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Peachtree Boulevard and the New Chamblee

A new commercial development is coming to the Peachtree Boulevard corridor in Chamblee, and its anchor tenant might just be a Whole Foods, so speculates Tomorrow's News Today. The new shopping center, Peachtree Crossing, could rise in the triangle of land between Peachtree Boulevard and Peachtree Road — a location that can't really be out-Atlantaed. S.J. Collins Enterprises of Fairburn is behind the development, and with more than a few Whole Foods locations in their portfolio, there seems to be some credence to the speculation. Whoever the anchor tenant ultimately ends up being, the shopping center is representative of the changing face of Peachtree Boulevard in Chamblee. Morphing from an industrial thoroughfare, the corridor is taking on a more commercial appearance. Most would agree the future is bright, but whether it can attain a true boulevard feel remains to be seen.

For decades, Chamblee was a big-time industrial center in the metro area. Developed parallel to a major rail corridor, aptly named Peachtree Industrial Boulevard sported many large manufacturing and warehousing operations. However, with a decline in the industrial trades along the corridor, and with Chamblee hoping to change the nature of the road, the city dropped "Industrial" from the name in 2008.

Since 2000, changes have been coming to Chamblee, albeit slowly. In 2001, across Peachtree Boulevard from the Peachtree Crossing site, Lowe's replaced a former Frito-Lay plant. And down the street Walmart opened as the anchor tenant in Chamblee Village in 2006 on a 13.5 acre site formerly owned by Bell South.

The site where Peachtree Crossing is slated to rise is part of the area's industrial heritage; it was home of the Oxford Chemical Corporation for more than a half century. That parcel and two others — maybe four if negotiations go well — are destined to house a 45,000 square-foot Whole Foods, a 12,757 square-foot minor anchor tenant, a 2,900 square-foot bank and more than 64,000 additional square feet for smaller commercial spaces. The area is well poised with Peachtree Boulevard — which ultimately becomes Peachtree Road in Brookhaven and Peachtree Street in Atlanta — Interstate 85 and the MARTA Gold line providing connectivity to the heart of the metro. With more than a few other projects proposed or in construction nearby, the future is looking pretty good for Peachtree Boulevard. We shall see if it becomes a place worth traveling to, for those who don't live in the vicinity.

· Is a Whole Foods Market Coming to Chamblee? ...It Certainly Looks Like It! [Tomorrow's News Today]