Atlantic Station begins metamorphosis as White House Black Market closes

Caleb J. Spivakretail80 Comments

white house black market closes at atlantic station ~ what now, atlanta?

Update (August 17, 2011): Drew Lewis to replace White House Black Market at Atlantic Station

New developer seeks your advice on what should open in the retailer’s place

It’s as plain as black and white.

Atlantic Station is evolving and White House Black Market’s (WHBM) closing has initiated said “Evolution.”

WHBM closed over the weekend and the space it filled has been completely emptied.

We recently met with Managing Partner at North American Properties (new owner of the Town Center portion of Atlantic Station), Mark Toro, who is soliciting the advice of the neighborhood for the direction the development should take.

Town Center at Atlantic Station is a district that includes Publix, the Regal 16 Cinemas, LA Fitness, retailer H&M and restaurants such as Rosa Mexicano and Dolce Entocea e Ristorante.

“We plan to make Atlantic Station the center for the Midtown community and a focal point for in-town Atlanta,” said Mark Toro.

“Job one is to reach out to our neighbors and ask, ‘How can we work together to make Atlantic Station better serve Midtown?’ This transformation will take time. The most immediate change will be our level of engagement.”

Liz Gillespie, vice president of marketing at Atlantic Station, informed us WHBM would close this weekend, specifically asking we seek our readers advice for what should open in it’s place.

“The space formally occupied by White House Black Market is available for a new shop or boutique. Who should fill it?

As much as we’ve seen Atlantic Station struggle and as much as we’ve despised its transplanted-outdoor-Smyrna-Simon-Mall-feel, after speaking with Toro and Gillespie, we are confident the development is headed in the right direction.

But it’s up to you.

Toro and Gillespie will be launching a major campaign in the coming months soliciting your advice.

In the interim, they read What Now Atlanta and its comments, so leave a comment with the local and national retailers and restaurateurs you want to see at the all new Atlantic Station!

White House Black Market
171 17th St NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30363

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Caleb J. SpivakAtlantic Station begins metamorphosis as White House Black Market closes

80 Comments on “Atlantic Station begins metamorphosis as White House Black Market closes”

  1. worx

    Get rid of Dillard’s, a Macy’s/Bloomingdale’s/Nordstrom’s would make much more sense.

    I think a Marc Jacobs would do good there. Urban Outfitters? American Apparel? Zara too.

  2. Jenna

    Apple store always draws lots of attention and Atlanta could use one somewhere south of Lenox (is there even another one in Georgia south of Lenox???). Obv they’d need more space than only where WHBM vacated.

    Another idea is a MAC makeup store or maybe some other high-end brand of makeup that Dillard’s does not carry?

    Other things Atlantic Station could use is some “fast-food” sushi (Sarku in Lenox Mall is always the longest line in the food court and I dont think there is anywhere to get sushi in A.S. but Strip!

  3. Jason

    I agree with the other poster….Dillard’s needs to go and change to Bloomingdale’s, etc. I think Chipotle should open in AS to give Moe’s a run for their money. Apple at AS would be awesome also….please don’t put a Clear there or another nail salon or yet another dry cleaner.

  4. MG

    I’d rather see an Apple store in the “Midtown Mile” along Peachtree! This is tough because a lot of stores I would like I would prefer to be along Peachtree Street in Midtown instead. *sigh*

    For Atlantic Station, I’d rather see a Macy’s or Nordstrom’s instead of Dillard’s, J.Crew, Lucky Brand Jeans, Apple, Zara, A/X, Puma, lululemon, Diesel, bebe, Arden B, I’m sure a MAC or Sephora would do well… maybe stores that don’t exist in the area like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Esprit, Love Culture?

  5. 05girl

    Jeez, why the hate for Dillards? Dillards needs to STAY!

    I would love a J-Crew or Zara.. something with affordable clothing. However the WHBM space is def too small for a Zara. I’d also love another boutique similar to K-LA – Bill Hallman? Market?

    Perhaps another shoe store ? Aldo ?

  6. Mike Salisbury

    Second on Buckhead Cigar. But seriously,what about approaching the retailers that once were slated for the Streets of Buckhead. Van Cleef and Arples and other ultra-luxury brands could make Atlantic Station THE desitnation for the young and wealthy.

  7. brian

    I hope you mean decrease the clientele that visits on weekend nights…that do nothing but steal, are noisy, and ruin movies.

