Another beloved indie business to close
Highland Row, the beloved Poncey-Highland go-to for mid-century modern furniture and weekend window shopping, has joined the list of locally grown indies to close.
Why it matters: The news raises the question: What options do small local and longtime businesses — which often help craft a city's identity — have to survive in an increasingly pricy market other than "make more money?"
Driving the news: Over the weekend, the antique shop announced it was closing down, saying that Canvas Companies, the developer rebooting the retail strip and nearby Highland Inn, hiked rents by 450%.
What they're saying: Canvas Companies' managing partner Benjamin McLoughlin tells Axios that Highland Row's longtime lease did "not even cover the operating expenses of the property, let alone a profit for the landlord" and that the building needs repairs. The two sides tried to find a solution, he says.
- In April, McLoughlin says, Highland Row told Canvas they would close when the store's lease ended at the end of this year.
- Highland Row did not respond to an email or phone call.
By the numbers: As of 2017, Atlanta was home to roughly 430 "legacy" businesses in southwest and northwest Atlanta alone which generated a combined $440 million in revenue.
- Retail rents have increased from $18.40 to $19.62 per square foot between the first quarter of 2021 and this year, per the Atlanta Business Chronicle (🔒).
Details: In August, the Atlanta City Council supported Council member Jason Dozier's request for Invest Atlanta to study protecting legacy businesses from displacement. Pasadena and Washington, D.C. offer such programs.
- Earlier this year, the city launched the "Open for Business Fund Program" to help small business owners buy or improve spaces. Two more programs are on the way, the agency tells Axios.
Yes, but: Dozier says creating a legacy business program soon is critical "considering the recent slate of commercial displacement that we've seen across the city."
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