Arrownoun_787902

Find a Property

Our Stories

A Place To Call Home

Share

As Published in Atlantan June 2018 Edition

Andrews Square—and much of Buckhead’s West Village—gets a face-lift. It might be hard to imagine, but one day in the near future, Buckhead’s West Village will be seamlessly walkable.

Washington, D.C.-based developer EDENS (edens.com) — which owns a baker’s dozen properties in the area, including the Whole Foods Market—wants it to start with Andrews Square. What used to be party central has decidedly changed, and it’s thanks to the attention EDENS has lavished on the once downtrodden center.

Says Herbert Ames, senior vice president for EDENS, “It always felt like it could be more cohesive. It was a collection of really great retail, and there were pockets of independent retailers who had been in the neighborhood a long time. The neighborhood was in danger of losing its local character because of the development around it. After we acquired Andrews Square, we switched gears and said we needed to stop and think,” he notes. “We wanted to take this really interesting, funky building—that frankly, no one would build today—and give these retailers who are getting kicked out a place to congregate and call home. And keep the West Village what it really is, all centered around Andrews Square.” Ames notes that they heavily considered the surrounding neighborhoods in their plans for Andrews Square. “It’s some of the most productive retail demographic in the Southeast,” he says, referring to not only the denizens of Tuxedo Park, but also the empty nesters, downsizers and new-to-towners looking to get their feet wet in the heart of Atlanta’s most acclaimed neighborhood.

There’s a greater movement to improve everything in the West Village, from better parking and lighting for the 600,000 square feet of retail to being in the know of neighborhood improvements. Take, for example, the extension of Paces Ferry Place Northwest and Cains Hill Place Northwest across East Andrews Drive Northwest to Roswell Road. It makes for even more walkability for the nearly 3,400 luxury units that will be completed in the next three years or so, including showstopping projects like The Charles and Hanover Buckhead Village. (EDENS will also own 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail below a high-rise just a stone’s throw from Andrews Square, including a much-needed parking deck.)

andrews-social-whit
andrews-social2

So far, the response from tenants has been extremely well-received. “We’ve given these local businesses a chance to tell their stories differently in a design-built environment,” says Ames. “It will help enrich the community.”

One such partner is Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts, where co-owner Dan Belman has his women’s and home entertainment departments ensconced in Andrews Square and continues to expand his capabilities in his new space, including customizable upholstery and pillows. “This was an incredible location in desperate need of someone with deep pockets and a commitment to the area, and EDENS has more than stepped up to the plate,” says Belman. “They’ve renovated the look, the professionalism of the way the center is run, and they’ve done everything from new roofs and painting to better lighting in the parking lots. Andrews Square needed an infusion of capital and people who saw the opportunity here.”

Kim Wilson from Lucy’s Market agrees—and she took an enormous leap of faith as the first tenant in the revamped center (and in the space where an Irish bar used to be—“I was convinced they’d never get the smell out of here, but they did!” she laughs). “The center has built up; traffic has gotten better every day. It definitely has a vibe now, and it’s starting to come alive. Location is most important to a small business, and if you can get inside this circle [in the West Village], it’s great,” says Wilson. Shannon Sliger of {SAMA} Food for Balance even chose to begin her brand new business at Andrews Square, mainly because of its “architectural interest, outdoor seating, co-tenancy and parking.”

Anthony DiNardo had one of the more impactful moves when he chose to relocate Henri’s Bakery & Cafe to Andrews Square, just a few feet away from its home of 50 years. “There were obviously some logistical challenges, but EDENS was great about finding us a temporary location, and it’s been pretty smooth. Herbert was great about helping me understand what the West Village is since I had just bought the business [from my aunt].

People don’t realize, but we have the exact same number of seats inside as we did at the old location, but we’ve tripled our capacity outside, adding to the idea of creating community.” For DiNardo, the cherry on top will be having the Henri’s sign atop his establishment in the coming weeks. “It’s almost like sticking my flag in the ground,” he says. “It’s the final piece. The community recognizes it, and it does a good job of tying together the past and the present. There’s still a lot of history here—we haven’t gone too far away from [my family’s] original vision. Perhaps that’s a metaphor for Andrews Square and the West Village as a whole—keeping the area’s legacy of local retail while giving it all the necessary upgrades to make it a 21st-century urban neighborhood. Ames puts it best: “What was a disjointed neighborhood and successful despite itself—despite the broken sidewalks and beer bottles on Saturday mornings—is becoming a more connected, walkable neighborhood with local retail at the forefront. There’s still an awful lot of commerce being conducted at the store level, and Andrews Square—and the whole West Village—is meant for a lifestyle. The evolution of this neighborhood is one of the most exciting things happening for Buckhead and for the city of Atlanta. Everyone here is committed to making a concerted effort to contribute to the walkability of the neighborhood.”

atlantan-cover
andrews-social3