  8. brian

    Also, as much as people hate corporate restaurants in these blogs, unfortunately thats what drives traffic….Get rid of Fox Sports Grill, Geisha House, Dolche, and put in Taco Mac, Longhorn, Olive Garden….then you will see an increase in foot traffic of people actually spending money and not just walking around.

    Atlantic Station (and yes, I live here) needs places that people in Midtown want to frequent, not places that kids/teens/20somthings who are riding Marta over are stealing from.

  9. Susan

    I second the vote for Sephora.

    @Simon The other stores mentioned are more upscale than Dillards.

    I have always thought Dillards was an odd choice. I would also like to see Macy’s or Nordstrom more upper scale but not crazy like Bloomingdales or Lord and Taylor.

  10. Michael

    I’m guessing money drives everything, but is it necessary to put something in that another mall already has? (Zara, UO, JCrew, American Apparel, Aldo, etc.)?

    Also, why have all of our malls become just food and clothes? I enjoy bookstores even if they’re kind of dying.

    Right now the only thing novel about Atlantic Station is that it’s a suburban idea right in the middle of town. I don’t have any quick solutions, but guys think out of the box. Make Atlantic station a destination, not just a regional option.

    Think art, think interactivity, think new, different, exciting.

  11. JJ

    A really good BBQ place would be good there. Good for tourists and the like that want to get good southern BBQ. Thinking Fox Bros.?

  12. Heather

    That space is so small – it will be hard to put another clothing store there. Maybe an Aveda? Or a Gap Kids or some other high-end kids store that would draw parents rather than teenagers?

  13. Erin

    Please don’t put an Apple store in Atlantic Station!! Geeze, that would make this part of town become Buckhead/Lenox Mall. And those who live around this area can’t have that kind of congestion. Also, please don’t consider putting in Olive Garden, Longhorn, etc. (Taco Mac is cool cause I think it strikes a fair balance). But those restaurants don’t mirror the vibe of what I think Atlantic Station could become. You want people coming there because it has restaurants and shops that can’t be found anywhere else MIXED with some staple-type mall stores (Express, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Banana Republic, DSW). Fox Sports Grill HAS to go. That place sucks. Never been to Rosa Mexicano or Dolce, but STRIP is pretty decent. I would keep those places. California Pizza Kitchen is ok, I guess, but you could do so much better! Cheesecake Bistro is a waste. Get some entrepreneurial chefs to open restaurants here. THAT should be your focus. Atlantic Station could be such a hip and unique place. Instead it has this facade of being cool and unique, but once you get in it, you realize you’re in a mall with nothing more to offer than….being in a mall. Instead, it should be a destination! Look at how the West side has blown up because of trail-blazing, one-of-a-kind places (restaurants and retail stores, alike) that have set up shop there. And it’s being driven by word-of-mouth by a young, diverse crowd of city-dwelling professionals who make decent livings and want to go somewhere cool to spend their money. Period. I am 28, and my husband and I go to Atlantic Station in a pinch and out of necessity…and mainly to go to the movies or Target.

    Some suggestions for future Atlantic Station tenants:

    1. Urban Outfitters (to rival the Antrhopologie that just went in over off Howell Mill road in the west side).

    2. A cigar bar would be really popular and convenient (not really one around the area). Closest competition that I know of it near Lindbergh.

    3. A sports apparel/team apparel store…a good one…not City Sports (I don’t know how that place stays in business).

    4. Yoga Studio

    5. Sandwich joint/bodega like Urban Cannibals in East Atlanta Village

    6. MAC makeup would be awesome (big ups to the person up above me who suggested that one).

    7. Massage place (not like a Massage Enby…like an Art of Touch kind of spot).

    Just some ideas…

    ps – Leave Dillards. It’s one of the better ones around.

  14. JasonH

    There have been some good suggestions in the comments so far.

    I enjoy living in Atlantic Station. However, I don’t do a lot of my shopping in Atlantic Station. It feels like those that work and live in Atlantic Station have been completely neglected. Stores are not targeted towards our daily needs, there is no sense of community, and there is no easy source of Atlantic Station info that doesn’t devolve into advertisements for the same stores that don’t care about where we spend our money.

    I don’t know what the direction of the new ownership will be, but I would like to see a mix of destination stores, restaurants, and events (Apple store, high-end retailers, Cirque, etc.) with others that are more functional for those that are in Atlantic Station every day. I liked the idea mentioned in one of the press releases regarding the change in ownership of getting local retailers and restaurants in Atlantic Station. So many of the establishments here seem to feel that they can merely open their doors and collect money, with no concern for the customers. This needs to change. There is no character in Atlantic Station at all.

