Thursday, December 22, 2022

[EXCLUSIVE] Metro Music Store on the Move

The longstanding Guitar Center located on the Northeast Expressway will soon relocate.  According to a newly updated site plan for Brighten Park (2480 Briarcliff Road), Guitar Center has leased a roughly 18,300 square foot anchor space most recently home to Tuesday Morning.

Guitar Center's current home, less than a mile away at 1485 Northeast Expressway, is, according to DeKalb property records, already owned by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and will be incorporated into their new more than 70 acre campus.  

Westlake Village, California-based Guitar Center currently operates about 300 stores nationwide including ten in Georgia that in addition to the aforementioned "Atlanta" store (officially in the City of Brookhaven) include those in Alpharetta, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Augusta, Athens, Fayetteville, Savannah and Macon.  

According to Guitar Center, their current Atlanta store is more than 23,000 square feet, meaning that their new store is about 20 per cent smaller.  

Hit hard by the effects of the pandemic, Guitar Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2020, but seemingly closed just one store, its "flagship" in New York's Times Square.  After an influx of new equity and reducing its debt, Guitar Center emerged from bankruptcy protection on December 23, 2020.  

Guitar Center marks the second retailer in recent years to vacate space on the Northeast Expressway for Childrens' expansion.  Performance Bicycle closed its store in 2019, along with the entire chain, due to their own bankruptcy filing.  The freestanding building at 1471 Northeast Expressway is currently used by CHOA but according to renderings, both it and the Guitar Center building are slated for demolition.  

Pending construction, permitting and other delays, Guitar Center plans to simultaneously close on the Northeast Expressway and open at Brighten Park in March.  

Are you a current Guitar Center customer?  Are you pleased by the planned relocated store?  Are you a neighbor dreading the increased traffic Children's new campus will bring?

Please share your thoughts below. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Atlanta guitar Center has an OK selection and having been there only once or twice there was plenty of space on the inside to streamline and consolidate by 20% in my estimation while keeping or even expanding the product selection, they will do well for themselves to expand the selection somewhat as they draw new clientele to the new destination. I am in so they should have more that caters to the amatuer in addition to the professional

Anonymous said...

I hate to see Guitar Center leave it's spot. Mostly because I like it as a freestanding building. It was the destination not somewhere to walk by. Unlike the way the shopping center GC's feel. But seriously at least there still going to be close.

Anonymous said...

The last time I was in Guitar Center, I was shocked to see that it had become "DJ Center". Actual guitars seemed to be an afterthought, and the selection reduced to a shadow of its former self. But if I was in the market for a new guitar, I'd buy it online from Sweetwater. If you are not satisfied, Sweetwater will bend over backwards to make it right.

Anonymous said...

CHOA is already almost a virus taking over that whole area. Trying to get from Roxboro road to Briarcliff, via North Druid Hills, took me over an hour last week, and it wasn't even rush hour. And there are no alternate ways across 85. It's a good thing CHOA uses helicopter ambulances. Regular ambulances would get stuck in traffic. Brighten Park has revitalized after Lidl opened but all the Brighten retail spaces are too small and the parking lot is too big. The whole place needs a tear down and build to modern standards. Wait. Who am I kidding? It is only a matter of time before CHOA buys the site and kicks everybody out..

Anonymous said...

This was inevitable. CHOA had this area surrounded and is growing like mad. And Guitar Center is still in trouble. The myth of the "guitar hero" is dying. Their big ticket buyers are getting too old to haul a lot of gear to gigs. The internet is eating big box retailers alive and the used market is flooded. The service at Guitar Center is terrible and the stores aren't stocked, so there's no advantage to shopping in a physical space. Between Sweetwater for new gear, and Reverb.com for used gear, Guitar Center's only competitive advantage is that their used gear prices are frequently the best you can find. The rent reduction from this move will relieve some financial pressure, but Guitar Center is going to be struggling more and more as time goes on.

Anonymous said...

Current location in Atlanta is hard to get to…especially if going South.

Anon said...

Guitar Center has been around for many years. Seems like a great add for Brighton Park which has trouble keeping retailers.

Unknown said...

Even though I am a 'retired' musician, I have been dreading the thought of Guitar Center being bullied out of the area. This seems like a mutually beneficial solution as they can stay within a mile of the legacy location while CHOA can continue to expand and create jobs for the area. Additionally, the LL for Brighton has been desperate to try to lease the vacancy, with little luck - so this will help. The parking lot is a complete shit show, with narrow spaces and ill-thoughted egress, but at least GC cliental are very targeted and will overpopulate the lot more than necessary.

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