Lenox Square
Lenox Square, owned by the Simon Property Group since 1998, is an upscale super-regional shopping mall located in the Buckhead District of Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. Groundbreaking of the mall started in 1957, and the shopping center officially opened in 1959. It is the first major shopping mall in Georgia. Currently, there are nearly 250 stores and 3 major anchors include Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus. Visited by more than 35 million people a year, Lenox Square is one of the most popular and profitable retail centers in the country.

Creek Indians lived on the land until they were moved in the early 1820s. Meal-grinding pits that Creek Indians had worn into granite boulders were uncovered during excavation of the site in the 1950s. The land was owned by the government until Mary Gromet was given ownership in the lottery. It was then owned by a farmer John Simpkins who grew cotton and corn. In 1897, John Ottley, the president of the First National Bank, bought the land. Ottley built a summer cottage "Joyeuse" on the top of a granite ridge that ran through the property. Ottley worked his horses in a large riding rink located in the south east corner. He hunted quail and other game. He raised and sold fancy chickens. He built a large stately manor approximately where the front entrance to Lenox Square was later located. The Ottleys moved there permanently in 1913. Behind the home were stables. Ottley lived at Joyeuse until his death in 1945, and a year later the property was bought by Haas and Dodd Insurance Co. The house was subdivided into apartments and also served as a private nursery and kindergarten from 1947 until 1953. In 1956, the mansion was torn down and the granite ridge was blasted to make way for Lenox Square mall. Lenox Square opened August 3, 1959 and was originally an 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m 2), open-air mall anchored by Rich's, Davison's and a Colonial (later Big Star) supermarket. There were 52 original tenants, including a bowling alley, indoor golf driving range and Kresge five and dime store. A movie theater opened in June 1963. In 1971-1972, Lenox Square was enclosed to compete with the newer interior malls that had opened in the region. The enclosure of the mall was undertaken in tandem with the construction of a new wing, which included Georgia's first and only Neiman Marcus. A Franklin Simon & Co. store was also located at the mall at this time. A second expansion was completed in 1980 that added a three-level section at the back of the mall, consisting of a food court. This replaced the previous, open-air Plaza Court and supermarket. Lenox Square now encompassed 1,040,000 leasable square feet. The new food court was soon joined by a 19-story, 370,000 sqf (gross), class-A office building, a twin-appearing 24-story hotel, 1,800 space, five-level combined hotel/office parking garage (2 below ground), and 800 space 4-level retail pre-cast concrete parking deck. These were adjacent to the MARTA's Lenox transit station, which opened in December 1984. The Davison's name was replaced in 1985 with that of Davison's/Macy's and, simply Macy's, in 1986. In 1995, the mall opened its largest expansion yet, adding a second story above the original Mall Level. The expansion made Lenox Square the largest shopping center in Georgia, with 1,457,000 million square feet (140,000 m 2) divided among 200 stores and restaurants. This distinction was relinquished to the new, 1,700,000-square-foot (158,000 m 2) Mall of Georgia in 1999. The most recent expansion of Lenox Square was completed in 2007. The existing Neiman Marcus was enlarged by 52,000 square feet (4,800 m 2) and a 36,000-square-foot (3,300 m 2), Upper Level was added to the wing connecting the store to the main mallway. The shopping center now housed 1,545,000 leasable square feet and 240 stores and services.

Present day
In 2003, Federated Department Stores began integrating the Macy's name with their other regional department store brands, including Rich's. Following the news, the Lenox Macy's location closed & the building (along with the location at Perimeter Mall) was renovated extensively to house the first Bloomingdale's in the South, which opened in October 2003. In 2005, Federated Department Stores dropped the regional names of all of their department stores. The former Rich's-Macy's location at Lenox Square became the flagship of the Macy's Central division. The 2006-2007 expansion of the Neiman Marcus wing brought many retailers that were eyeing the Atlanta market. Today, Lenox Square is among the busiest shopping centers in the country. Many high-end retailers have locations here, including Armani Exchange, Brahmin, Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Herve Leger, Bvlgari, 7 for all Mankind, Diesel, Façonnable, Burberry, Michael Kors, Ecco, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, Club Monaco, Karen Millen, David Yurman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cartier, Vidal Sassoon, Nicole Miller, and Zara. Prada, Microsoft, and XXI Forever plan to open in Spring 2011.

