Visions for Vacancies: What Should Take the Place of the Former Kroger

The second in an occasional feature where we ask readers to use their imaginations to discuss community development.

With the exception of the old Hastings Building, 3954 Peachtree Road is arguably one of the largest commercial properties on Peachtree Road - and it's vacant.

At more than 44,000 square-feet, the old Kroger building in Brookhaven Plaza is situated in what some would call the heart of Brookhaven. It's the perfect blank canvass and is even being eyed as Brookhaven's City Hall should the community incorporate.

So, we ask you, if you could forget all the zoning regulations and the LCI, what would you put in its place? Tell us in comments.

Bill Lowe February 25, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I'll put some money on a temporary city hall. That clock is screaming to be a part of the new city. Someone will no doubt make some nice rent out of that.
Danny Marshall February 25, 2012 at 04:21 AM
I'm still holding out for a return of the Original House of Pancakes.
Hank Quinn February 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I agree with Bill, the vacant Kroger will be the perfect location for a City Hall however wouldn't a hobby store would be a good addition to our community?
Frustrated Incorporated February 25, 2012 at 05:02 PM
A mixed use traffic court, grocery, and city hall complete with ATM.
Steve Walker February 25, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Perfect location for City Services.
Jacki McDonald February 25, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I think the former Kroger building would be a phenomenal space for a new animal shelter or rescue...be it county-owned or non-profit. Brookhaven is a HUGE pet passionate community, yet DeKalb & Georgia as a whole are struggling with massive pet over-population & inhumane facilities. This is the perfect opportunity to illustrate how to do things correctly by focusing on proper spay/neuter education & fundraising, to in turn reduce needless euthanasia. Per some recent stats, the 20 counties that make up Atlanta kill 90,000 animals a year. We can & should do better than that...and this building offers the perfect amount of space to change the welfare of companion animals & lost pets in Brookhaven.
Hank Quinn February 25, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Jackie, You are right, this is a pet passionale community and a local shelter is needed. I would think property with land attached would be a better place than the shuttered Kroger location. It backs up to a neighborhood and is paved.
Jacki McDonald February 25, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Yes, I hear what you are saying Hank. I wish we had tons of land to build a space where dogs could run in grassy pens. Unfortunately, city facilities can't have those luxuries, the Atlanta Humane Society and Atlanta Pet Rescue are both headquartered at 14th and Howell Mill, with no land at all. Sound-proofing makes sure there is no disrupting to the surrounding residences.
Jacki McDonald February 25, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Sadly, a high density of people also equals a high density of stray or discarded animals which calls for more facilities to house them and hopefully rescue/adopt them out...which would also be very convenient in front of the old Kroger, such as where the Christmas trees set up in December. Just my thoughts. I'd fund it myself if I could, and absolutely volunteer every spare minute of my time to run it.
DVK February 25, 2012 at 07:48 PM
As long as it isn't a big box selling cheap junk made in China. No thanks!
Chris February 25, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The last thing we need this close to the residential, retail & restaurant district in Brookhaven is government services of any kind. Think about the scene the last time you visited any such facility in Dekalb or Fulton; do you really want that replicated this close to home? I had always hoped a gym would go in that space, but this is moot now that LA Fitness is in Town Brookhaven. How about a food court/farmers' market? The only quick, inexpensive food between here and Chamblee is McDonalds (though I'm excited about Zaxby's opening hopefully soon). I once visited a market at Reading Station in Philadelphia; inside they have a deli for meats and cheeses, along with everything else to accompany, a bakery, a beer garten, a hot dog stand, a gyro stand, cheese steaks, a flower shop, etc., etc., etc. We could throw in a Chic-fil-a booth. Each booth is operated by a different vendor. It also acts as a convenience store. There could be a large section of picnic tables in the middle, with booths all around. It is a great place to grab a bite, and has many conveniences. Pretty much any business that depends on foot traffic could make a go of it because each booth's business feeds off of the others. As Buckhead and Lenox have become less desirable destinations for lunch, this could become a new mid-day hotspot for the surrounding areas and be a huge tax base.....or just bring Harris Teeter back.
