Saturday, October 19, 2019

[Shhhhh] Sex Shop Secures Sizable Space in Sandy Springs

A new location of Tokyo Valentino Erotique is preparing to open in Sandy Springs, but no one seems to know, and that is perhaps just how they want it.  The new shop, coming to the freestanding building that was most recently a Mattress Firm at 6074 Roswell Road, has no signage up announcing its arrival, but a peek in the window and some online research confirms what it will be.  The shop is located between Botany Bay florist and AT&T, just north of Hammond Drive.  A leasing flyer promoting the space described it as a "Charming Retail Storefront located in one of Atlanta's most affluent communities. Ample parking is available and close proximity to I-285!"

The adult toy, costume and video store currently has locations on Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta, Northside Drive in West Midtown, Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth and on Cobb Parkway in Marietta.  Owner Michael S. Morrison also owns Stardust, a smaller, more limited shop which operates out of a onetime Dunkin' Donuts on Buford Highway in Brookhaven.

Although no one [the broker handing leasing for the property, employees at other Tokyo Valentino locations, or representatives from the City of Sandy Springs] would confirm the identity of the upcoming location, online research confirms that "6074 Roswell LLC" is controlled by Morrison and exterior wood and magenta elements are in line with exterior finishes of existing Tokyo Valentino stores.  Additionally, a peek through the largely paper covered front windows reveals a case of adult toys near the center of the store and assorted adult outfits and costumes lining the walls.  

The new Sandy Springs location, which according to real estate records measures nearly 7,000 square feet, will be the second largest Tokyo Valentino by square footage, according to the shop's website.  The Tokyo Valentino stores on Cheshire Bridge Road and on Northside Drive both offer several video booths and bedrooms, among other features, according to the company's website.  

Morrison, 51,  has over the years been involved in several lawsuits and investigations.  In 2005, Morrison was sentenced to 3 years 10 months in federal prison for tax evasion and lying to the SEC.  It's unclear how much time he eventually served.  More recently, he has fought both the City of Atlanta and Gwinnett County, among other jurisdictions, challenging the the constitutionality of their respective bans or limits on "adult establishments." 
The company's Northside Drive location 

Inserection, another adult novelty store, was owned by Morrison in the 90s.  Morrison grew the chain to several locations, mostly in Georgia, but also a few in surrounding states as well.  In 2010, Morrison sold the Inserection chain but retained the flagship Cheshire Bridge Road location and launched the Tokyo Valentino brand in its place in 2014. 

An Inserection store located at 7855 Roswell Road about four miles from the new Tokyo Valentino closed this past October after it reportedly stopped paying rent following a lengthy (and likely expensive) legal battle with Sandy Springs.  

A representative from the City of Sandy Springs did confirm to ToNeTo Atlanta that "the business" has been issued a "retail license."  When we pressed further to confirm if the operation of an "adult novelty shop" would be permitted from the space in question under current Sandy Springs ordinances, we got no response.  The store is across the street from the upcoming "luxury" apartment complex, The Adley City Springs and just south of the new Modera Sandy Springs, another "luxury" apartment complex.  

Love Shack, another "adult establishment" which sells a variety of toys, magazines and videos, has an existing location on Roswell Road, just inside the Perimeter and less than a mile from the Tokyo Valentino space.  

An analysis cited in a 2005 Sandy Springs Zoning Ordinance document suggests that the operation of a "adult establishment" has an adverse effect on residential areas.  "Adult establishments are significantly related to diminishing market values of neighboring residential areas, that adult establishments should not be located in residential areas, and that adult establishments should be permitted only in locations that are at least 1/10 mile, or approximately 500 feet, from residential areas."  

Separately, another passage says "It is well established and has been the experience of other communities in Georgia and throughout the United States that adult establishments have been associated with disorderly conduct, prostitution, negative impacts on surrounding properties, and other adverse secondary effects."
The flagship Tokyo Valentino on Cheshire Bridge Road 

Strangely, despite what appears to have been a significant amount of work completed within the space, the only recent permit on file at the City of Sandy Springs for 6074 Roswell Road was for the addition of 12 outlets on October 7. 

From the looks of the interior, the store could open any day now.

What are your thoughts on Tokyo Valentino's upcoming opening in Sandy Springs?  Do you think businesses like this should be limited in where they can operate?  Are you a current or former Tokyo Valentino customer?

Please share your thoughts below    


Allen C said...

Didn't Insurrection have a store on Roswell Road where Kenny Roger's Roasters once was, but eventually got ran out of town?

Ham said...

To each their own I suppose, but with the internet who would shop at a brick and mortar sex shop?

Anonymous said...

Ham: Gloryholes

Anonymous said...

To the commenter at 7:40, I used to work a sex shop. At the store you can turn on the different toys, get sense of their movement, power, etc. And if you're shopping with your significant other, a store is much more fun than the internet.

Anonymous said...

Sandy Springs conservative government successfully shut down strip clubs after a ten year battle. It's a matter of time they shut this place down.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:23 So you sold used equipment.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of a test model? I suppose you think they repackage and sell cheese samples at Kroger?

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