Thursday, June 13, 2019

MEGA Bits & Bites [Commercial Real Estate News of Metro Atlanta]

Five Below has signed on to open in a remaining portion of  the former Sports Authority at Akers Mill Square near Smyrna.  The approximately 8,400 square foot store will open to the left of Total Wine & More which opened this past November in the other portion of the former sporting goods retailer.  Five Below is a growing retailer that primarily sells merchandise priced at $5 and below, and targets teens and pre-teens, with some adult merchandise as well.  The store was started by the former founder of popular kids retailer Zany Brainy.  In addition to the Akers Mill store, the Five Below website indicates they recently opened stores in Savannah, Conyers and Evans, with plans to open Winder June 28 and  Macon, "soon."  The site also references another location coming soon to Atlanta.  The site does not reference the previously announced location planned for Chamblee Plaza in Chamblee.  The retailer currently operates more than 700 locations nationwide including existing Cobb County stores in East Cobb and Kennesaw.   

We can now confirm the location of Spenga, a new fitness facility we previously reported was coming soon to both Roswell and Marietta.  The Roswell location, coming to King Plaza on Woodstock Road, will be about 4,800 square feet and is slated to open later this summer.  The Marietta location, coming to Merchant's Walk in East Cobb, will be 3,500 square feet and open adjacent to Road Runner Sports.  

City Surf Fitness has closed its only Atlanta area location on Monroe Drive near Ponce de Leon Avenue.   

Lidl recently announced plans to open 25 new stores in eight states - none in Georgia - over the next year.  The grocer also announced plans to close two under-performing stores in North Carolina, but also open six new stores as part of the 25 in North Carolina, including Cary, Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.  The stores slated for closure are in Rockingham and Kinston. 

Women's clothing retailer Dressbarn announced last month that it plans to close all 650 stores nationwide. 

Established in 1960, the company currently operates thirteen stores in Georgia including stores in Kennesaw at Town Center at Cobb, Lawrenceville at Sugarloaf Mills, Snellville at Presidential Commons and Pooler at Tanger Outlets Savannah.  Ascena Retail Group, Dressbarn's parent company, also owns Loft, Ann Taylor, Justice, Lane Bryant, Catherines and Lou & Grey, among other brands.  

Taco Mac has closed another location, this time in Charlotte, North Carolina at Piedmont Town Center near SouthPark Mall.  The Charlotte restaurant opened during the summer of 2010 and closed within the past few days, according to local sources.  The Atlanta-based restaurant chain now has 25 locations in Georgia and a single location in Chattanooga.  The chain was purchased last March by a group of local investors with plans to "improve the Taco Mac experience."  

Andy's Frozen Custard officially opened May 22 in Alpharetta.  The new custard shop, the first in metro Atlanta for the Missouri-based chain, is located at 3760 Old Milton Parkway, about two miles from Avalon. 

A new ice cream shop called Nitrolicious Creamery is opening in The Peach shopping center on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. The new ice cream joint has leased a 1,200 square foot space in the center most recently home to Planet Smoothie before the smoothie shop closed this past October

ToNeTo Atlanta reported previously that Tamago Ramen is also opening in the center and will occupy the former Barbertitos space near Party City.  

Torq, a locally owned indoor cycling studio on Marietta Street in West Midtown, closed June 1 after opening September 6, 2014.  The owners did not reveal much, only saying that the studio is "moving under new ownership."  That said, sources within the Atlanta fitness community tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Vibe Ride, another similar Atlanta studio with existing locations in Midtown and Grant Park, will in the coming weeks open in place of Torq.  

Jamba Juice has closed at Chastain Square on Roswell Road in North Buckhead as well as on North Decatur Road in Decatur.  The smoothie and juice franchises were opened in December 2015 and February 2016 respectively by Aimee and her former NFL player husband Julian Peterson, of For Pete's Sake, LLC.  The two locations were previously listed for sale by The Shumacher Group.  The Petersons' 2015 development deal was to include a total of six locations, but only the two ever opened.  Another Jamba Juice location that opened around the same time as the Petersons' has also since closed and was located in Alpharetta Commons on State Bridge Road in Alpharetta.  Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands purchased Jamba Juice last year, and earlier this month shortened the brand's name to simply Jamba.  The change follows similar moves by Starbucks (Coffee) and Dunkin (Donuts).   

