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Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 2:06 PM
dirtybird dirtybird is offline
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Midtown Mile

Thought I'd start a thread on the topic of the Midtown Mile (I personally don't like the copycat name but I think it's starting to stick ):


"Among the buildings with a retail presence along the 'Midtown Mile' is the Metropolis at Peachtree and Eighth streets. The mile now includes 230,000 square feet of retail."



'Midtown Mile' takes shape
Developers add retail space

By JULIE B. HAIRSTON
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/06/07

Efforts to create a "Midtown Mile" filled with upscale stores, restaurants and services are gaining momentum with developers, who are so encouraged by early discussions they are adding new street-level space to their projects.

With the kickoff last week for residential sales in Viewpoint, Novare's newest condo tower at Peachtree and Sixth streets, the company also announced the addition of another 20,000 square feet of retail space along Sixth. That's beyond the 50,000 square feet along Peachtree included in the original design.

square feet of retail space with six restaurants, a bank and a number of boutique shops. Along the entire mile stretching from the Fox Theatre to the Woodruff Arts Center, the district now includes 230,000 square feet of shopping, services and restaurants.

Conor McNally, Novare's developer for Viewpoint, said his negotiations for space in Midtown are generating widespread interest.

"We can really get an extra bang for the buck by adding an extra 20,000 square feet," he said.

And the new space is being designed with different retailers in mind. Novare is creating two-story spaces and courting upscale chains "similar to something you would find in Lenox [Square] or Phipps [Plaza]."

"From Day One, we've tried to create larger spaces than we've done in the past," McNally said.

Viewpoint also will boast a signature corner front at Sixth and Peachtree for its anchor tenant.

Up the street at Peachtree and 10th, Jamestown Properties is proceeding apace with plans for addition of 20,000 square feet to 999 Peachtree, the office building it purchased at the beginning of this year.

"Over the long term, we just think it's a good place to be," said Matt Bronfman, Jamestown's managing director.

Midtown boosters are brimming with optimism that Atlanta's growth, combined with Peachtree's brand recognition, is proving a powerful lure to national retailers looking to cluster in the next hot location.

David Birnbrey, chairman and chief executive of the Shopping Center Group, which brokers space for retail clients, said Midtown's straight, level trajectory makes it a natural setting for retail development.

"One of the beautiful things about Midtown Atlanta," said Birnbrey, who serves on the Midtown Mile Retail Advisory Committee, "is that it's an almost perfect mall."

But more important is Midtown's explosive growth, providing merchants with a ready market of affluent homeowners just a stroll away.

By 2010, according to a study commissioned by the Midtown Alliance and conducted by Buxton Co., more than 13,000 households will be within walking distance of the Midtown Mile and more than 62,000 office workers will spend their workdays in that zone.

More important, Midtown residents will have a median age of 34.8 and a median income above $80,000 annually. Most will be singles or couples without children.

Court Stockton, who moved his H. Stockton shop from downtown Atlanta to 1180 Peachtree last October, said his sales have increased at least 20 percent.

"We just have a lot more walk-in customers," Stockton said. In addition to area residents, Stockton said he gets a lot of business from nearby offices in Atlanta's intown live-work-play community.

"It reminds me of the downtown of the past," Stockton said.

Although Midtown's retail prospects are rising, a pair of real estate economists said its success is not yet sealed.

"The question is will people come," said Suzanne Mulvee, real estate economist with Property and Portfolio Research in Boston. "I would say yes in Atlanta."

Midtown's goal of adding 1 million square feet of retail over the next five years is ambitious, said Clint Myers, also a real estate economist with Property and Portfolio Research. That is the equivalent of building a major new mall.

But he said demographic research shows growing demand for goods and services in Midtown, and national retailers are taking notice.

"We believe there is demand," Myers said. "The depth of the demand is kind of the question."

As far as Midtown Alliance President Susan Mendheim is concerned, that question is long since settled. As the Midtown Blueprint set out decades ago the contours and vision for a revitalized urban district, the second phase aims to satisfy the retail capacity of a district growing daily in sophisticated residents with lots of discretionary income.

"It's not just density," Mendheim said. "The affluence and education of this group is very high."

Mendheim said Midtown developers are in talks with some upscale retailers that will be new to Midtown, and even some that will be new to the city.

"The developers are negotiating with some really exciting brand names, national and international retailers, some of whom are not even in Atlanta right now," she said.

Plans for improved streetscapes and a streetcar system on Peachtree will further entice retailers looking for the next hot shopping destination. So will planned and existing upscale hotels such as W, Palomar and Four Seasons, which attract well-heeled business and leisure travelers to the district, Mendheim said.

Developers are bullish on the retail/residential mix because it boosts the potential cash flow needed for expensive urban construction, Mendheim added.

"Everybody gets it, and everybody knows what it adds to the project," she said.

But retail birds of a feather flock together.

"What it's really going to take is for a handful of retailers to come in and do really well," said Novare's McNally.

And it starts with the first announcement, said Birnbrey. The quest for retail helps to foster cohesion and a strong sense of camaraderie among the developers with projects in Midtown.

"I think all of these developers have come to the realization that if one developer gets a huge retailer, it's a win for all of them," Birnbrey said.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 3:28 PM
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Exciting to see things begin to take shape. I did notice that 12th and Midtown is now advertising 300k sf of retail which is double what they originally stated would be contained in the project.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2007, 4:30 PM
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Atlanta is not the only city being discussed in this section (for all of the South). Maybe you should put Atlanta in the title.

