Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Target at Lenox Marketplace

Today is my third year anniversary of Georgia Retail Memories! While the new name for the blog will be introduced in the next month (you can still offer your suggestions beforehand), I thought I'd show you something I thought was pretty unique by today's standards...a two-story Target in Atlanta!

Night shot of two-story Target from second level of parking deck.

This Target anchors Lenox Marketplace, located across from Phipps Plaza and near Lenox Square. Because of the enormous cost and lack of available land in Buckhead throughout the past two decades, most new developments have been built upwards instead of outwards. Not far from this development are many new highrises: mostly built around the intersection of Peachtree Road (SR 141) and Piedmont Rd (SR 237) just to the south. I am sure to longtime residents of Atlanta how apparent it is that very little of old Buckhead is left. Most of this demolition has taken place in the last decade.

Parking deck entrance to Target. Target is the only store in the complex accessable from the bottom level of the deck.

Built in 1999, the shopping complex is located at the southwestern corner of Peachtree and Wieuca Roads. The center features a three-story Dick's (originally Galyan's), two-story Target, a Publix, Staples and Filene's Basement. A now-closed Dekor once flanked the shopping center, and the center is completely connected by a multi-story parking deck in the center accessable from Wieuca Road.

Approaching the two-sided elevator and escalators.

Most retail history type blogs (including mine at times) are gloom and doom about the good old days of retail, but we all must have to admit that the major draw of many of these older shopping centers is by and large the period decor and memories attached to them. While many places of that era had pretty fascinating layouts, many also were pretty standard and at the time even somewhat depressing. Think of the dumpiest 70's malls you've visited still in operation or a typical strip mall built in the 80's and 90's. People in the day saw the construction as cheap and ugly while those of us much younger are more sentimental, yet even the older crowd is starting to miss those places today.

That's what is so interesting about these infill developments in cities: these are the places you discover interesting shopping centers that are not old but actually very new. Think of Atlantic Station: an outdoor mall built on top of an enormous parking deck with stuff you'd never find in a mall. Five stories of escalators in the Dillard's and escalators coming out of strange places. Remember it wasn't so long ago that retail was fleeing the cities, and most of us have not recovered fully from the realization that the wonderland downtown department stores are gone, so this is a start.

These, however, are not ordinary escalators. They have a twist. Note that this is a CART escalator. I pulled a cart onto the cart escalator here for a demonstration.

While this would be an oversized strip mall in a place like Canton (e.g. Canton Marketplace), this is built up in a very interesting fashion such that it is one of the oft-overlooked interesting places of today. In fact, I overall believe architecture really took a turn from the better from 1998 on from the pink stucco horrors of the early 90's. Some of us have almost been blindsided by the reality that architecture has improved dramatically from even a decade ago, and is quite fascinating to look at these days much in the same way the art deco and bold color schemes of the 60's and 70's were fascinating in that time.

The top of the escalator has the look and feel more of a 70's department store than a typical Target. The distinguishing overhead directory of departments kind of gives it away, though. Now what I would give to see a three-story Super Target!!!

With the increasingly desperate situation in the nation and world around us, those of us remembering the places of our childhood in the 70's and 80's will also look back in awe at these later monuments to American prosperity as well when we were teenagers and in our college years. The only difference is that we will have more successfully preserved today vs. yesterday when documenting these places was not so commonplace without a medium like the internet. Enjoy these pics of this unique Target store, and thanks to all who visit and contribute to my site who appreciate retail history from a Southern perspective.


  1. Thanks for the demo! Did you get some strange looks with the empty cart? :)

    We have a 2-story Target here in Charlotte too. I've been in it once, but I was in a hurry and didn't get a chance to look around. Thanks for the details and pictures!

  2. This Target has a rather interesting discount store layout, pity I never visited during my trips to Atlanta. It actually inspired a couple of ideas, and in my configuration, I would devote the second level moreover to fashion and accessories. In fact, the second level interior design would be a bit closer to Dillards and Macys instead of a traditional discount store. Hardline categories, such as electronics and home furnishings would remain on the boisterous first level, along with service oriented retail, coffee shop and snack bar.

  3. There is a similar style Target in Metairie Louisiana just outside of New Orleans at Clearview Mall. Target took over a three story former Maison Blanche/ Dillard's. The third floor is not used and might possibly be developed into condos. I really like Target as a alternative to the boring cookie cutter Wal-Marts. Target has latched on to three malls in Texas and Louisiana that I know about in the past five years. Memorial City in Houston, Clearview In Metairie, and the mall in Port Arthur Texas (I forgot the name).

  4. I'm an Atlanta, and occasionally visit this Target (admittedly, there are closer ones, but this one does have a pretty major "cool factor"). I recently visited Minnapolis, MN, and visited the flagship store - across the street from the Target headquarters in downtown. It's similar, though it features a grocery. I'm curious as to which came first - ours or theirs.

    I have to say, with this target, the one in Atlantic Station, the one in Edgewood, and the one at Lindbergh, I'm happy to see them moving to places near public transit. Ditto for Minneapolis - it was near the light rail and practically on the bus mall.

  5. Christina CourtneyMay 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Who came up with idea for this? This is very neat. Very different than the target stores in Huntsville, Alabama. This would be a fun place just to go and walk through and look at. I wanna go here pretty badly and walk through and compare the layout of departments and prices versus the Targets in Huntsville, Alabama.

  6. There is actually a three story Target in Glendale, California. Very nice@!