing locations in Alpharetta, Midtown, Perimeter, Cumberland, Decatur and Buckhead.  

Nancy's Pizza has opened their newest location at Perimeter Village in Dunwoody. The new Chicago style pizzeria opened in place of the former alfred angelo Briadal shop.  Other Atlanta area locations include those in Buckhead, Johns Creek, East Point, Midtown and coming soon to Conyers.

Ameris Bancorp, based in Moultrie, announced December 17 that it reached a definitive merger agreement with Fidelity Southern (dba Fidelity Bank) pursuant to which Fidelity will merge with and into Ameris.  Fidelity Bank, with headquarters in Atlanta, began in Atlanta in 1973 and has become what the merger announcement referred to as the "crown jewel of Atlanta."  The merger, which was unanimously approved by the boards of both banks, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.  "Based on September 30, 2018 results, and excluding purchase accounting adjustments, the combined company will have approximately $16.2 billion in assets and a branching network across four states.  Pro forma for the merger, 72 branches and $4.7 billion of deposits are located in the Atlanta MSA; 26 branches and approximately $1.8 billion of deposits are located in the Jacksonville MSA."  Weeks after announcing their purchase of Fidelity, Ameris also announced they were replacing Verizon as the title sponsor of Alpharetta's amphitheater.  Ameris Bank Amphitheatre will be the new name what was known as the Verizon Amphitheatre (originally Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) since its inception in 2008.   The bank signed a multi-year agreement with Live Nation, the concert promoter that operates the venue. 

Growing Atlanta based quick-serve restaurant Gusto will open their fourth overall restaurant Tuesday, January 15 at the corner of Northside Drive and 17th Street in West Midtown Center.  The new location joins existing locations in south Buckhead, Ponce de Leon Avenue near Freedom Parkway and their newest, on North Decatur Road in the new North Decatur Square shopping center.  A fifth location is in the works along Peachtree Boulevard in Chamblee.

King Barbecue has closed at Avalon in Alpharetta.  The restaurant's last day in business was Christmas Eve after opening for the first time on June 5.  The restaurant replaced Bantam & Biddy, which closed in March, and was owned by the same team of Lance Gummere and Shaun Doty.  The restaurant posted notices both on their doors and on their Facebook page hinting at a reboot in 2019 in a different location, saying "we are currently working on reopening in a new home in early 2019."  It was recently revealed that King Barbecue will resurface in Savi Provisons on Pharr Road in Buckhead.  

Struggling apparel retailer Gap, which in November announced plans to close hundreds of stores "quickly and aggressively" has started liquidation sales at three Georgia stores.  Gap will close its full-line store at Augusta Mall in Augusta and at The Shoppes at River Crossing in Macon in addition to a Gap Outlet at Epps Bridge Centre in Athens.  The Augusta store is likely one of the oldest in Georgia having originally debuted in 1978.

Lenny's Subs at 11600 Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek has closed.

NY Pizza Exchange at 2810 Paces Ferry Road in Vinings has closed. 

Stax Burger Bar at 690 Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell has closed.

A new restaurant called Bar.Bacoa has opened in the former Taco Cowboy,  previously Tom Tom and before that Noche, in Virginia Highland.   Taco Cowboy General Manager Scott Switzer and Bar Manager James Rangel will be the owners and operators of Bar.Bacoa which will sport a similar but not identical menu to its recent predecessor.  Former owner Tom Catherall is taking a "Seaside Sabbatical" to write his cookbook and is "retiring" from the restaurant.  
Olive Oil and vinegar specialty shop Strippaggio has closed at Emory Point.  The independent shop occupied suite C-135, a 937 square foot space in the mixed-use development that has been plagued by closures, big (Earth Fare) and small (BurgerFi, Paradise Biryani, Sweet Monkey, etc.) and while small, this is definitely not a good sign for the project.

Longhorn Steakhouse is planning to open a new restaurant at 2700 Old Winder Highway in Braselton.  The new steakhouse is the second new concept from Orlando-based Darden to have upcoming restaurants in the Buford area, as last summer, ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported that Season's 52 is also opening a new restaurant along Buford Drive just outside the Mall of Georgia.