Grecian Gyro opened its seventh overall location last week on Northside Drive in Berkeley Park.  The quick-serve Greek eatery replaces the short-lived Blue Coast Burrito in the 2,308  square foot space.  The first Grecian Gyro opened 1982 in Hapeville and now via franchising includes locations in Forest Park, Tucker, Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Snellville.  

Buffalo Wild Wings has closed its freestanding restaurant at 7322 Stonecrest Concourse near The Mall at Stonecrest.  The roughly 5,200 square foot restaurant reportedly closed a few days ago but is strangely still listed on the company's website without mention of the closure or a potential reopening.  This is at least the third closure in metro Atlanta for the now Sandy Springs-based company. (Arby's Restaurant Group, now Inspire Brands, completed its $2.4 billion purchase of the business in February of 2018 and moved the company's headquarters from Minneapolis to Sandy Springs.) Prior area closures of the restaurant were on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs in the Northridge shopping center and off Peachtree Road in Buckhead in Lenox Marketplace.  

Hai Chinese opened this past Wednesday at Suburban Plaza near Decatur.  The new restaurant, which features a number of classic Szechuan dishes, replaced Tabi Sushi, which itself replaced Smoke + Duck Sauce, in the Walmart anchored shopping center.  Early reviews via Yelp are rather impressive for such a new restaurant with 6 five star and 4 four star reviews with one user saying "I must say that I have been to many Chinese Restaurants in Ga and Hai's Authentic Chinese is hands on the best!!"
Dragon Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce at Hai Chinese 
Southern Baked Pie will later this fall open its fourth location in metro Atlanta. The new shop, coming to Vinings Jubilee, joins existing locations in Buckhead, Alpharetta and Gainesville.   

Mount Paran Animal Hospital has opened on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The clinic, which was seemingly under construction/renovation for months, opens in place of the former Oriental Art business.  The animal hospital also operates a mobile veterinary service, Noah's Bark.  

Soren Salon reopened yesterday in West Paces Ferry Shopping Center.  The locally owned salon was previously located on Paces Ferry Place in Buckhead Village but relocated to the Publix anchored shopping center near OK Cafe where they replaced Keri Gold Salon, another locally owned salon.  

lululemon at Shops Around Lenox will be relocating to temporarily to 102 West Paces Ferry Road as of June 19th. The current store, which will close as of June 17, will be both expanded and renovated over the coming months, after which a company representative indicated the store will reopen in October.  The temporary location, the space previously occupied by Baby Braithwaite, is adjacent to the St. Regis and across from Whole Foods Market.  

Publix will celebrate it's highly anticipated new supermarket on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown with a grand opening scheduled for June 26th.  The new store co-anchors the Fuqua Development Madison Yards project at 905 Memorial Drive where a new AMC Theatres, new apartments and restaurants are also expected to open later this year and next year.  

Pollo Campero opened its latest Atlanta area location this past Sunday at Marietta Trade Center along Cobb Parkway in Marietta.  The new restaurant opened in place of the former Pollo Tropical, which like the rest of company's Atlanta area locations, closed in December 2018. The new Pollo Campero is owned by franchisee Madrid Group, who also own the Pollo Campero on Buford Highway in Brookhaven which opened in 2011 in place of a former Popeyes.  

In nearby news, the Checkers restaurant just north of the Pollo Campero which was previously closed, then renovated and reopened, only to close again earlier this year after a fire damaged it, is preparing to reopen.  The restaurant is located at 41 Cobb Parkway, in an out-parcel of the former Kmart turned Sears Outlet store.  

Southern Proper Hospitality, the Atlanta restaurant group with 22 restaurants between Florida and North Carolina, is bringing its Gypsy Kitchen restaurant to Washington D.C.  Sources close to the restaurant group tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Gypsy Kitchen will replace Masa 14 at 1825 14th Street, although an official confirmation of the location has not yet been made.  Richard Sandoval Hospitality, which owns Masa 14, said Monday that it would close the restaurant in August after a decade in business.  The first and currently only Gypsy Kitchen opened in October 2014 in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.  Gypsy Kitchen D.C. is expected to open by summer 2020.  

