Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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HISTORIC BUILDINGS 172 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 Agon Entertainment, owners of beloved regional music venues the Georgia The- atre and Variety Playhouse. The lease is for a multi-use facility that will operate as a special event space, concert hall and will also have a rooftop bar with skyline views. In December 2016, Paces Properties announced that Collier's Department Store will occupy 10,000 square feet at Atlanta Dairies. The store aims to bring the concept of the family-owned depart- ment store back en vogue in Atlanta with merchandise like cosmetics and personal care, baby and kids, furniture, denim for men and women, home decor, confec- tions, stationery and books. In addition to Collier's Department Store, Atlanta Dairies will host a café by THRIVE Farmers. The roughly 2,000-square-foot space will provide a coffee house experience and a farmer-fo- cused menu, including artisan, handcraft- ed food. The space will be designed by New York-based architecture and interior design firm, AvroKO. "I think people crave something that's genuine and historical and that has some character," Lancaster says. "It's nice to be able to go somewhere that doesn't look like everywhere else in the country. Keeping these old buildings and renovat- ing them and bringing them back to life creates a sense of place that you cannot get from building new." Lancaster says the decision to take on some of these challenging projects was influenced by simply studying a map and sourcing properties that are in the path of progress. Much of Atlanta's mid-century com- mercial infrastructure is built in small pockets through and around neighbor- hoods. In those years, grocery stores and small shops were dotted throughout the city. Then, urban flight took place around the 1970s. When people started moving back in, residential areas remained intact and began to blossom again, but the com- mercial services weren't what the used to be. For many years in the 1980s, '90s and early 2000s, there were only one or two grocery options on the east side of town. "It followed naturally that commercial development is going to follow these his- torically industrial or commercial corri- dors in that part of town," Lancaster says. "There is opportunity to redevelop in this part of Atlanta as it revitalizes. That's kind of why we chase it. Krog Street was our first one, and Atlanta Dairies and Tomp- kins are all a continuation. We certainly learned a lot of lessons at Krog, there's no doubt about that." In Charlotte, North Carolina, Paces Properties is putting those lessons into action with Tompkins Mill. Last summer, Paces acquired a textile mill, built circa 1900, along with another group, White Point Partners. "One of the things we learned from Krog is that it takes a lot of time and en- ergy and local knowledge to really curate and then continue to maintain something like a Krog Street," Lancaster says. "When we discussed whether we could do this in other markets, the conclusion we came to was yes, but not without local partners." Also delivering in 2017, the mill will be repurposed into a food hall complement- ed by restaurants, retail and office space. "We saw it and decided it was per- fect," Lancaster says. "It was really well preserved. It was close to everything, but sort of overlooked. It's a beautiful physi- cal structure. These types of projects can be called 'mixed-use,' but I think it's more genuine in its origins and character." KNOX DISTRICT In Dallas, retail is coming into its own along the streets that make up the Knox District. Once a hub for furniture retail- ers, the historic district is undergoing a renaissance to make it Dallas' version of an M Street in Georgetown or an Abbott Kinney in Venice — those types of high streets that are strategically positioned in a city and deliver an eclectic mix of dining and shopping that you can't find anywhere else. Michael Nagy is a CBRE senior vice president who who heads leasing for al- most 85 percent of the district on behalf of two owners, Sarofim Realty Advisors and Gilliland Properties. Nearby upscale shopping centers in- clude North Park Mall and Highland Park Village. The three, including Knox District, form a triangle on the map. The Knox District's early retailers were mostly furniture retailers, and one local furniture business, Weir's, still remains in the district. In the 1990s, Pottery Barn en- tered the market instead of going to a mall environment, and that led to Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel, then later names like Sur La Table, joined the mix. A large Chili's was also part of the older lineup. "There were a lot of chain restaurants, home furnishings, and very little appar- el," Nagy says. "When you go around the country and look at the major cities that have interesting high streets, the one thing that is true of all of them is it is a balanced shopping and dining experience." As convention and tourist business in Dallas began to grow, Nagy and the own- ers knew they definitely needed to guide the district in a new direction to not only provide a reason to visit brick-and-mortar retailers in general, but to ensure that the offerings were uniquely Dallas in order to entice the city's visitors. "People don't go out of town and buy a couch," Nagy says. "We really don't feel Retailers Sid and Ann Mashburn have opened an iconic apparel shop in Dallas' Knox District.

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