Austell's East-West Connector Sees Almost as Many Openings as Closings in 2011, 2012
Despite the economic downturn, businesses are betting on Austell's East-West Connector while others fold or move.
During 2011, South Cobb saw a number of its businesses fold or move and leave behind vacant storefronts and large “for lease” signs.
The increased vacancies could be attributed to economic downturn, but businesses continue to bet on Austell. For the number of businesses that shut their doors in 2011, almost just as many opened theirs.
During 2011 and now 2012, Borders (which shut down all of its Metro Atlanta operations), Sweet Tea’s Catfish and Blues restaurant, Talk of the Town Soul Food, Ted's Montana Grill, Taco Mac, Joe’s–which opened and closed in a period of six months– and A.J. Wright closed down operation.
On the same property as the Marshalls clothing store is a huge vacant facility, which once housed Home Depot, along with two shopping centers with several vacancies.
The good news is that along with the closings, there have been almost as many openings.
- In place of A.J. Wright, Homegoods opened its doors in April.
- On the corner of Austell and East-West Connector, BP has moved into the abandoned gas station spot just this week.
- Rue 21, a teen clothing store, filled in the last vacant spot in the Target shopping center at East-West Connector and Austell Road, back in October.
- Right in time for summer, a new McDonald’s opened its doors across from the Austell movie theatre.
- In late 2010, right before the launch of South Cobb Patch, Stella’s Bar and Grill gave Austell another and maybe now its only spot for good food and entertainment, offering local bands, karaoke nights and more.
- A commercial realtor told South Cobb Patch last week that a prominent primary care company will be moving in to the facility at 3999 Austell Road between Thai of Austell restaurant and the old Papa John’s location within the next couple of months. The realtor could not yet reveal the company's name. (Papa John’s moved to a new location up the road at 4180 Austell Road in the same strip as Lenny’s Sub Shop next to a vacant former coffee shop.)
- The old Sonny’s Barbecue building has been leveled to the ground and a Kauffman Tire is going up in its place.
Except for Stella's, which opened in 2010, none of the new businesses have been small businesses or locally owned businesses. In fact, none of them are Metro Atlanta-based like Ted's and Taco Mac.
With National Tire & Battery, Discount Tire and Tires Plus Car Care all within a mile and a half from each other on Austell’s strip of the East-West Connector, does Austell need another tire store?
What businesses are needed on Austell’s portion of the East-West Connector?