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What to expect at South Downtown’s ‘Pop Up Row,’ which opens with eight shops today

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Newport US initiative aims to enliven historic storefronts, signaling the start of district’s planned makeover

Mitchell Street aims straight toward The Benz.
Mitchell Street aims straight toward The Benz.
Curbed Atlanta

In the early 1900s, a section of downtown’s Mitchell Street was developed to accommodate travelers coming to and from Atlanta’s main railroad hub, the Terminal Station.

The lodging options are gone, but the name, Historic Hotel Row, lives on.

And as of today, Hotel Row has been injected with new activity that Newport US RE, the developer planning to transform dozens of South Downtown buildings, is calling “Pop Up Row.”

From now until July 31, a selection of the former hotel buildings will be open to pop-up patrons. Some of them still bear the names of inns that operated a century ago—Scoville, Sylvan, and Gordon Lofts, for instance.

A rendering shows the pedestrian-friendly vision for Mitchell Street.
Newport US RE

But Pop Up Row obviously offers more than just a history lesson; visitors should expect live music, artwork, food trucks, and other shopping options.

The pop-ups will operate from noon until 7 p.m. today, starting with a kickoff party.

After that, Pop Up Row will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Atlanta-based musician DJ Opdiggy will provide tunes for the event, and food trucks from Just Loaf’n, South of Philly, Cousins Maine Lobster, and Rio’s Italian Ice will be on-site, too.

Pop-up tenants include:

  • Atlanta Makery: a gift shop featuring “apothecary, apparel, accessories, leather goods, stationary, art, gifts for men, baby items, and edible gifts like local honey, jams, and chocolate,” according to a Newport press release.
  • The Bookery: an intown bookstore run by the folks behind Mableton’s Book House, which has been operating since 1976.
  • Cat Eye Creative: a pop-up artist space showcasing an array of locally made work, as well as studio space for a rotating roster of creatives.
  • Eighth & Style: a “brand experience agency that specializes in creating relatable, experience-rich environments for both influencers and brands.”
  • Ennyluap: an Atlanta-based fashion brand.
  • Kea Beverages: a place to get cold-pressed juices, kombucha, and nitro coffee on tap, all sourced from local produce.
  • The Mast: an art gallery welcoming creatives from all over the state, where a rotation of exhibits “of all mediums” will be on display.
  • Otis Damon Millinery: a hat-maker focused on hand-crafting “timeless pieces” customized for wearers.

Those chosen for Pop Up Row receive free rent and utilities, plus a $500 start-up allowance. Pop Up Row occupies spaces from 211 to 233 Mitchell Street, just south of Five Points MARTA Station.

Visitors, of course, can also check out existing Mitchell Street businesses, such as Friedman’s Shoes and My Fair Sweets.

a rendered map of the future plans
A broader look at Newport’s intentions for the area.
Newport US RE

Before too long, as officials have said, Newport’s $500 million overhaul of the eight South Downtown blocks it owns will begin to transform Mitchell Street by restoring Historic Hotel Row and stripping away two lanes of the four-lane street to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

Newport vice president April Stammel recently told Curbed Atlanta it’s possible Pop Up Row participants could become longterm tenants, following temporary closures of spaces for renovations, which are expected to begin in earnest later this summer and fall.

Newport’s South Downtown portfolio features 48 historic buildings and sites along Peachtree, Mitchell, and Broad streets, plus Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The company has invested more than $100 million in the project thus far.