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar could open a second location in metro Atlanta as part of a proposed two building development in an outparcel of Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  The restaurant has reportedly signed an LOI (letter of intent) onto the proposed development at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Center West, according to planning documents filed with the city of Dunwoody.  Representatives from Brookfield Property REIT Inc., owners of Perimeter Mall, are seeking a variance to reduce the street setback to build two new commercial buildings where currently there are excess parking spaces and where the mall has at times hosted carnivals and other traveling events.  The project is set to go before Dunwoody’s Zoning Board of Appeals on January 10.  California-based Lazy Dog is a casual dining concept that features its own pet-friendly menu and dog patio. Existing locations are located in California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Nevada.  California is its biggest market, where it operates 21 of its 30 restaurants.  The chain's first Atlanta area location is expected to open later this summer at Fuqua Development's Peachtree Corners Town Center along Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners.

PLAYlive Nation, an indoor video game business, is opening a new franchise at North Point Mall in Alpharetta. Planning documents indicate that PLAYlive will open in a 2,129 square foot space on the first floor of the mall, adjacent to the JC Penney wing, close to where Sears recently closed.  PLAYlive describes itself as a "Social gaming lounge featuring high-end gaming stations, the newest and hottest video games."  Its opening will mark the return of an arcade-type business to the mall following the closure of Challenges over a decade ago.  

Sotolero, a Mexican eatery, has closed at Emory Walk on Clairmont Road, just off North Decatur Road near Decatur. 
The eatery opened in early 2017 in place of what was most recently known as T'Kilas.  There is no word yet as to what, if anything, will open in the vacant restaurant space.

Fúdo, a new restaurant who's name means "food with no limits," opened January 7 at Chamblee's Parkview on Peachtree along Peachtree Bouelvard.  The restaurant was opened by restaurateurs John and Grace Lee, best known for their popular steak and sushi concept, Ichiban, with locations in Alpharetta and Cumming. Fúdo opened in an endcap space opposite Chronic Tacos, and joins Poke Bar, Bad Daddy's Burger Bar and The Alden, as restaurants in the development. 

Home improvement retailer Floor & Decor just opened its newest store on Memorial Drive in Kirkwood.  The new outpost is the eighth in Georgia for the Atlanta-based and now publicly traded company that started on the access road off I-85 in 2000.

After nearly 25 years, Atlanta Rocks, Atlanta's original indoor climbing gym, closed for good on December 31.  The facility, located along Collier Road and visible from I-75, was undoubtedly hurt by the rise of other new, larger gyms, notably Stone Summit, now with three locations.

Vespucci's Pizza & Pasta at 1389 Peachtree Street in Midtown has closed.  Signage at the restaurant indicates that it's closed for remodeling but with its building now under new ownership, the closure is likely permanent.  Parkside Partners purchased 1389 Peachtree as well as two neighboring buildings and has rechrisentend the collective development "Boundary."  "Boundary is a visionary three-building campus located at the prominent intersection of Peachtree at 17th in Midtown ATL. Recently acquired by Parkside Partners with plans for dramatic redevelopment and unification through design and architecture, Boundary offers the ability for companies seeking dynamic space with an unmatched Peachtree Street address and visibility. United through a 1/4-acre linear park, Boundary is destined to turn heads and ignite excitement for ‘what’s next’."

Kale Me Crazy plans to open their 14th overall Atlanta area location this Thursday January 17 at Toco Hills shopping center.  The 1,500 square foot smoothie and juice shop will open adjacent to Spiller Park Coffee, and beside what is expected to open "soon" as Pao Pao Ramen & Ice Cream.  Both Kale Me Crazy and Pao Pao were first announced to be opening last spring.   To celebrate the opening, Kale Me Crazy will offer free smoothies to all patrons between 4 pm and 8 pm on Thursday.  A 15th Atlanta area location is expected to open soon at Modera Vinings, a new apartment complex on Cumberland Boulevard in Vinings. 

The owners of Buckhead's Lavash Mediterranean Grill have apparently purchased Mulavi, another Mediterranean restaurant in Midtown, and plan to reopen it as "Lavash Restaurant & Lounge" in the coming weeks.  The current Lavash, located beside the Chevron at the corner of Grandview Avenue & Pharr Road, is a quick-serve eatery featuring Mediterranean classics.  The new location appears to be primed to offer a similar menu but in a more upscale setting.  Mulavi opened in mid 2017 at what was then known as ALTA Midtown apartments and following a sale, is now known at Nine15.  

