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Article: There’s no easy fix for Midtown Place, Atlanta’s retail purgatory

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New roads? A Beltline connection? A clean slate? What’ll it take to rescue this strategically located retail nightmare?

For Atlantans who’ve found themselves mired in the suburban-style, traffic-causing, parking-lot purgatory of a retail shitshow that is Midtown Place, a recent piece by Creative Loafing should be high on your must-read list.

In a nutshell, the current owners of the 1999-built retail center, Coro Realty Advisors, agree that it sucks. Bad. On busy days, shoppers trying to access big-box attractions such as Pet Smart, TJ Maxx, and Home Depot are apt to cause traffic logjams that spill onto busy Ponce de Leon Avenue. In many ways, it’s the antithesis of a walkable urban oasis.

Much has changed since the center was designed nearly 20 years ago — namely, the multi-use sensation that is the Beltline runs by the backdoor. Even Jeff Fuqua, who led the project as part of the Sembler development team back in the day, told CL he’d consider redeveloping the whole thing if he still oversaw it, based on current market conditions.

But for several reasons, a fix won’t be easy.

Many of the center’s very successful big tenants have long leases, and wouldn’t take kindly to being booted or temporarily shut down for construction delays. And don’t hold your breath for a relief valve coming via a Beltline connection. Officials told CL an Eastside Trail-to-Ponce link probably won’t even begin construction for at least a year.

Much more on this troubling first-world matter right over here.