    Parking – A common refrain is, “Don’t make me pay to park in your garage when I’m coming to your place to spend money.” Fix this.

    Kids – This is a chicken or the egg issue, but I can tell you that I live a 5 minute walk from the movie theater, yet I refuse to watch movies there. The crowds absolutely ruin the movies and much of Atlantic Station after dark. If I want to see a movie, I drive to the Midtown Arts Cinema instead. The kids also make riding the Atlantic Station shuttle (which is otherwise awesome) a pain. People that want to spend money don’t want to ride over from MARTA with a bunch of loud kids with nothing better to do. And the criticism will be that no one with money rides MARTA, but that can be changed. Consider the conventions we have downtown all the time – there’s no reason those people can’t take a short ride up MARTA to come to Atlantic Station…if it’s worth coming to.

    More people are moving ITP – many highly educated people with a strong desire to be closer to work, school, shopping, and culture. You can live in Atlantic Station and never have to own a car. Very few people use Atlantic Station as the modern community it could be. I would love to see an effort to reach out to people looking for an urban experience, because Atlantic Station can provide that much better than other areas of the city that require a car.

  15. Amy

    I am a resident of Atlantic Station (Element) and am very excited about the change coming, I just hope it’s the right change! I think a J. Crew or Apple store would both be great in the WHBM space, although I’m not sure that space is large enough for either. Perhaps a shoe store would work there? I completely agree with the other comments that Dillards should go. It is always empty when I go there and I believe most Atlantans would prefer a Bloomies or Nordstrom over Dillards any day. I also feel Express needs to go and more “high end” stores need to go in. Anyone have ideas on how to get rid of the “loiterers” that hang out Fri/Sat night? I feel Marta is bringing people in who are just hanging out and not spending any money, or quite frankly even making it a place I want to go on the weekends.

  16. AJ

    I think AS needs something that is a “destination”. Nothing is a destination because you can find just about all of it elsewhere. I was in San Francisco and loved the market on the pier, but then I thought, well that’s SF, it’s a walking city and they’re more into that kind of stuff than us car folks here in Atlanta. Then I recently saw that Cleveland (I think) has a similar market. Then I thought, if Cleveland can support one, Atlanta sure can. We have the Dekalb Farmer’s Market which I LOVE, but it’s a bit of a hike for us intown people. I’m not saying get rid of Dillards (though I wouldn’t be upset to see it go), but how great would it be to use that space to have a market like the Farmer’s Market. I’m sure Publix would be less than thrilled, but I’d be ecstatic. That’s just one thought, but I really want AS to be a place to visit because it’s the ONLY place (or one of few) that has something. I don’t need to see WHBM replaced with J Crew or another clothing chain that I can find at Lenox or Perimeter Mall.

  17. TP

    Home Depot Inc has just recently moved their buying offices for the Home Decorators Collection catalog division to Atlanta. The Division does have retail stores around the midwest. It would be a great place for them to open up a new store and try it out close to their headquarters. Give another alternative for West Elm, and Z gallerie and drive a good amount of foot traffic intown from the surrounding Atlanta area. HD is a great partner for starting a new venture like that in the Atlanta area.

  18. Martin

    i would LOVE a farmers market! such a good idea… a permanent structure for the city rather than booths that get set up would give some great permanence. I know there is the green market in piedmont, but this would be great for the AS community as well as draw people into the area for the right reasons.

  19. DAntonio

    Looks like a lot of people have some really ideas. An Apple Store seems like a good idea, however, I will admit I would rather see that be the driving force along Peachtree St on the Midtown Mile. Get Rid of Dillards, Fox Sports Grill, and City Sports!

    1. I also agree restaurants should be major driving force behind Atlantic Station similar to West Midtown. Add a variation of spots like a nice burger spot, Italian, Sushi, BBQ, etc. The Farmer’s market idea is also good. Adding chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Long Horn, etc. would be a HUGE MISTAKE! Please don’t! I have no idea why someone even brought that up. Leave that crap in the suburbs!

    2. Replace Dillards with Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, or even Macys. They would just have a much better impact than Dillards has.

    3. Zara, Aldo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Mac, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel etc. would be cool, but make sure to balance out the retail chains with some more local retailers & boutiques.

