Retailers, restaurants have Georgia Avenue on their mind
An abandoned commercial district in the shadow of the former Turner Field now is luring popular Atlanta operators, signaling a new day for the once overlooked Summerhill neighborhood.
A joint venture of Carter, Oakwood Development and Healey Weatherholtz Properties is redeveloping the dormant buildings along Georgia Avenue. It’s a crucial first step in a much broader plan to revive the area that’s been long cut off from downtown by the building of interstates and sports stadiums.
The project will bring a dozen or more new retailers and restaurants to Georgia Avenue, with the first set to open this fall.
The latest is Sarah O’Brien of Little Tart Bakeshop, known for an array of baked goods including “much-loved” croissants at its locations in Grant Park and Krog Street Market.
This fall, O’Brien plans to open two new stores on Georgia Avenue: the third location of Little Tart and a new soft serve ice cream shop called Big Softie.
With Big Softie, O’Brien aims to elevate the ice cream experience, making soft serve from organic Georgia milk and cream, as well as homemade toppings and waffle cones. It will also serve floats, sundaes and ice cream pies, along with vegan options.
“Good soft serve is something Atlanta doesn’t have, and something my team and I can do,” O’Brien, a Grant Park resident, said in a statement to Atlanta Business Chronicle. She recounted her childhood in Ohio where she frequented a family-owned Dairy Queen.
“We hope that Big Softie becomes a mainstay in the neighborhood, a place people come back to often because it’s affordable, welcoming, and feels essential, like it’s always been there,” she said.
The buildings along Georgia Avenue, many which date to the 1940s, likely have been vacant since the 1996 Summer Games, said Jack Murphy, a director with Carter.
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