Retail operation takes hold in Celadon

March 30, 2009
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A retail store that fronts the East Beltline promises a lot of exposure to car traffic. Gary Greer, owner of The Crushed Grape, a specialty beverage and food store, wanted something different.

“I looked at other properties along the Beltline in this area and really wasn’t all that impressed with what you get for it. Here, I actually have a storefront that people go by and they see,” said Greer. “On the Beltline, you don’t really see anything. It’s just a strip mall. You might have a lighted sign out front, but it’s just not all that appealing to me.”

Greer’s shop is just off East Beltline Avenue on Knapp Street and is the welcoming storefront to Mosaic Properties’ latest creation, Celadon New Town, a 22-acre mixed-use development and the area’s first new urban community.

The new urban community concept includes a variety of living spaces from single-family homes to live/work units that are like town homes with storefronts on the main level. Celadon also includes an amphitheater, picnic areas, a pool, parks and retail units.

The community recently added three new commercial tenants to the development. The Crushed Grape, the first commercial tenant, opened in December 2008.

“It’s cool to be an anchor for (Celadon). When we first started looking at this, there was really nothing out here. It was an empty field with a couple of streets in it,” Greer said.

Construction on The Crushed Grape began in September last year, and Greer opened the doors for the first time on Dec. 6.

“The thing I like the most about it is that we’re not on the Beltline but we have good frontage on Knapp Street and plenty of traffic going by,” said Greer. “We have had such a great reception from everyone in the area.”

Greer said the concept for the store’s layout was for it to be comfortable for customers. Everything is laid out to touch and feel. The two-floor, 3,500-square-foot space contains an extensive wine selection from around the world. On the main floor are wine kegs converted into displays, a custom wine rack, a huge beer selection and an array of food selections.

“I tried to develop a concept that’s not your average liquor store,” said Greer. “Whether you’re buying a bottle of wine or a bottle of Jameson, you can pick it out yourself off the shelves.”

The other tenants include J. Williams Design, an illustration and design firm that functions as a part-time gallery; Kanai Wealth Management Group, which filled its 2,000-square-foot office with financial consultants and wealth managers; and Mosaic Properties, which moved its offices to the new location.

“Celadon represents a new model for future communities,” said Brad Rottschafer, owner of Mosaic. “Celadon’s fresh architecture inspires energy; it represents who we are.”

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