    Overall, just give it more character and make it a major destination with a more authentic urban experience. After all, it is in the middle of the city…

  20. Inman Parker

    It’s tough to say what the perfect balance would be. As an intowner, I enjoy doing my basic “mall” shopping at atlantic station, since it is much easier to navigate than lenox. On the other hand, I usually dont stay for more than an hour or two. I try to get what I need and leave as quickly as I can. I do go there for movies occasionally, but I dont eat or spend any time walking around before or after. If there were some legitimate bars (maybe a nice pub)or other night entertainment options, I would probably spend some evenings hanging out in that part of town. I imagine that Georgia Tech kids would probably do the same.

  21. pecker

    how about a chicken wing joint that sells wigs and hair extensions? they could call it Atlanta Wig and Wing Palace! that has a nice ring to it. they might want to put it in the old Taste Clothing Boutique space.

  22. M

    I like the “street market” that is there sometimes on the weekends, however I think the focus needs to be more on local artists and not people who are selling cheap jewelry/stuff that they bought at the Mart.

    If WHBM didn’t make it, who is to say a J.Crew or other clothing store will do any better? I prefer shopping at Atlantic Station for Ann Taylor / LOFT / Banana / Gap / DSW, but only because there are no crowds and it is easy to get in and out quickly.

    Also, I think the lively scene of the movie theater is great! People tend to point at that as a problem, but I think they are more uncomfortable with race than with crowds. It is a sad but true fact in Atlanta.

    I honestly think there is already a great mix of stores / restaurants (although there is room for more chef driven concepts vs chains) at A.S. To me, I don’t think adding/subtracting different stores/concepts is the key to success. It is more of a marketing / perception issue and working to change shopping patterns. The thought was that intown folks would shift shopping patterns from Lenox/Phipps to Atlantic Station. That simply has not happened, and I guess shoppers need some incentive.

    Confusing decked parking (worse if it is paid parking) has been an issue for a lot of mixed use developments; Atlantans still love their cars and want to park easily, and for free. AS parking can not be made less confusing (it is actually well laid out and impressive) to the average shopper, but you can address the cost.

  23. brian

    I’m the one who made the comment on Darden corporate restaurants coming in…..here is my reasoning…

    Lets take Dolce for example…half off food tonight, and I guarantee if you walk in right now the place is maybe half full. Yes, me and you reading blog on restaurant happenings will eat at fusion, hip, homegrown places…but the masses simply do not. Atlantic Station and its restaurants/retail need people spending money to stay in business and operate. I’ve heard the same rumors you have that half of the tenants are not paying rent, they can’t or they would be long gone.

    I believe that these corporate restaurants, or at least WELL KNOWN local restaurants are what it is going to take to succeed. Most people eat what they know, they do not frequent unknown establishments. Again, I’m speaking of MOST people, not people that read blogs such as this.

    The problem is the lack of money flowing into the restaurants/retailers in Atlantic Station. The crowds are there, on the weekends at least, I just argue that the clientele Atlantic Station attracts simply is not spending money. And, there is plenty of money in Midtown…so whats the problem?

    Midtown residents are NOT going to Atlantic Station!

    This has got to change….the key to success for the new owners will be getting the right people in, and the wrong people out. Simple as that.

  24. MG

    Yes Brian, by increasing the clientele I meant decreasing the ghetto types that come on weekend nights. And it has nothing to do with race but the type of people and if you don’t think it gets ghetto at night you need a reality check. I hope they increase the security presence, especially at night, to deter the wanna be rappers and criminals from hanging out there and ruining it (just like they did to Underground).

    I also think a bookstore would be nice too, but then again, I’d rather see all of this stuff on the Midtown Mile!

    I also think the “street market” could be brought up a notch – it’s a good idea it just needs better vendors. Maybe having NICE live music at night, adding an interactive water feature or some fountains, fashion events (more stuff like the American Apparel sale), maybe more family events during the day too?

  25. Skreet

    If race were the reason that Atlantic Station was having trouble then how can you explain the continued and sustained success of Lenox Square? I think Atlanta is better than that. I think the issue that plagues Atlantic Station is paid parking and lack of MARTA station on the property.

  26. brian

    MG-

    We are on the same page on the clientele…I agree it is the wrong crowd they are bringing in now…got to bring in the right people so the retail/restaurants can make some money.

  27. MG

    Another thing I realized is there is no hotel on the property. It would be a great location for a hotel with the office buildings and the retail/restaurants.

  28. Cdchris

    Why not create a place for food trucks to park during busy lunch times and weekends. atlanta is missing a food truck culture because of how permits are issued. This can be avoided if they are allowed to park on private property. This may attract a progressive, and epicurious culture.
    Also, summer time should include a film festival with more independent films. Show Atlanta that a quasi-new urbanist suburban transplant development can be hip!
    I agree with a previous poster, it’s just a place to go for khakis at the gap when you are too lazy to go to lenox.

