November 26, 2022
greenbriar mall
Atlanta Councilwoman, Marci Collier Overstreet, is hosting a virtual discussion on the future of Greenbriar Mall and its surrounding communities in Southwest Atlanta. Greenbriar Mall opened in 1965, and unbeknownst to most was the birthplace of today's food court concept. In fact, fast food giant, Chic-Fil-A, opened its first restaurant there in 1967. For nearly sixty years now the mall has manage to withstand multiple economic recessions, rising rates of crime and violence in the surrounding areas, and the withdrawal of multiple anchor stores. Macy's is now its latest and final anchor to withdraw, leaving the profitability and future of Greenbriar in question.

Atlanta Councilwoman, Marci Collier Overstreet, is hosting a virtual discussion on the future of Greenbriar Mall and its surrounding communities in Southwest Atlanta.

marci collier overstreet saving greenbriar
Councilwoman Marci Collier Overstreet

Greenbriar Mall opened in 1965, and unbeknownst to most was the birthplace of today’s food court concept. In fact, fast food giant, Chic-Fil-A, opened its first restaurant there in 1967. For nearly sixty years now the mall has manage to withstand multiple economic recessions, rising rates of crime and violence in the surrounding areas, and the withdrawal of multiple anchor stores. Macy’s is now its latest and final anchor to withdraw, leaving the profitability and future of Greenbriar in question.

eloisa klementich invest atlanta saving greenbriar
Eloisa Klementich, CEO of Invest Atlanta

The virtual discussion, “Saving Greenbriar,” will feature the aforementioned councilwoman who represents the area, along with Eloisa Klementich, the president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, who functioning essentially as the city’s developmental force.

We spoke with one of the business owners at Greenbriar, to gauge what they think the future of the mall is. Most of the owners we spoke to declined to make a statement. The owner who did speak with us asked to remain anonymous. “I think the mall is going to go the way of most historically minority or lower income areas in Atlanta. It’ll be gentrified. They’ll let big investors come in and gut the community, shit on the business owners that are already here and bring in big name companies. We will have to relocate and the communities who need this revenue, products, and jobs will suffer more as they’re pushed further and further out of the city. With COVID happening people can barely work as is and that’s exactly what they’re going to do. Take stuff from the people. Just think about it, most kids get their first jobs at malls and stuff. How are they gonna learn how to work when there are less places for them to work and then the jobs for them are now covered by adults because of the times…”

The unnamed business owner is correct in his discussion of employment for youth. In recent years the unemployment rates for youth in the state has dropped from 44% in 2009 and is now only at 31% in 2020, after bottoming out 29% in 2016. Malls, like Greenbriar, and fast food restaurants have traditionally been training grounds for youth first entering the workforce.

“Saving Greenbriar” takes place this afternoon at 3:00 PM EST. Residents who would like to participate in the discussion can do so via Eventbrite by clicking here.

 

 

 

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