Last edited by Trae; Apr 7, 2007 at 2:26 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2007, 4:28 AM
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I've wondered why the city is exclusively courting upscale retail for the "Midtown Mile"? I don't think everyone in that trade area only wants the likes of Jimmy Choo, Versace, etc. when it comes to shopping. Guess Atlantic Station serves that purpose...
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Being a resident of Midtown, I would much rather see more practical retail than upscale retail. A Crate and Barrel would be great, a nice bookstore, maybe an electornics store like Best Buy, Dean and Deluca, music store, Apple Store, etc. In the smaller retail spots, I'd rather see some places that are more affordable than the stores going to Buckhead.....stuff more along the lines of Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Express, etc. Probably not likely since some of them already have stores at Atlantic Station. Let Buckhead have the expensive boutiques (they already do it and they do it well) and let Midtown be a little more trendy/casual.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2007, 1:13 PM
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I think you guys are thinking more of exclusive stores rather than "upscale". There are only a few Prada's and Vesace's in the world. An Apple or Crate and Barrel are exactly the kind of stores that'll go into Midtown.

Last edited by smArTaLlone; Apr 7, 2007 at 1:39 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2007, 1:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
Atlanta is the only city being discussed in this section (for all of the South). Maybe you should put Atlanta in the title.
Your right. Sometimes I get a little Atlanta-centric and forget.

I just tried to edit the title but it won't allow it. Anybody know how I can do that?
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2007, 1:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason21atl View Post
Being a resident of Midtown, I would much rather see more practical retail than upscale retail...In the smaller retail spots, I'd rather see some places that are more affordable than the stores going to Buckhead...
I would too. An Apple store or H&M (hope they don't go to Atlantic Station) would bring in ten times more foot traffic to Midtown than a Gucci or Prada store.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2007, 4:08 PM
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Absolutely, and it would provide a complement. I would sooner see very similar stores to what sits on the actual line of Michigan Ave. in Chicago. BR, Gap, Crate & Barrel, Ann Taylor, etc., mixed with some other upper scale (Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, etc.). I think a couple high ends will come in eventually, but I think the pradas, guccis, etc. will go to the Buckhead Avenues section first. Atlanta's retail sector is big enough to support those stores, but Atlanta is not set up for those to be truly in-town stores as they are in NY and LA. It would make more sense in Buckhead for a number of reasons.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 12:29 AM
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It's a shame that people are wishing for chains to come in and take over Peachtree. I know it isn't likely to expect genuine local entrepreneurship but I kinda get sick of every city having the same retailers. It essentially equates to a suburban mall that just happens to be on a real street.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 4:43 AM
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A retail destination needs well known chains to be successful. It's nice to think about having unique, locally owned shops, but in reality they won't draw enough shoppers to stay in business. It would be nice to get a mix of locally owned with national chains. I mean, there's nothing wrong with Banana Republic and Old Navy - I like stores like those. The area has to have stores that will create enough traffic to get people there, then they can all benefit from it.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 4:57 AM
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Yeah, I know you're right. It's a branded world. Whaddya gonna do?
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 5:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sprtsluvr8 View Post
A retail destination needs well known chains to be successful. It's nice to think about having unique, locally owned shops, but in reality they won't draw enough shoppers to stay in business.
Little 5 points.
Greenwich village.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprtsluvr8 View Post
It would be nice to get a mix of locally owned with national chains. I mean, there's nothing wrong with Banana Republic and Old Navy - I like stores like those. The area has to have stores that will create enough traffic to get people there, then they can all benefit from it.
Agreed
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 6:07 AM
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Greenwich village.
Central Greenwich Village is mostly restaurants and little grocery stores. Not exactly boutiquey.

Where there is sizable retail there, it's 90% chain stores (Crate and Barrel, Sisley, Best Buy, etc.), especially at its edges along Broadway and 6th Avenue.

SoHo, on the other hand, has a lot of independent boutiques. But, mixed in are plenty of chains.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 4:25 PM
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Central Greenwich Village is mostly restaurants and little grocery stores. Not exactly boutiquey.

Where there is sizable retail there, it's 90% chain stores (Crate and Barrel, Sisley, Best Buy, etc.), especially at its edges along Broadway and 6th Avenue.

SoHo, on the other hand, has a lot of independent boutiques. But, mixed in are plenty of chains.
From where I have been in the village, it was all independent stores. No one said it had to be boutiques
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 4:41 PM
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Originally Posted by joey View Post
SoHo, on the other hand, has a lot of independent boutiques. But, mixed in are plenty of chains.
That's the probem common with retail in any city. Even though there are independent boutiques, we just notice the chains. Soho feels very chain-y to me even though I'm sure there are plenty of boutiques in between them.

Just like right now in Midtown, there are already plenty of retail (all independent or small) that no one talks about. Fab' rik, Red, H. Stockton, Yes, Universal Gear, Kiss, Interior Dimensions, Space, Twelve, etc. There's no brand recognition with these store so no one notices. But when the national retailers come in, people will say Midtown is just filled with chains.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 6:10 PM
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What actually could prove very good for Atlanta is if some anchors came in with these current botiques. The stores in Midtown are actually quite good. And, some of them would have the potential to expand with enough business and recognition. If we got a Crate & Barrel, H&M, and other "larger" (physically) chains and a few of the staples, I really think this whole area will take off. I also think it will only take 2 or 3 of these to take the foot traffic to another level.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MidtownMile View Post
If we got a Crate & Barrel, H&M, and other "larger" (physically) chains and a few of the staples, I really think this whole area will take off.
Well, Office Depot already opened another store on Spring Street . . . I think a Staples in the area may be overkill.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 8:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by midtownmile
If we got a Crate & Barrel, H&M, and other "larger" (physically) chains and a few of the staples, I really think this whole area will take off.
Well, Office Depot already opened another store on Spring Street . . . I think a Staples in the area may be overkill.
wah wah waaaah.

staples of retail, not the chain; but you were joking... right?

but of course. i'll disappear now.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 10:03 PM
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staples....like basics.
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