We asked the people who live, shop and play in the Suburban Plaza area what they would like to see at Suburban Plaza. Take a look below to see a few of the ideas — and feel free to add your own by commenting at the bottom of this page.
FIRST AND FOREMOST
- People like many of the current shops at Suburban Plaza, including Suburban Custom Awards and Framing, Last Chance Thrift Store, Hancock Fabrics and Big Lots. Others value the recreation and cultural opportunities provided by Suburban Lanes and Onstage Atlanta.
At our community forum in February, we posted a huge sheet of butcher paper for people to write their ideas on. Here are a few, broken into categories:
- Locally-owned restaurants, including La Fonda or a new venture
- A local grocery store or market with deli counter
- Local farmer’s market
- NY-style pizzeria
- Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods
- Artisanal bakery
- Bagel and coffee shop
- Ice cream parlor
- Outdoor store like Half-Moon Outfitters
- Bookstore and café
- Antiques stores
- Small businesses like in downtown Decatur
- FedEx store
- Hancock Fabrics
- Businesses that could help make our community more green and energy-efficient
- Small business incubator
- Mixed use development
- Doctor’s offices, specialized pharmacies, etc.
- Office space, giving people an opportunity to work close to home
- Creative independent living for seniors
THE BIO-MED PLAN
- A recent plan for revitalizing the area in DeKalb County near Suburban Plaza included a bio-medical development (the MedLine Proposal). This proposal has recently received grant money, and this idea could be used in redeveloping Suburban Plaza and contributing to its commercial viability.
- From Mad Men to your sleek ottoman, the 50s and 60s are in vogue. Why not capitalize on this trend and use it to attract more people to Suburban Plaza? Built in 1959, Suburban Plaza was the the first shopping center in metro Atlanta. Neighbors remember when people took the streetcar from downtown Atlanta to shop at Belk’s. Many shopping centers around the country are looking to the past for viability in the future. Vintage carousels, ice cream parlors and skating rinks attract people today just as they have for decades.
CULTURE & RECREATION
- Community center
- Senior center
- Live theatre
- Movie theatre
- Arts center (like The King Plow Arts Center)
- Indoor soccer/sports facility
- Skateboard park
REAL GREEN SPACE
- Environmentally-sound development
- Leading-edge sustainability
- Less car-reliant opportunities
- Walkways and bike paths leading to and through the center
Some neighbors have envisioned Suburban Plaza as “something like downtown Decatur, but with better parking.” Good Growth DeKalb would also like to see walkability to Suburban Plaza improve, with much less dependence on cars than Walmarts typically cause, and for it to be a real neighborhood center. We believe this area could be truly commercially-viable with this kind of vision.