African print fabric store leaving downtown Decatur, cites parking problemsImage obtained via Google maps.
This story has been updated.
In a Facebook message, the company – which specializes in African print fabrics – cited a lack of parking for its departure.
“Customers were having problems with parking,” a representative of the company said. “We are now looking for a suitable location for the store.”
The company is still in business and its website is still operational. Customers can also order online and pick up at the company’s warehouse, located at 4002 N Royal Atlanta Drive, Suite P, Tucker, GA 30084. It’s open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Parking problems are a familiar complaint from businesses that have left the city’s commercial core.
Souper Jenny, Cookin’ Up a Storm and – before that business – Sawicki’s cited parking as a reason for leaving. Twist ‘n’ Scoot left the city in 2014 for the same reason.
Decatur has a combination of metered on-street parking and paid lots. Some local businesses validate parking at nearby parking decks. Aggressive booting at free lots that serve businesses in downtown Decatur has deterred people who would use them to park and walk to other businesses in downtown Decatur. The booting became so aggressive that the Decatur City Commission in 2016 had to step in and pass new regulations to curtail some of the more predatory parking enforcement practices.
The complaints about parking have vexed city leaders who have pushed back against the idea that the city has a parking problem.
The city’s website has a page devoted to where people can park in the city. To see it, click here.
Decaturish contributor Hans Utz did a deep dive into this topic in a column in 2019. He concluded that while many of the concerns about parking are more a problem of perception than reality, the city needs more parking in its city center with the caveat that it shouldn’t be free. To read his analysis, click here.
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