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What Can Replace Outwrite?

What's appropriate for the high-traffic corner in the heart of Midtown?

Some folks are wondering what could possibly replace , which Thursday due to financial struggles after 18 years in business.

For 15 of those years, the iconic bookstore has occupied the busy corner at Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street, arguably one of the "gayest" intersections in Atlanta. Many considered Outwrite a safe haven for the LGBT community, a place where it was OK to discuss, question and embrace one's sexuality.

"It's difficult to imagine what's going to happen to that corner," Outwrite's founder and owner Philip Rafshoon said on the phone Thursday afternoon.

The approximately 2,500-square-foot store already is up for lease.

Rafshoon said the building's landlord, Jodaco Inc., is looking to replace Outwrite with another local, independent business that's just as community minded as the former tenant.

"We hope he keeps true to that commitment," Rafshoon said. "I want that corner to be successful."

But what could possibly replace such a memorable business?

"Hopefully something else the community can utilize rather than something stupid like an upscale flip-flop boutique," one reader wrote Patch in an email Thursday.

So we'd like to know ...

What would you like to see at that busy corner in the heart of Midtown? What would serve the community as Outwrite did? Should it be a gay-themed business or does that not matter? Would you prefer a local, independent business take over the space?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Drewboo January 27, 2012 at 08:57 PM
coffee shop to ease Caribou traffic, yes. But carbs and gays dont really go together. I really like the idea of a bakery though that has a coffee-shop component, baked goods area, and a cafe "hang out" area. I think that would be the best utilization for the size/location of the property. I think such a place could easily host small community events near the windows like live music, book signings, art classes, lectures, etc - and stays open to at least 12midnight. That would be a dream tenant. I dont love the business practices of highland bakery, but something similar would be nice.
Drewboo January 27, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I agree "not too expensive or trendy" is so true. Midtown attracts a lot of young people who are also in school at one of the nearby institutions, but does not really offer them anything affordable. All these overly trendy/expensive nooks take away some of the character of Midtown in my opinion. We need something to balance it all out.
JAX January 27, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Whatever it is, they will have to be able to make the newly advertised rent, $7,696 per month, for the space, which seems a bit outrageous, and would certainly rule out non-profits, and a lot of independent establishments. If that was what Outwrite was paying, I am surprised they made it this long. A bar may the only thing to work there.
Urbanist January 30, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Wow...nice suggestions. You want to either further segregate the neighborhood into a predominantly gay neighborhood, or invite in another location of an already established business...how original!
Urbanist January 30, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I'd love to see the original structure stay put, but see a mid-rise (6-8 stories) of apartments build on top of this. Sub-divide the ground floor space into multiple retail spaces, and get better density out of the site.

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