  29. ITP

    I love all the ideas but be realistic, do you think AS will really come from the brink and be a destination? Outside Buckhead, Atlanta doesn’t have the stomach for nor the overlying demos that will frequent AS. With the decline in housing prices, the extreme drop in condo pricing in the Atlantic as well as Twelve and the outlying neigborhoods around AS, how do you think anything will be supported? They’ve tried stores and restaurants that are unique to the area and they’ve failed. This isn’t Santa Monica, remember that shopping area has a beach destination and is in one of the most expensive areas of the country so I always find it funny when people compare/compared AS to Third Street.

  30. Steph B.

    When Atlantic Station was 1st announced as coming to Mid-town Atlanta, I (mistakenly) thought it was going to be exactly like The Grove in LA. I’m actually still confused as to how we got SO off track. . .

    Anyway, several people above have had great suggestions that I agree with.
    1. FOX Sports Grill has GOT to go!!! This is a complete waste of space. The food is NOT good and the riffraff (I mean clientele) is less than desired.
    2. I would LOVE to see an Urban Outfitters (but the WHBM space is too small). Maybe at another location. . .
    3. Ten Pin Alley, Dolce and Cheesecake Bistro need to GO!! I actually like Geisha House (although a little over priced).

    To take the place of WHBM, I’d love to see either of the following:
    United Colors of Benetton
    Lucky Brand Jeans
    Barney’s New York Co-op
    A/X Armani Exchange

  31. rufresnel

    What about making it a destination?

    Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Ice Rink, Bocce Ball Courts with a Tournament.

    Pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks connecting the Bishop ST Offices/Peachtree/Neighborhood to near the Target.

    A proper Hotel, Westin, W, Embassy Suites.

  32. Sara

    Why all the complaints about parking? The parking is free for the first two hours. If you wanna see a movie, they’ll validate your ticket for an extra two hours. You’re certainly not going to find that in the beloved Midtown Mile.

    I work in Atlantic Station, and most often people ask me if there’s a bookstore. Let’s put one where that Halloween superstore was. As for the WHBM space, please don’t add anything we already have. Enough with the clothes and shoes and restaurants. What about a hair salon? A music store would be great, too. Little Five is a hassle to get to sometimes to get good music. A nice tea house or a pub or an Arden’s Garden would be great. There’s nowhere to just sit and relax with a book or a few friends besides the Starbucks at Twelve that closes at sundown. And Cafe 19 is fun, but $12 cocktails aren’t always practical. Let’s see some originality!

    Also, Caleb, it’s Rosa Mexicano, not Rosa Mexicana. Thanks!

  33. MG

    I like the Carousel idea… I just can’t stress enough that in order to get in-town people to go there more often, you need to change the perception of Atlantic Station and increase the security presence. Make it an undesirable place for riff-raff. A pub would nice (with a large beer selection), definitely need a bookstore (Joseph Beth?), and slightly more upscale shopping. I know I mentioned 3rd Street in Santa Monica, but the person who said The Grove in LA is right – that would be a better model for AS.

  34. brian

    Heres something that should provoke some conversation. It seems that everyone agrees that there is an undesirable element frequenting Atlantic Station on the weekend….how do you all suggest fixing that issue?

    Security is not the issue. APD and Atlantic Station security are present.

  35. Harry

    1st step to making AS better, Open back up the Magic Johnson movie theater by Greenbriar. I know that it sounds bad, but it’s painfully true.

  36. Abbey

    I think that an extension of the “midtown design district” should be extended. The location of Atlantic Station is so central to that area, which should be capitalized on. Zgallerie has done great – Pier 1 is desperately missed. I think something like Intaglia or Traders (EAV) should go in there. This would bring in business from all of the designers and Buckhead Bettys that travel to Midtown to shop for their home.

    Another great addition would be one of the boutique type places in Atlanta now such as: Festivity, Dakota J, Sage….

    Also,it would be nice to not have to drive to Buckhead to go to an outdoors place like Dicks, REI, or The North Face. Also, those types of stores would bring in some nice peeps to shop!!

    1. caleb j. spivak

      hi abbey- we like your thinking. when we met with the new developer we specifically mentioned the westside design district. it needs to feel like that! anyone else agree?

      –cjs

  37. Jonathan

    Atlantic Station’s biggest flaw was its suburban-inspired design, which separates the core residential from the “downtown” area. Not to mention that it is bisected by a 6-lane highway. I’d be willing to be not many people in the residential district walk to Publix or other stores in the retail district.

