Did You Know’s story of the week is an oldy but a goody. It is one of Douglasville’s oldest shopping centers situated at its busiest and most congested intersection. Its original tenants were Kmart and Big Star Foods, home to Philly Connection, Baskin Robbins and others in its prime, but still Monterey’s. Older and longer time residents will tell you Arbor Square off Hwy 5 and Douglas Blvd was one of the first shopping centers to grace the new Hwy 5 retail district decades ago, long before Chapel Hill Rd wanted to share that spotlight, long before Arbor Place was built, and long before Douglas Blvd even connected to Chapel Hill Rd. Sadly, both Kmart and Big Star are gone from Douglasville, and most the original tenants have moved on to other spots. That’s not to say that the center is empty. Far from it. Today the center still hosts Tenants that include Monterey’s, Boost Mobile, and Ben’s Furniture and Antiques. But almost all will agree, the center has not aged gracefully and in the midsts of the powerhouse Arbor Place retail district which boasts new, cleaner, brighter more modern centers literally a stone’s throw away, the center feels hugely out of place.
Designed in a former time, standing in the vast parking lot which most times remains quite empty despite an almost full vacancy rate, one notices what sets this shopping center apart from the rest surrounding it. The light fixtures are older and less energy efficient. No planters as are the standard in almost all new shopping centers. The parking lot itself hasn’t had a repaving job in almost 2 decades. The facade on the center is grossly outdated and bleak. The elevation of the parking lot and the surrounding roads is an issue too. When one exits the center onto Douglas Blvd the exit slopes downward, a standard that has proven to be dangerous and outlawed in most newer centers. Arbor Square just by looks alone could use some tough love. There may be signs that tough love is about to take place.
Plans were forwarded to the Douglasville Menu that could be the beginning of new life for Arbor Square. The plans are currently being pitched to investors by the property owners in the hopes that an investor will come along and modernize the aging center. The plans call for a complete overhaul and reconstruction of the current facade of the center. In addition to that, a new building on the far corner of the parking lot will be an additional space for other smaller retailers, adjacent to Sherman Williams Paint at Hwy 5 and Arbor Pkwy. New, current light fixtures will replace the umbrella looking fixtures there now, and the parking lot will be reconstructed to new center standards of planter islands separating the front drive and back driveways. The three largest spaces are also being made available to retailers. At this time it’s not clear if this would include keeping the current occupants Ben’s and Tile and Stone Express…although once again, we should emphasize that these are preliminary plans that still need an investor and new tenants to become reality. Take a look at the new center:
Notice the center facade would be reconstructed to look brand new with new brick and mortar, and plans for new tenants. Also sent to us was the site plan for the center that now includes the new small outparcel similar to Market Square just across the street…as well as something new. A new fast food spot for _________ (we don’t know who just yet….but that site is not available for lease and is already drawn to corporate standards, so…):
So hope is not yet lost for this aging shopping center of Douglasville old. With the right investment and new tenants, Arbor Square will take its place within the Arbor Place retail district, and bring hope for other centers to follow suit such as Douglas Corner, another aging center of Douglasville old. The Douglasville Menu will keep you posted on all developments regarding the redevelopment of Arbor Square and let you know of progress and when investment finally arrives.
A Special Thanks to SRS Real Estate properties for the information.
*The Douglasville Menu does not own the real estate documents sent to us, and their use is for general information to the general public about retail and development, the mission of our website and of The City Menus LLC. The Article is to provide a glimpse of the future center and has not been in contact with any potential retailers or property owners about future tenants. All inquiries about this property should be directed to the media contacts for this property and redevelopment at the following link: Click Here.