Metro Atlanta's newest Chicken Salad Chick will celebrate its Grand Opening on Tuesday, June 25 at Sandy Plains Centre in East Cobb.  The new 2,800 square foot restaurant will be corporately owned and will be the 26th location in Georgia for the Auburn, Alabama-based chain.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported in February that Chicken Salad Chick founder Stacy Brown would be opening a one of a kind location of the popular eatery in Rome.  Sources close to the restaurant indicate that construction is on track and that the restaurant should be open in August.  

A second Atlanta area location of Indian grocer Patel Brothers is slated to open open in Suwanee June 13.  The new store, which was built from the ground up, is located at

3230 Caliber Street.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the planned store in 2017.  The Hanover Park, Illinois-based grocer's other Atlanta area location is on Church Street near Decatur where it occupies a former Kroger.  

In the works since at least 2017, Bismillah Cafe on Buford Highway in Chamblee could get a new home by early 2020.  Currently located at 4022 Buford Highway, restaurant owner  Nowshed  Hossain plans to construct a new, two story restaurant in place of two existing structures at 4004 and 4010 Buford Highway. The restaurant features a largely Indian and Mediterranean menu with American offerings as well.   The new restaurant would be 3,752 square feet and would sit on about one third of an acre.  The main level of the building would provide space for the kitchen and restaurant while the upper level would be office space. 

The combined BB&T and SunTrust Bank will be known as Truist.  If you think it's a terrible name and that whoever they paid to come up with it was tremendously overpaid, you're not alone.  


Anonymous said...

The name of the newly combined bank is ridiculous. I am a customer of BB&T and it has been a positive experience overall (I can only speak for myself) from a customer service standpoint. The name alone won't make me jump ship yet it's not a great choice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all that info!
Just wanted to say to Lidl that your announcements are meaningless as they never come to fruition. Go back to Europe - you're services aren't needed here!

On Truist - you gotta be kidding me, right? Banks never cease to amaze me. They probably paid some team millions to come up with a a name that trashes years of brand recognition for two names in favor of a terrible new one.

Truist Park?

Anonymous said...

Thats the most eggplant I have ever seen on one plate.

Anonymous said...


That's almost as bad as Nationwide Bank changing their name to "Mr. Cooper".

Alex said...

Get Don Draper out of his nursing home to come up with a better name than Truist.

Also, why so much hate towards Lidl? To me, they may be inferior to Aldi, but still a decent grocer. Haven't been to a Kroglix in a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Some much wrong with Truist.
I guess the two banks had a tryst gone wrong

Anonymous said...

I was just at Chamblee Plaza today (getting something at ACE, which by the way, is a great store. Lots of cool stuff) and Five Below has their sigh up and construction going on inside. Bismallah is one of the true gems on BuHi and so glad to see it is doing well.

Love your site, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

The Chamblee 5 Below is opening soon according to the sign out front.

Anonymous said...

Truish bankers are the best at handling money😀

Anonymous said...

Re: Lidl Hate
They are all talk and no walk:

100 stores by mid 2018!
prices half that of "regular" grocery stores!

They screwed a lot of people in the commercial real estate market with their BS promises. So they can pound sand and go back to selling their off brand strudel in Stuttgart! They offer nothing that isn't already here and will always be Aldi's lesser known little sister.

Anonymous said...

Lidl is way ahead of Aldi in terms of product selection, cleanliness of stores, employee interaction, number of cashiers available for check-out, and fresh baked goods (cookies, donuts, pretzels, etc). There may be more Aldi's in Atlanta, but that doesn't make them better.

Anonymous said...

Lidl is a (corporate) hot mess of problems. I wouldn't be so quick to worship a store that could (already) easily end up shuttering stores.

Anonymous said...

Seems someone here has an axe to grind with Lidl, possibly disgruntled former employee or management

Anonymous said...

@ 7:15 LOL, so grocery industry and financial publications are publishing fake news about Lidl and their struggles? Thank You Aldi employee @7:15 for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Seems someone here has an axe to grind with Lidl, possibly Aldi employee or management ....

Anonymous said...

Lidl is way behind Aldi in terms of US success.
I am not an Aldi employee, nor a disgruntled former Lidl employee.
I don't even shop at Aldi.

I just know that Lidl is full of crap with big talk and no delivery. Based on their history, they will have a smaller batch of opportunities going forward because there are some developers who will never work with them again.

Anonymous said...

Must be a disgruntled developer then since you like to allege what they will do and speak on their behalf.

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