    Atlantic Station could have been greatly improved by integrating the residential and retail districts together around the lake, using smaller clusters of retail with residential above. I realize that the current retail district does have some lofts, but not a critical mass.

    Additionally, the development feels like it has no heart. Architecturally speaking, it’s bland and monotonous. They could have played off the theme of the steel mill and made it feel more rustic instead of an Atlanta version of downtown Disney. There could have been a streetcar element linking it to the heart of Midtown and to Georgia Tech to create not only a non-car option but also a more urban feel. Dallas’ West Village is a good example.

    And finally, the 17th Street Bridge is a tasteless suburban design that is SO poorly executed that it didn’t even employ mast arm traffic signals – rather they are slung up on tacky wires. No landscaped median either – just a large span of concrete with confusing “bus only” lanes.

    Retail wise, I think the current mix could be improved by tweaking just a few things:

    1) Lose the Fox Sports Grill, Old Navy, Cheesecake Bistro, and Ten Pen Alley. These eateries and retailers add nothing to the appeal of Atlantic Station and the service in the said restaurants is appalling.

    2) Add a Dean and Deluca or other urban market that focuses on natural foods and organics. The Publix is fine for its purpose but it can be enhanced with a Dean and Deluca.

    3) Add more gathering spots such as a bookstore (a local one preferably), internet cafe/gaming lounge, or a concept like Roam (http://roamatlanta.com/)

    4) There is nothing wrong with the mix of clothing retailers. Banana Republic and Guess bring more of an upscale feel. Enhance that with other destination retailers that might otherwise be lured to Lenox. Atlantic Station should remain fairly chain oriented in regards to clothing. Stores like Free People, Original Penguin, Ralph Lauren’s Rugby, and even Armani Exchange would enhance the current clothing line up. Let the independent boutiques mix in with stores like Apple and Drew Lewis on the Midtown Mile.

    5) Work closely with the Midtown Alliance and other organizations in the area to ensure that Atlantic Station is conforming to the future blueprints of Midtown in the context of urban planning. Work with the city to plan a streetcar spur from the already-planned Peachtree St. streetcar line. Fund it with a small tax on the parking or leasing fees. Continue enhancing security and do a fairly substantial PR campaign to promote AS’s security focus. The fact is that AS has already been labeled as “ghetto” and once that happens, it erodes people’s confidence in the development and their desire to go there.

  38. Joe

    @JasonH I live in the area too, but what is Atlantic Station not providing for your “daily needs”? You can get everything you possibly need from Publix, Target, Dillard’s and IKEA! Anything else is just gravy. ;)

    I agree with most of these suggestions, but would throw one novel thing out…. ditch the clubs. Tenpin Alley isn’t really a bowling alley.

  39. Rachel

    Definitely some better restaurants, I second a sushi restaurant (though not a chain!).

    I’d love a good coffee shop. College kids would go to study and then shop during “breaks.”

    I think some high end children’s clothing or toy stores could do well too. There’s not a lot in town of either- even Hanna Andersson could bring parents in to shop and have lunch. Young moms spend money!

    Also, a cool dessert place would be nice Also- maybe a great breakfast place?
    Dean and Deluca would be awesome.

    maybe a CB2?

  40. Tres

    My suggestions:

    Abercrombie and Fitch. Mind you, this store upsets me personally because I think they by and large contribute to today’s body image problems in today’s youth. But nonetheless, between the students at Tech and the nearby gay crowd, they’d definitely have a local clientele by default, and drive business.

    Crate and Barrel (All those nice homes and condos in that area, and no C&B nearby? Really?)

    Pottery Barn (they can take over the old Pier 1 space)

    Replace Fox Sports Grill with a Houston’s

    I see nothing wrong with Dillard’s personally, but I think a Nordstrom in addition would be nice. Perhaps in that “hole” right on 17th street opposite West Elm and Banana Republic.

    J. Crew (and please build a bigger store than that microcity at North Point. That’s a mess.)

    A Levi’s Store (Why does Atlanta not have one of these yet? And, no, this is not an Outlet I’m talking about.)

    A second, more familiar hotel: Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, etc.

    I do think a Dean & Deluca would be great (If Charlotte has TWO, how come there aren’t any in Atlanta?)

    I would even go so far as to suggest a Pappadeaux. It would be nice to have one ITP.

    Urban Outfitters would be cool, but I think that one on Ponce kind of already has Midtown covered.

