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               SHANNON SOUTHPARK MALL: UNION CITY, GA

Dominique Huff's Commentary:

Posted February 19, 2004 (user submitted October 14, 2004)

Shannon Mall was the place to be back in the late 80's, early 90's with four major department stores and over 100 speciality shops. The area around the mall was booming as well with car dealerships, Toys R Us, Linens and Things, two first run movie theatres, a furniture store and several other businesses. With the decline of Greenbriar Mall, many people from Southwest Atlanta chose this mall as an alternative mode of shopping. Like the previous poster said, it also attracted people from Peachtree City, Newnan and other South Fulton cities. This mall was a success story until the mid 90's.

South Fulton was on a decline. From Old National to Campbellton Road to Shannon Mall, retailers were leaving for other developments. The Fayette Pavillion was the first major blow to the mall in either 95 or 96. This plaza similar to the new Camp Creek Marketplace is a large open air development with several big box stores and retailers. Initially, this development was supposed to be an enclosed mall but Fayette County laws prohibited such developments. After the opening of this establishment, Linens N Things and Toys R Us left the mall, leaving empty store fronts. Others slowly followed. In 1998, Macys announced a pullout from the mall, delievering the second blow to the mall. In 2000, JCPenney announced a pullout from the mall. During these times, the movie theatres closed and several tenants within the mall moved out. The exodus was so large that a few years after Macy's left, the entire wing shut down due to empty store fronts.

What keeps the mall going is the food court, local residents, high school students and employees of the area are the main patrons. Despite the large volume from the diners, they eat but don't really walk around and shop. To save face the mall renovated both the exterior and interior to attract more shoppers and businesses. A few merchants came but then left due to the lack of business.

Unlike other dead malls, this mall is actually architechurally and structurally functional but the location is going to kill it. In 2003, Camp Creek Marketplace opened up on Camp Creek Pkwy. A development similar to Fayette Pavillion, it is home to several big box stores and several dine in restaurants such as Johnny Carinos, Ruby Tuesday and others. Shannon Mall only has a pathetic Cracker Barrell and Buffalos as their eateries to dine in. However, there is a new Cracker Barrel that just opened on Camp Creek across from the Mall. With the success of this development, the developer is constructing a second phase that will bring more big boxes and eateries. With Camp Creek on the way to Shannon, merchants and shoppers will choose Camp Creek for business.

Another nail in the coffin for Shannon Mall is the on again, off again mall in Newnan. This mall if built will be much larger than Shannon and have more merchants to offer customers. If built, bye bye Shannon. The corridor is seeing some revitalization with Kroger renovating their plaza and store. Wal-Mart is building a super center across from their older store. QuikTrip has opened a store and McDonalds has renvoated. However, much more work remains to bring back Shannon Mall.

There have been proposals such as converting it into an outlet mall, entertainment complex and even making it an upscale speciality mall similar to Phipps. But, none of these proposals have materialized. The remaining tenants really don't get excited about them anymore because of the lack of follow up from the prospective developers. With other nearby areas booming, the mall will be a hard sell to convince major retailers to locate.

Articles on Shannon Mall:

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2000/07/24/story5.html

http://www.storetrax.com/stx/showNAProperty.do?centerId=8530&type=1&st_inc=no (includes store directory)

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