Jacki McDonald February 25, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Chris, that's a cool idea too. Reminds me a lot of the the market connected to Grand Central in NYC...or the one on the Bay in San Francisco...has someone shucking oysters...a place to pick up pastries...deli sandwiches...flower mart, etc. Very neat...and could alway still have adoption events out front on the weekends. I wonder if anyone is gonna hear or consider any of these ideas :-)
HamBurger February 25, 2012 at 09:07 PM
If it would meet the new city zoning the old Hasting's location would be much better for this type of use. Please pass that yellow mustard . . .
HamBurger February 25, 2012 at 09:18 PM
A scaled down Reading Station would be the cat's meow! We used to visit family regularly a few blocks away from the market. Got to where we stopped eating out and started visiting the market for some of the best meats, seafood, and vegetables to make grand feasts at home. Unfortunately, in the past Eatzie’s and similar establishments did not have staying power in the Atlanta area. Could now be the time and this be the location for a market similar to Reading? Reading was so good it almost made me forget about hamburgers and yellow mustard!
teague February 25, 2012 at 10:04 PM
ice skating rink
Steve Walker February 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM
while I agree totally that we need better animal shelter facilities, that space is way too high rent or high priced for that to ever happen at that location........I don't see something as an animal shelter in A1 prime downtown City of Brookhaven real estate.
Hank Quinn February 25, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I agree Steve. We need a facility in N Dekalb.
Steve Walker February 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Actually, the old Hastings sight would be the perfect spot
Yvette Sage February 26, 2012 at 12:34 AM
An excellent idea...the Dekalb & Fulton shelters are not nearly enough for this community. A new shelter would save countless more lives.
Grace Mulhearn February 26, 2012 at 02:06 AM
AWESOME IDEA... I would start looking for some corporate sponsors to back the idea.. Even working with the small business association to help get a business plan and funding would help too if you wanted to take it in that direction...
Jacki McDonald February 26, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Again, I was viewing this as if we could have the ideal. Plus, as I mentioned, two main shelters "in town" are in even higher rent/more dense areas...so it is absolutely feasible with corporate funding or private donations. We call one of our concert venues Verizon Amphitheater, etc...why can't it be AT&T Animal Shelter, since AT&T corporate offices are in the complex right off N. Druid Hills? Obviously, the concept would need deeper research & a multitude of variables, but I think it's a chance for Brookhaven to really make a difference in how Atlanta and Georgia are viewed by those outside our state lines. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, I've been back & forth in Brookhaven the last 8 years and now own home here. But it is still shocking that rescues from WAY more crowded areas of NY have to come down here and take our animals, so they don't get killed in our current shelters, due to "space" limitations. Makes Atlanta seem backwards, which is isn't. Obviously I'm passionate about this cause and know a lot of others that are as well.
Grace Mulhearn February 26, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Well. Maybe it would be nice if an animal shelter was part of the central part of the community.. Do you really want a shelter off of the beaten path where it gets little exposure and the pets are just warehoused waiting to die?? Pet overpopulation is a HUGE problem here in GA... It is time that there is more community involvement and education regarding this matter... In addition, this would be an excellent opportunity for civic groups such as the Boy/Girl Scouts or other youth groups to volunteer. I would definitely support this action and know many others that would as well.. In addition, regarding the rent situation- there are many corporations that support animal rescue efforts that would probably jump on board to cover this recurrent expense.
Thomas Porter February 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
No need for city services; I don't think this will become a city and thankfully so.
Thomas Porter February 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
No need for city services; I don't think this will become a city and thankfully so.
Thomas Porter February 26, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Harris Teeter would be very welcome competition to Kroger across the street where employees regularly keep their open soda & drink bottles in the Ice Bag Freezer up front. Swig out of them & put them back. Do you want to buy that ice? Actually any QUALITY grocer or series of food shops/market.
Joe February 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Fresh Market
Allyson Moyer March 12, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Sounds like a great idea to me! I'll volunteer to help in any way I can!


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