Atlantic Station temporarily backs off requiring purchase for free parking

Visitors to Atlantic Station will not have to make a purchase starting Monday to park for free.

The mixed-use center issued a statement late Friday saying it is rethinking the idea. There were many critical comments posted by readers of this blog Thursday after AJC writer Arielle Kass reported Atlantic Station’s intention to eliminate two hours of free parking unless a purchase is made.

“We are listening to our local community and neighbors’ feedback, suggestions and concerns regarding the new Atlantic Station parking program,” the statement said. “We recognize there are areas we would like to further evaluate and more clearly communicate to ensure this new transition will be as smooth as possible for our retailers and guests.

“A revised plan for the new parking program, which will offer two hours of free parking with validation from shops restaurants, gyms, food trucks and Regal Cinemas, will be shared pending further review.”

The statement did not say how long the review would take.

The proof-of-purchase idea came as the center plans to spend $2.5 million to upgrade Atlantic Station’s parking facilities to make the deck brighter and easier to navigate.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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40 comments Add your comment

Timothy James

July 8th, 2011
8:54 pm

I went by Atlantic Station mid afternoon Wednesday, around 130 pm, the place was a like a ghost town.


July 8th, 2011
8:56 pm

I think they should stand pat on the new parking arrangement. It would keep the area from being loitered. While Atlantic Station is a beautiful area, it isn’t a public park that is meant for “hanging out.”


July 8th, 2011
9:04 pm

As if anybody needed another reason not to go there


July 8th, 2011
9:13 pm

Atlantic Station should operate like the Beverly Center Mall in LA. They charge like a $1 or $2 for the day to park. If Atlantic Station adds more boutique and unique stores, they could attract more revenue. One can go to the mall and not pay for parking to visit the GAP, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and other stores. Give people a real reason to visit Atlantic Station. We all know if the weather is bad, busy is slow with exterior shopping.


July 8th, 2011
9:20 pm

Well this is not good. I was actually excited about the prospect of not having to deal with loitering, but I guess that’s off the table.


July 8th, 2011
9:26 pm

Kudos to Arielle Kass for writing the article!!!!


July 8th, 2011
9:32 pm

Residents of and visitors to this city are entitled, solipsistic, and regressive. I, and most other high-income, educated in-town dwellers are happy to pay for the services we receive and for the infrastructure we make use of. If you want Atlantic Station to remain viable and to persist as an option for shopping and entertainment, you might have to fork over two bucks for parking. If that’s not in your budget, go somewhere else.


July 8th, 2011
9:43 pm

@ guyinO4W…While I think the new parking fee rule may be a good idea, your post was VERY arrogant. Atlantic Station is NOT a gated community. It is a mall with condos.

South Fulton Guy

July 8th, 2011
9:45 pm

Newsflash – the element many refer to as loitering don’t drive cars and hence won’t be detered by parking fees. They ride MARTA…


July 8th, 2011
9:57 pm

nooooo! everything in life should be free!@!


July 8th, 2011
10:15 pm

“We recognize there are areas we would like to further evaluate and more clearly communicate to ensure this new transition will be as smooth as possible for our retailers and guests…”

Someone was actually paid to write this? P.R. speak at its worst…


July 8th, 2011
10:16 pm

good point south fulton guy, I have not been to atlantic station, my son says not to go there after dark, I don’t think I’ll be going their anytime,it’s obvious there is a problem…..


July 8th, 2011
10:18 pm

The last time I was at Atlantic Station the parking was dark and cumbersome plus the entire place seemed like a hangout for loiters. I really liked the idea of the development, but have decided that it’s not for my family. Go to the Forum on 141 to see how it should be done. Sorry.

Second City

July 8th, 2011
10:19 pm

Atlantans are so funny. 1) Atlantic Station is a joke. Anyone from a real 24-hour city like NYC, Chicago, London, etc. knows this first hand. There aren’t any real shops there. 2) A certain element of Atlantans try to be PC when it comes to race but their insecurities and pomposity always shine through. 3) There is no valid reason why Atlantic Station should charge for parking — NONE.

