Today's incarnation of the PARKAIRE property. The original enclosed mall had a short lifespan. It was only in existence between 1974 and 1986.


PARKAIRE MALL
Lower Roswell and Johnson Ferry Roads
Marietta, Georgia

If one lived in -or around- Atlanta during the 1970s and 1980s and blinked, they might have missed this shopping hub entirely. PARKAIRE MALL was built on an 18 acre site, formerly the Parkaire Field airport. The land parcel was located 15 miles north of Atlanta's Five Points, in unincorporated Cobb County.

The center's stores were built in a circle surrounding an indoor ice rink. The structure consisted of a single level, with a mezzanine floor on its east end. This housed a restaurant -overlooking the ice rink- and leased office spaces. The complex housed approximately 142,900 square feet and opened in the spring of 1974.

There were no anchor department stores, just a 33,700 square foot Kroger and one thousand seat Parkaire Twin Cinema. The movie house was attached to the mall structure but did not have a connection to its interior. Inline stores included Wender and Roberts Drug, Yankee Peddler Jeans, a Bell's variety store and Hallmark Card emporium.

PARKAIRE MALL was razed in 1986 and replaced with the PARKAIRE LANDING strip center, which was completed in 1987. As with the preceding shopping center, PARKAIRE LANDING is anchored by a Kroger, this new store encompassing 58,800 square feet. There is also a freestanding ice rink -the Marietta Ice Center- on the premises, but the shopping complex does not feature a cinema.

Sources:

www.groceteria.com / "Parkaire Kroger" article / Submitted by Matt Burwick
Cobb County Georgia Tax Assessor website
"Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields" website / Paul Freeman
Cinema Treasures                            

15 comments:

The Curator said...

Tam posted:

I remember that the other end from the Kroger, which my mom shopped at occasionally, was a... Treasure Island? Richway? One of the bigger five and dimes. I think it was a Treasure Island.

The Curator said...

Tam,

Thanks for posting. I'm still wanting to -somehow- find a physical layout of the original (1974-1986) PARKAIRE MALL.....or, at least, create one.

So far, I haven't been able to find any kind of store map or detailed description of how the center was layed out.

Thanks for perusing and posting,

Cheers

Ken said...

I dont' think Parkaire was intended to compete with the bigger malls after its mid-70's completion. I don't recall a discount or 5 & 10 occupying the mall but there was a skating rink. The mall was named for the Parkaire airport, a small single runway airport, which was the previous site occupant. Parkaire Landing converted the center to a traditional strip, as the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Lower Roswell Roads is heavy with East Cobb commuter traffic, it not a major regional thorofare.

Additional there are a couple of other "lost malls" in metro Atlanta-Roswell Mall anchored by Richway and Kmart with a small but very mdid-70's mall section. Roswell Mall thrived until the arrival of NorthPoint Mall in nearby Alpharetta, the Richway had become Target and departed for a tract near the new mall and the Kmart survived until the infamous bankruptcy.

The other mall was Buford-Clairmont Mall, later Outlet Center. I'm less familiar with Buford-Clairmont than the others, but by the mid-80's, demographic shifts along the Buford Highwau corridor of DeKalb along with a proximity to Northlake and North DeKalb Malls did the mall in.

The Curator said...

Ken,

Thanks so much for the post. This PARKAIRE MALL certainly is an elusive one....you wouldn't possibly be able to recall its physical layout, would you?

As for the BUFORD-CLAIRMONT and ROSWELL properties. I had considered including ROSWELL MALL in the first incarnation of the "Atlanta's Lost Malls" segment (originally composed -and posted- last April).

Looking at the info, which was -and is- very scarce, it appeared to be a strip -open-air- center. However......it DID have a small interior mall section.

It should have always been included in the "Lost Malls of Atlanta". Now...it is.

I didn't even think to put BUFORD-CLAIRMONT MALL in the original (April 2007 archive) "Atlanta's Lost Malls" section.

I was actually at this one, back in 1986 when it was OUTLET SQUARE. I was unaware that it dated all of the way back to 1968.

So, I have fitted very short descriptions (and two photos) of these malls-no-more into the previously-posted "Lost Malls of Atlanta" section.

Thanks again for the info.

Cheers,

Ken said...

The Kmart had an enclosed sidewalk accross the front linking it to the "mall" while the Richway/Target/Value City was soley accessible from the exterior.
The malls tenants were typical mall shops-video arcade, record store(Record Bar perhaps), a bookstore, card shop, national shoe stores, and clothing as well as Morrison's Cafeteria. It lacked the department store tenants and physical layout typical of a mall.

Buford-Clairmont mall is one I have less familiarity with, but it seems Winn-Dixie was there into the Outlet Square era. I don't recall BCF's predecessor. Kmart was at I-85 and Clairmont and Woolco was up Buford Highway outside I-285 and became a Richway which also had a store at North Druid Hills Rd. Grants/Grant City would be possible or Zayre, I don't recall either along Buford Highway. Nearby Northeast Plaza had passed its prime and was in decay by the late 70's having lost its major tenants before I saw the plaza.