  41. Tres

    Oh, I forgot…

    Speaking of Pottery Barn, maybe a Williams-Sonoma (the foodie within had to get that one out…lol)

  42. Jonathan

    Good suggestions, Tres. The type of retail that you’re talking about fits AS better than the Midtown Mile. Although Abercrombie would probably succeed at AS, I don’t know if they’re even in expansion mode right now for their core brand. Ruehl was a failure, and Gilly Hicks has been slow to grow. A&F looks to be past their prime.

    I have no idea why there isn’t a Levis store in Atlanta. Also, there isn’t a BOSE store. A smaller electronics store like BOSE would work well in AS.

    Rachel, there is already a CB2 on the Midtown Mile and with West Elm already at AS, I don’t think another furniture & home accessories store will open in AS.

    A destination breakfast eatery (more unique than J. Christophers) is essential and would draw earlier AM weekend traffic to the retail stores, especially on Sundays.

  43. Joe

    I know its not “Atlanta” but there is a Bose store in Alpharetta on highway 9 just south of Windward Parkway.

    I think it would be a good fit for AS too. But what I think a lot of people don’t understand is that maybe AS should try and continue to be a nice enough shopping area for those of us that live here! Maybe those of us in midtown or the west side don’t want to go to Buckhead or the Perimeter area!

    Try just keeping AS nice, and worry less about it being a “destination” for suburbanites. They are mostly to blame for the complaints about the demographics of the weekend night patrons anyway.

  44. James

    I worked at Atlantic Station when it first opened. There needs to be more high end specialty retail stores. NOT stores that I can go to at any other mall. The Dillard’s needs to go. It needs to be a luxury department store like Barney’s SOMETHING that Atlanta DOESN’T have. More than anything I stopped going because I didn’t feel safe going. All the break ins and the shootings and all that is not worth it to me. SAFETY should be a main concern.

  45. Jim

    Living in Midtown, I go to Atlantic Station for a couple of reasons. When I’m alone, I enjoy going to the movies there on Monday and Tueday, because no one is there. (Forget the weekends, its cell phone, talking and uncontrolled kids). I’ll frequently run into Old Navy for a quick tshirt or a pair of jeans/shorts. Quick trips, basically. But, when I’m with friends, or on a date, I like to hit up the outside weekend market, we can get an icecream cone or a cup of coffee and relax and walk the booths I also like the fact that we can sit at Strip and watch the activity in the market in central park or stroll after eating. This is probably the one thing that brings me to A.S. the most.

    There are to many resturants there and not enough stores.
    I don’t like the cruusing and loud music coming from the cars at night, its to ghetto and I don’t feel safe walking in the parking garage.

  46. A^2

    - definitely agree with that/those who suggested soliciting fry’s (or even Micro Center!) – far too north-end centric, and with the city at 560k and counting now, they will come.

    - some kind of market-type store, even if indoors. even a whole foods would (in my mind) meld well with the style of this development.

    - dave & busters.

    - a moderately-priced sushi spot, something quick, and authentic [enough] – hell, something like rusans.

    - a destination-type bookstore – i realize these are beginning to wane with things like kindle, but atlanta can easily support something if it’s up to par. (kramers in DC?)

    - more cameras, more police –walking a beat– not directing traffic. seriously, get a dunkin donuts in there or something if necessary. this is a problem in general here in atlanta though – too many cops are out standing in for traffic signals instead of knocking heads like they should be

  47. kay12

    Um… have any of y’all been to Dillard’s? First of all it’s nicer than macy’s (they never had a shopping cart phase). And they have a big MAC counter inside. Also, they carry Levi’s jeans in mens, womens and kids. I would hate to see Dillard’s leave!

    I do agree that an Urban or Zara would be awesome, but more than that it desperately needs a book store. I don’t know how this was ever overlooked!

  48. DH

    More local shops– quite difficult for a large developer to understand or provide– chains pay the rent on time and can afford to pay more… and more local chef-driven restaurants–

    Retail chains, only if they are unique to Atlanta– and NO more restaurant chains please… that Olive Garden thing was a sick joke, right?
    and finally, consider banning anyone from OTP– just kidding… sort of…

  49. Iggs

    Dean and Deluca would be great! I also have nothing against Dillard’s…maybe because they are never too crowded like the mall stores…and that is not exactly good for business! I think an Urban Outfitters will be great for the younger crowd, Crate and Barrell or CB2, Sephora, TJMaxx or Marshalls, food places like Zoe’s Kitchen, Souper Jenny, good BBQ.

