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Let’s Talk Midtown Recap: Study Offers Fresh Ideas to Enhance Retail Offerings

Event concluded four-month study to examine strategies that can support retailers already here, and attract new ones

Published: 5/2/18

More than 120 Midtown residents, workers and business owners attended the recent Let’s Talk Midtown event to discuss Midtown’s present-day and future retail potential. 

New Strategies Emerge for Near-Term and Long-Term Action

Held at the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel, the town hall event was the culmination of a four-month study commissioned by Midtown Alliance to examine and prioritize new strategies that can support the retailers already here, and attract new retailers into the rapidly-growing district. The study was executed by Larisa Ortiz Associates, a New York-based consulting practice that specializes in urban retail environments, and informed by a steering committee comprised of Midtown business owners representing restaurants, shops and hospitality venues in the district.

“Looking at Midtown's present and future opportunities for retail, the news is very good,” said Larisa Ortiz in her remarks. “Midtown has a growing residential community, which retailers are aspiring to serve. Midtown has an updated zoning code, which captures a lot of the best practices for retail, a number of ongoing capital improvement projects, and a great organization that is willing to learn and excited to act.”  

Among the findings presented at the event:

  • By 2020, total retail spending among Midtown’s fast-growing residential population is projected to double compared to 2010, approaching $600M annually
  • Today, Midtown is heavily-weighted with food and beverage offerings, but lacks other types of retail that create a balanced district. In several pockets of Midtown, food and beverage accounts for more than half of the total retail present.
  • Some of the potential near-term and long-term actions to pursue could include: centralizing market data and information for brokers, advocating for creative storefront design, activating empty storefronts with temporary installations, adding more uniform parking signage throughout the district, actively managing curbside loading and deliveries, and many other tactics. Midtown Alliance and the steering committee are working to prioritize these and other recommendations.

Watch for the final report to be posted soon to our Resource Center.

The retail study findings are being compiled into a final report that will be published on Midtown Alliance’s online Resource Center later this month.

More Midtown Alliance Events on the Calendar 

Up next on the calendar is Midtown Alliance’s Mix-It-Up Midtown after-hours networking event, taking place Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Payscape’s new offices near the north end of the district. Register here.

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