Charlotte based Firebirds Wood Fired Grill will open its second overall Atlanta area location Monday, January 14 at the new Peachtree Corners Town Center in Peachtree Corners.  The first Atlanta area Firebirds opened in Alpharetta, on Old Milton Parkway, across from Avalon in 2016.  The full service restaurant is a cross between a Seasons 52 and a Houston's and features a largely static menu of upscale American fare.  There are plans for up to four other Firebirds in metro Atlanta in the coming years.  The recently closed Cowfish restaurant at Perimeter Mall has been suggested as a good location third location for Firebirds.
Apparel retailer Penguin has closed their store at Lenox Square in Buckhead.  The store, which previously relocated from the lower level of the mall near Urban Outfitters to the upper level of the Luxury Wing always seemed to be "on sale" and its closure comes as little to surprise.  Existing Luxury Wing tenant True Religion has relocated to the former Penguin space.  

Outdoor retailer Rock/Creek has finally opened their new store at The Battery Atlanta.  The Chattanooga based retailer opened in a large space previously announced to be the home of  Sweet Pete's and Farrell's.  Sweet Pete's, Farrell's and Rock/Creek are all businesses owned by entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, star of the CNBC reality series, "The Profit."  

Santorini Taverna has opened in the former Cheeky at Gateway on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  

Children’s apparel retailer Gymboree Group Inc. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection this week, with plans to close all of their 900+ stores, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.  The expected bankruptcy comes less than two years after the retailer’s first stint in bankruptcy court, when it closed more than 300 stores and saw its lenders take control of the business.  The company operates stores under the banners Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8. In December, Gymboree announced it began a strategic review of the three brands after which it decided it would shutter all Crazy 8 stores.   In metro Atlanta, the company operates Janie and Jack stores at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead and at Avalon in Alpharetta.  Gymboree operates stores at Lenox Square, Perimeter Mall, The Forum on Peachtree Parkway, Avalon and Arbor Place, among its fourteen stores in metro Atlanta.  Crazy 8 has stores at Cumberland Mall, Town Center at Cobb, Arbor Place, Mall of Georgia and The Collection at Forsyth, among its eight stores in metro Atlanta.
Inside a standard room at the new Canopy by Hilton in Midtown 
Atlanta's first Canopy by Hilton hotel has opened on West Peachtree Street in Midtown.  The new lifestyle hotel is part of Hilton Hotels and the Midtown property is the sixth in the U.S. and only the ninth worldwide for the new brand.  The Midtown property features 176 rooms and a full service restaurant, Xhibit Kitchen & Bar.  

Atlanta based Tin Drum Asian Kitchen will open its newest location in Decatur on Saturday, February 9. The restaurant is located in the new Whole Foods 365 anchored North Decatur Square shopping center at 1565 Church Street.     “Decatur guests can look forward to exciting new ‘not-in-a-bowl’ menu items, a curated retail shop and a return to the company’s sidewalk café roots” said Steven Chan, the chain's founder who recently rejoined the company after bring on hiatus.    The Decatur location marks the chain's 11th restaurant in the greater metro Atlanta area.     


Anonymous said...

Do you still believe the retail apocalypse isn't a real thing? Read this and it will probably change your mind. Outside of Amazon I'm not sure where Atlantans are shopping (other than discount stores) because this blog is always just a cattle call of struggling retail centers.

Anonymous said...

bummer about Performance bike, as I bought a thing or two from them over the years. Their 'scattante' bike line actually offers really good bang for the buck. I liked how they rehabbed that brick building on the access road, but the location on the northbound access road was a bit of a headache (granted the REI on the southbound access road seems to be doing fine).

Anonymous said...

Agree with the first commenter it's shocking to see the number of places that close around Atlanta, especially those that haven't even been in business for a year. I know nothing about running a retail or restaurant operation, but even I've heard that you're supposed to expect it to take at least a year before the business turns a profit. Restaurant folks that keep throwing good money after bad with continuous rebranding (Bantam and Biddy/King Barbeque, etc.)are are so sad to me, what waste of money. Poor planning aside, I do wonder whether high rents at prime locations like PCM are simply unsustainable for the majority of businesses.

CulinaryCheerleader said...

Strippaggio closed because the lease expired. The business has shed bricks and mortar and intends to continue a robust online business.

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