Sunday, August 24, 2003

Sign of progress

Driving up to the cleaners/Starbucks yesterday morning, I noticed that the fine folks at Sembler have put up their "coming soon" sign for the Edgewood Retail District (heretofore known as 'that Atlanta Gas place on Moreland' and not to be confused with the Edgewood Crackwhore District, which is about 500 yards south on Moreland).

So now it's official ... coming to the 'hood are: Lowe's, Target, Kroger, Barnes & Noble, Ross, Cost Plus World Market and "Electronics Store", which probably means they're still negotiating with Best Buy.

To mollify the neighborhood activsts, Sembler is including "low-income" and "senior" housing, which means the center will also have a Chinese/Fish/Wings place and a Piccadilly, I guess.

Anyway, I hear and read a lot of bitching about this project. Sure, it's damn big. And, no, Moreland can't handle the extra 20,000 cars a day (imagine the VaHi crowd making their way down to Lowe's through Little 5).

But the fact is having 500,000 square feet of suburban-type retail on Moreland is good for property values (unless you live too close to it, I'd imagine). There are a lot of people who will take a closer look at intown living once we have more of the comforts of suburbia.

I wouldn't have bought my place in East Atlanta three years ago if Publix wasn't building their store in East Lake (I put up with driving to Ansley, then Ponce before it opened). And I'm willing to put up with a good bit of crap to live in Atlanta's hippest neighborhood.

So think of the people who right now wouldn't think of living intown, but once they have a Lowe's & Target up the street suddenly start to see the appeal.

Sure, people who are attracted by Target or Ross or Barnes & Noble are more likely to be bland suburban types than hip intowners, but there's a limited supply of hipsters to buy houses in the hood anyway.

Greedy SOBs like myself need the dumb masses to start moving in (don't worry, they will want boring subdivisions, not hip places near the Village) to drive our property values up to VaHi and Inman Park levels.

So bring em on! When do we get the Chuck E Cheese?


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