These are all suburban developments in completely inappropriate places. They are also prime locations, and successful enough that they likely won't be redeveloped any time soon, so the opportunity cost for these lots is huge.
- Sembler's Publix on Piedmont and North Avenue - Like most of Sembler's deals, they nailed what the neighborhood needed, but screwed up the urban design. I can't help think that this site could support a much greater density, as well as how the parking lot in front breaks up the walkability of the the area. It is on the border of Downtown and Midtown, and could have been the a building block for connecting the two more. The site is also large enough that it could have supported a parking deck and mixed-use a la Plaza Midtown.
- Junkman's Daughter - Little Five's appeal comes in many ways from the traditional design of the buildings. Junkman's daughter is one of the busiest stores in Little Five, but it still doesn't really feel a part of Little Five. The cultural heart is around the corner on Euclid. I don't think this location needs anything denser, but there is no reason whatsoever (beyond zoning at the time, IIRC) that the parking couldn't be all behind the building.
- Hand in Hand/Neighbors - prime location in a great neighborhood, but like Junkman's daughter it doesn't really feel like a part of the community to me. It is a little separate from the main drag. Like with the Publix on Piedmont, I think a denser development would be appropriate (say, three or four stories). The city's liquor license laws will never let that happen, of course. Nor will my neighborhood association.
- San Francisco Coffee Roasting Company - both on N.Highland/Blue Ridge and on DeKalb Ave - I absolutely love SFCRC, and I can't say how many hours I've spent at the Blue Ridge location. Still, it angers me every time I drive up there that the building is not built up to the side walk. Also, the parking lot directly behind it (the Plaza Theater overflow) is NEVER full. I wish something could have been worked out so that San Francisco's front yard wasn't a parking lot.
The new location on DeKalb.... all I can say is, WTF? This is a brand new building on a street where there is lots of zero lot line development nearby. At least most of the other things on this list are old enough they have some excuse. But traditional design would work fine here. WTF, man?
- Sembler's Ponce de Leon Whole Foods/Home Depot development, and Midtown Promenade - this one should be painfully obvious to everyone who reads this blog. There were so many missed opportunities with both developments, it'd be its own post. Blame abounds - the neighborhood and the developer are both at fault on this one.
What are the developments that drive you crazy each time you pass them?