Grow A Pair

July 8th, 2011
10:21 pm

Gee Alex, South Fulton Guy and Buckwheat, what problem could that be? Ahh …. has “political correctness” become the new disguise for hate?


July 8th, 2011
10:21 pm

IF you go to Atlantic Station you will see a highly diverse group of people. I’m not sure how one can determine one’s financial net worth or education based on appearance of behavior because I’ve seen many unruly persons frequenting Atlantic Station who do not fit the “typical profile” of the loiters or whatever buzz word used to categorize certain groups of people. An obnoxious group of young professionals is as annoying as a group of teenagers, when you are trying to enjoy an evening with your husband.


July 8th, 2011
10:23 pm

Visit the Shoppes at River Crossing in Macon and see how they do it right in Middle Georgia

another comment

July 8th, 2011
10:24 pm

The last time I took my girls down to Atlantic Station to shop for shoes at DSW and other stores, it was scary. Rival gangs were flashing gang signs from one end of one street from another. That is the last time I have been at Atlantic Station. This all seemed to happen after the new owners took over and put in scrawny little mall cops. They need to hire real Atlanta PD, who can make arrests and do something to get the gang members out of Atlantic Station. Or people like me and my girls will not be going back.

Our favorite botique opened a store at Perimeter. The Fish store changed management and the food sucks now. The only store we really need to go there for is DSW. I have eaten $50, rather than risk my life in taking a pair of shoes back and encountering the gangs.

Atlanta and Atlantic Station have a big GANG problem.

Why Even Go?

July 8th, 2011
10:28 pm

I don’t know anyone that even goes there and we live in Midtown. The place has no character, is full of nogoodniks and feels unsafe. Charge whatever you want for all we care…

Common Sense Ain't Common

July 8th, 2011
10:29 pm

@another comment, do you know how many DSW stores are in Atlanta? You could’ve taken the shoes back to another store instead of “eatin” the money to prove a point to yourself as to how unsafe, as you say, Atlantic Station is.


July 8th, 2011
10:30 pm

Went to Atlantic Station in April 2011 for a prom, Parked, went to get coins, came back in less than 5 minutes. The parking polic guy was waiting in the shadows and gave me a ticket as I was about to put money in. Will never go back. Atlantic Station can kiss me butt.

Why Even Go?

July 8th, 2011
10:33 pm

Or get rid of the gangs, open some local stores and maybe we’ll come back…


July 8th, 2011
10:35 pm

Considering that on a weekend day, there are 100+ cars parked at the end of the Target parking lot by people just using the parking so they can walk over to Atlantic Station, I don’t know if making people pay or validate to park will help with the loitering problem tremendously.


July 8th, 2011
10:37 pm

@ Jason H

I have on numerous occasions done that very thing, and parked at Target well past close. I have never been ticketed.


July 8th, 2011
10:48 pm

The place isn’t worth risking your life to go to anyway. The gangs have won. Unfortunately, most people feel the same way. I’ll save the 2 bucks and go to Vinings.

Cliff Claven

July 8th, 2011
10:53 pm

I like going down there with the wife during the day just to do something different. We have not been down there at night however so I can’t comment on that.


July 8th, 2011
10:53 pm

Forget going to Atlantic Station to meet someone new. When I want to meet someone new I get a basket and go to Walmarts!


July 8th, 2011
11:03 pm

The urban movement moved from the old buckhead village to atlanic station….nuff said


July 8th, 2011
11:06 pm

I have been to Atlantic Station several times and haven’t seen any “gang activity”. What the hell are you people talking about? I’ve never felt unsafe there or “scared”. Are there some annoying people at times? YES, but do I feel threatened for my life, NO…


July 8th, 2011
11:08 pm

Exiting the garage, even using valet parking, after an event like Cirque du Soleil is a NIGHTMARE. We quite going about five or six years ago. Horrible. Would rather miss a good show than to put up with that crap. Stupid parking attendants would NOT open the gates to let those in out. They HAD to see our tickets. Heck, we were already in there! That held up exiting forever. Never again. Bye, bye, Atlantic Station events. Not for us.