Anchor stores
  • Bloomingdale's (Opened 1959 as Davison's with name changed to Macy's in 1986 - extensively remodeled and reopened as Bloomingdale's October 2003. Originally 120,000 sq ft, now 274,000 sq ft.)
  • Macy's (Opened 1959 as Rich's and converted to the Rich's-Macy's name in 2003 followed by the Macy's name in 2005. Originally 180,000 sq ft, now 433,308 sq ft.)
  • Neiman Marcus (Opened 1972 as sole Georgia location. Originally 153,700 sq ft, now 205,000 sq ft.)

Lenox Square has become a key part of the traditions of Atlanta since its opening in 1959. Two major Atlanta events centered at Lenox include a 4th of July fireworks display and the Macy's (formerly Rich's) Christmas display.In 1960, Lenox Square began an annual tradition of hosting what would later become the largest Independence Day fireworks displays in the Southeast (now broadcast live on WSB-TV-DT. 2008 saw the switch from WGCL-TV CBS 46 with WSB-TV-DT taking over the duties and bringing them to the people in HD quality.) Lenox Square is also near the beginning early-morning running of the Peachtree Road Race, considered one of the United States' largest 10k races. In 1991, with the closure of the original Rich's in downtown Atlanta, the Rich's at Lenox Square became the chain's flagship. In 2000 it also became the home to the Rich's Great Tree, the city's giant public outdoor Christmas tree, after nearly a decade at Underground Atlanta. Rich's said goodbye to the city March 6, 2005 with its conversion to the Macy's nameplate after operating at Rich's-Macy's for almost 2 years. The tree was re-named the "Macy's Great Tree" at this time. The annual lighting of the tree begins every Thanksgiving night at 7pm and is broadcast locally on WSB-TV.

Around Lenox
Lenox Square is connected via parkway to the 27-story JW Marriott Buckhead hotel, classified as a 4-Diamond hotel by the AAA. Many other luxury hotels are within walking distance from Lenox. These include St. Regis, W Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental, and Westin. The area around Lenox has grown immensely in the past 50 years, and now includes many high-rise condominiums and office buildings. A two-story Target store sits across from Lenox at Lenox Maketplace, connected inside via escalators and elevators designed for shopping carts as well as shoppers, and having checkouts on both levels at the exits to a parking deck. Other stores at Lenox Marketplace include Dick's Sporting Goods, Filene's Basement, and Borders. The Sembler Company was the developer. In addition, Phipps Plaza is diagonally across from Lenox. A few lights down from Lenox Square Mall is an enormous Rooms To Go store. Across the street from that large store is a large shopping center called Buckhead Square which is anchored by The Container Store with neighbors like Tuesday Morning, Men's Wearhouse and Clear. Recently, Icebox Custom Jewelry, a family-owned jewelry store since 1976 has recently moved to the Buckhead Square. Traffic levels around Lenox are high and the streets are confusing for those unfamiliar with the area. Georgia 400 (a tollway to the north, and freeway south to nearby Interstate 85) opened in 1993, restricting traffic to and from the west after it cut many existing roads. However, the BUC (Buckhead Uptown Connection), the free shuttle bus service around Buckhead is available, supported voluntarily by a self-taxing district (Buckhead CID) which includes Lenox, and by GRTA and other agencies. The Peachtree Streetcar initiative would also extend free or low-fare streetcars to Lenox in the north, through midtown and downtown, to a proposed mixed-use redevelopment around historic Fort McPherson, 14 miles (23 km) south. MARTA, the city's main mass transit system, provides one station near the mall. Many of Atlanta's prominent and upscale restaurants and bars are located within walking distance from Lenox Square. Some of these restaurants include Bone's Steakhouse, Market, Seasons 52, Fogo de Chao, Bluepointe, Bistro Niko, Pricci, Dantanna's, Atlanta Fish Market, Nava, Au Pied de Cochon, Craft Atlanta, The Palm, Morton's The Steakhouse, and among others.

Building Activity

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