Furniture store Rooms To Go may build a large new retail showroom on the land currently occupied by Bahama Breeze. The change represents a larger trend of redevelopment along North Point Parkway, something the city is trying to stay ahead of.
Under plans filed with the city, the Bahama Breeze restaurant would be razed and replaced with a large 47,000 square foot furniture showroom. Rooms To Go’s current space on North Point is less than half as big and would be closed. The new space would also include a section for children’s furniture.
Bahama Breeze’s apparent closure would represent a complete departure from Alpharetta by their parent company, Darden Restaurants. Alpharetta and the North Point area have a reputation of only having chain restaurants. That reputation is undeserved and is dying fast.
We’re witnessing a larger trend of outparcel restaurants being repurposed along North Point. The former Razoo’s space next door was demolished years ago and was recently rezoned to be a bowling alley. O’Charley’s and Smokey Bones’ former digs are cell phone stores today. And back in January we reported on jewelry store Jared replacing TGI Friday’s.
The next generation of North Point outparcel development is likely to involve demolition and rebuilding, not renovating existing space. The city of Alpharetta is trying to stay ahead of this curve by changing design standards within the North Point LCI plan.
The city envisions new development along North Point to be closer to the road. They are likely to change setback minimums to setback maximums. This would remove parking lots from the front of buildings. It would also reduce the overall number of parking spaces at most stores, something retailers and restaurants seem to want anyway these days.
The city will also push for larger eight foot sidewalks and more greenspace in the outparcels.
But Alpharetta has got to hurry. Jared’s plans have already been approved and Rooms To Go is in the pipeline now. City officials hinted that other parcels are looking at similar redevelopment. The remaining retail buildings in front of Target might be on the list or possibly the vacant restaurant space most recently occupied by Rio Nuevo. And of course there will be Rooms To Go’s soon-to-be empty home across the street. One thing remains certain – North Point is changing and certainly isn’t dead.
What do you think of the loss of chain restaurants along North Point? And should buildings along North Point be right on the street?