July 8th, 2011
11:11 pm

The problem at Atlantic Station is with loiterers. This plan was genius. Thugs don’t buy stuff and show a validated parking ticket!


July 8th, 2011
11:20 pm

I was excited about the new rules. There was a chance that I would actually go to Atlantic Station if they kept away the loiterers. Now, not so much. I hope they’re happy with their spineless policies.

Very Concerned

July 8th, 2011
11:21 pm

I really hope the new owners of Atlantic Station are reading these posts. The development is a disappointment. IMO, the interior streets should be closed and the area turned into green spaces. This would encourage foot traffic and allow for sidewalk cafes and entertainment. Atlantic Station also needs water features. Boring space. Bring life to the area and start charging for parking.

If you cut down on the cruising through the area, things will get better. Don’t let this development become another Underground. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!


July 8th, 2011
11:25 pm

I’m so veeerrrryyyyyyy confused at these posts. I’ve gone to Atlantic station faithfully (lunch, dinner, shopping, movies, nightlife, etc..) for about 3-4 years now. What is all this gang activity and loitering that you all are speaking of? I’ve NEVER seen anything of the sort.

For shizzle

July 8th, 2011
11:27 pm

The Parking validation was an excellent idea. And don’t think for a minute the comments on this blog had anything to do with the decision to “temporarily” delay its implementation.

Bring on the parking validation. Get rid of the riff raff.


July 8th, 2011
11:32 pm

Its really sad to see so many “so called” educated folks making so many ignorant racist comments. If you want to segregate yourselves you are not going to like any place inside of the perimeter (except maybe vinings…)


July 8th, 2011
11:32 pm

nativeson71 and South Fulton Guy at 9:43 p.m. said it best… they hit EXACTLY on the problems of Atlantic Station. A lot of unruly people seem to gravitate toward that place… call them punk, call them gangs, call them urban, call them whatever… you all know what we’re talking about. These are not regular, courteous, intelligent, respectful consumers who came to the Station “for” something… they are just there to “be there”, and some of them are very belligerent and rude. They have made the Station a less-than-desirable place to go, and I don’t blame people one bit for avoiding it.

I have been to Atlantic Station three times — all three were crowded, hard to get around, hard to find parking, hard to get out, and all had impossible lines at the eating establishments. The novelty of the place has surely worn off, so unless the owners and businesses want to get SERIOUS and make it a classier, more attractive place to come, why on EARTH would they expect people to drive 20 or 30 minutes for the same things they can get in their own neighborhood?

nativeson71 said it best — Atlantic Station is simply a mall with condos. It’s no better than any other place, so all things being equal, I’d rather go someplace where I feel safer, where the parking and traffic are easier, and where there is less loitering. Between the thug element using the Station as a “hangout” and the pretentious, arrogant, hipsters there (like GuyinO4W and Second City, who posted earlier), this place is NOT where I choose to spend my time nor spend my money. I don’t want to hang around with either type of people.

It’s kind of a shame, because Atlantic Station had potential… but unless you have a strong, firm, no-nonsense security presence on the grounds at ALL times, the seedy elements can take over, and that appears to be what happened. I haven’t been to the Station since last fall, nor do I ever plan to return.


July 8th, 2011
11:33 pm

Also, I’ve often been to Atlantic station to shop & didn’t find what I was looking for. You’re telling me I’d have to pay because I didn’t make a purchase? That’s nonsense! Not that Atlantic station has much of a collection of shops anyway. I would certainly just go to a real mall if this becomes the new plan.

Tru dat

July 8th, 2011
11:35 pm

Very concerned has it exactly right….get the cars off the streets, install pavers and street cafes…Believer, open your eyes

[...] Update* Henry Unger at the AJC’s Biz Beat blog reported that Atlantic Station is now reconsidering the pay-to-park [...]