  50. VT

    An Apple Store belongs on Peachtree Street (right at the corner of 10th and Pechtree…they have the housing density and clientele to accommodate an Apple store). The problem with the kids is that the movie theater does nothing to control their behavior in the theaters themselves and there is not enough police presence outside to make sure they behave. But honestly, the kids are not the problem…its the adults and its the 12 Hotel. That hotel is a haven for quasi-high rolling drug dealers and mid-level prostitutes. They had a PORN convention there for chrissakes. That hotel is a MAJOR problem. I don’t know who is running it, but it is the roach’s nest for that element. The developers need to take a very harsh and strict approach with that hotel. Either they shape up or hand management over to a reputable chain like Hilton.

  51. Alex

    I think Heirloom Market BBQ should move from Akers Mill down to AS. Hands down best BBQ in Atlanta. Blais should open another Flip Burger there as well. An Apple store and a JCrew would rock.

  52. Mark Toro

    Many thanks to all whove taken the time to share their perspective on Atlantic Station. We’ve identified a number of themes emerging from posts here and elsewhere. Please visit our Facebook page and share your comments to our “What We Heard” posts.

  53. Robbert

    How about Levi’s? We have not regular Levi’s retail stores in Atlanta, just the outlets. The regular called “Mainline” stores are amazing, fashion forward and would be unique to the Atlanta market. Something not offered at any other metro mall!

  54. siraT

    I would like to see a breakfast place like Flying Biscuit or J. Christopher. A Taco Mac or Jocks and Jills would provide a nice alternative to Fox Sports Grille as place to watch a game with a large craft beer.

    A nice shoe store like Kenneth Cole would be nice.

  55. Nya

    I think it needs places that award local entrepreneurship and have places that you can linger.

    I think a Pinkberry, Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich shop, Unique clothing boutique or shoe store, A book store with a great coffee shop in it would be amazing similar to the 3 story Barnes & Noble at The Grove in LA.

    Also some type of fountain, garden of natural fauna maybe sponsored by The Botanical Gardens would be great. Somewhere where people could take a romantic picture or sit on benches while eating their pinkberry or sipping their Vietnamese Coffee and chill.

    Any type of store that offers classes or in store demos would also be great and foster a sense of community. But the key is to have a mix of local owned stores that aren’t quite chains but have a visionary leader behind it.

  56. Carolyn

    If you want to attract a different clientele at night, the movie theater needs to be changed from a mainstream venue to one that shows art house movies. This really is the most effective way as teens will not be attracted. Make the theater upscale, like a cinema drafthouse and the children and teens will flee. If you show blockbuster hits, this is the only entertainment at Night available for teens who use it as an opportunity to socialize.

    As for stores..

    Trader Joes
    Whole Foods
    large specialty upscale beer/wine retailer
    pub – Fado?
    Intelligentsia coffee – they are in Chicago and Los Angeles, how about Atlanta
    a good local bakery that serves brunch (not panera)
    children’s book store (think Decatur)
    mother/daughter salon
    upscale children’s consignment would be popular

  57. Carolyn

    for the FIO360 space.. if someone could convince a special needs (autism) related school/therapy group to open there it would fill a great need for services in this area as they are sorely lacking.

  58. Tigger Too

    Boutique shops are nice but people need an outlet with things to do. We bought a house there before it opened and quickly saw what it was becoming. We were lucky enough to get out before the housing market went south. Now we stay away with the exception of Ikea and Target because of the crowd and the risk of crime.

    Parking is a problem too. Is it really necessary to charge people to park while they spend money at your establishments? There are no attendants at the exits and it’s a nightmare to get out sometimes, especially after an event. Then there’s the “Why pay to get lost in a parking garage” issue?
    Then there are all the thugs who hang out in the area. Safety is a real concern. It’s not a family friendly place AT ALL. Security is not visible and the ones who are there are rude and incompetent.

    Unless you live in AS, there isn’t really any reason to make the trip. The restaurants are average (at best) and over priced for what you get – likely because of the high rents businesses have to pay just to be there. When Atlantic station first opened they were pretty proud of it at $40-$50 a sf while most places everywhere else were getting half that. In today’s market it’s even less. .

    I think it would do the new developers well good to consult with a PR corporation like Disney. Don’t laugh, they have some of the top professionals in the world and they are some of the best at PR.

    Although I think areas reputation has been irreversibly damaged, it is a great concept and would like to see someone turn it around. Jacoby had a good idea just poor planners and executors.

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