I don't recall Parkaire being very large, I was off the beaten path, but it had a superstore era Kroger and I'm pretty sure a SupeRx, as Atlanta never had many SupeRx locations, this sticks out. I'm thinking one of the cafeteria chains was there, most likely Morrison's, and the skating rink and little else. Morrison's and Piccadilly seemed to be all over Atlanta in those days so I could be wrong on that.

The Curator said...

Ken,

You would possibly be able to draw out a rough site plan for the original PARKAIRE MALL?


My curiosity is piqued here....

Brad said...

There wasn't a Treasure Island or anything like that at Parkaire. I think that there was a Wender & Roberts drugstore there and a movie theater.
What about the old Cobb Center Mall on South Cobb Drive - any info on that one?

The Curator said...

Brad,

I think that you're referring to COBB CENTER...the fourth "Lost Atlanta" mall section here?

Tam said...

"There wasn't a Treasure Island or anything like that at Parkaire. I think that there was a Wender & Roberts drugstore there..."

It was a drug store, all right. (Cut me some slack, I was twelve; I'm getting Treasure Island and Treasury Drugs confused, probably... It was a biggish drug store.)

The floor plan of the mall was a fairly simple rectangle. If you make the long sides the top and bottom, the grocery store took up the whole short side on the right. The top and bottom long sides were lined with small shops. The short side on the left was where the drug store was.

The ice skating rink took up the middle, with a sunken crosswalk down towards the left end separating a sort of concession area from the rink proper. There were arcade games there.

The entrance to the mall we used most often (the only one I really remember) would be in the lower right-hand corner by the grocery store. to the left, immediately inside, was the only store I cared about, a toy store/hobby shop.

The Curator said...

Tam,

Thanks much for the details about the old time PARKAIRE MALL.

I shall use them to redo the site plan.

Deirdre said...

Did you ever get around to re-drawing the shopping center plan? as an adult who skated there till 1985 i am curious to figure out the old layout.

The Curator said...

Deidre,

The circa-1974 PARKAIRE PLAN (the one before the circa-2007 plan directly above) is the mall's old layout...as best as I can figure out.

Thanks much for posting.

Cheers,

NativeTexanInTN said...

Thank you for sharing/posting this interesting information regarding the original Parkaire Mall, for I discovered it after doing a bit of surfing on Google Maps, looking at places I'd lived when I was a kid (thus the search for "Parkaire Mall history" the subsequently followed). We moved to Marietta in approximately 1972 (following two years in Wheaton, IL and a couple of years in my birthplace of Beaumont, TX) and remained until late 1977 when we moved here (Clarksville, TN). We were only the second or third house built on nearby Sunset Trail and Marietta had yet to be visually-absorbed by Atlanta.

As a 7-year-old Eastside Elementary school student at the time, I can recall roaming the new neighborhood and surrounding woods a LOT (something parents wouldn't dream of allowing today, though I probably went much farther then than I should have lol), as far as the Chattahoochee and an old homestead/cabin (which appears to still be standing). These adventures also included the site of the old Parkaire airport and I can recall quite well finding the remains of several junked general aviation aircraft in the weeds there before the mall was built.

Thanks to those who have shared the store information, as well. I was discussing this with a younger sister and my parents a few weeks ago after we'd gotten together for dinner and could only recall the theatre, an unknown (to me) grocery store (I dont' think we shopped there, for I recall us going to an Ogletree's instead), the cafeteria (pretty sure it was Morrison's), certainly the hobby/toy shop (twas highly important at the time {chuckle}) and, of course, the central skating rink. I remember well the sunken area at the end of the rink where one could rent skates and find seating, etc. I faintly recall skating but may have selectively blocked a lack of talent on the ice!

I haven't much additional insight to add, unfortunately. I only realized when looking at the aerial Google Map view that it appeared to be an entirely different layout/floor-plan than what I recalled and am happy I found this interesting information as a result.

Thanks again for sharing a bit of enlightenment.

Johnnie
Clarksville, TN

The Curator said...

Johnnie,

Thanks so much for posting. I can say for pretty certain that the supermarket at the old PARKAIRE MALL was a Kroger. Other than what I have accumulated here, there's not a whole lot of other info about it.

I once drove by the place and didn't even stop in.....Sheesh!

Robert Smith said...

Johnny, this is AMAZING! I also lived on Sunset Trail (5240, to be exact).

I remember Parkaire Mall due to the skating rink and the drug store and I think they had a "Yogurt on a stick" place - that was the first place I ever tried yogurt.

We lived there from approximately 1973 - 1978, but I was too young to remember specifics of the mall as I was aged 3-8 at the time.