Neighborhood group threatens to boycott Edgewood Retail District

Some Edgewood residents want safety improvements to retail center in the wake of assaults, robberies

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  • Atlanta Police Department
  • On June 25, four men attacked and stole a pedestrian’s backpack inside the Edgewood Retail District parking garage.

A group of residents have threatened to boycott Edgewood Retail District if security improvements aren’t made at the southeast Atlanta shopping center.

In recent weeks, Edgewood residents have discussed how to best address what they consider to be a growing public safety problem in the nearby big-box shopping center. On June 25, four men assaulted and robbed 23-year-old victim Alexander Harbin in the retail complex’s parking garage. In early July, another thief attacked and carjacked a woman while nearly running over her with the stolen vehicle.

Following those incidents, some community members are upset over what they consider to be a lack of response from Edgewood Retail District’s management to make safety improvements. There’s been some debate about how to best approach the issue. But one group, Edgewood Safety Patrol, now plans to boycott the property if more lighting, panic buttons, surveillance cameras, and security personnel aren’t made before Black Friday takes place on November 21.

In a letter to Krissy Venneman, a senior property manager with Centrecorp Management Services, a Canadian company that oversees Edgewood Retail District, the group recently wrote:

We believe the Edgewood Retail District’s inaction in the face of these problems shows irresponsibility to their customers and our community and is partly to blame for these incidents. As a community we cannot allow this situation to go unaddressed and simply hope that a similar or even worse incident will not occur while reasonable safety measures fail to be implemented. We want our local Edgewood Retail District to be the safest place to shop in Atlanta.

We are requesting that the Edgewood Retail District (ERD) make the following improvements to its security measures no later than Friday, November 21st:

A. Bright lights installed throughout the parking deck
B. Panic Buttons (not call boxes) installed throughout the parking deck and all surface lots
C. A minimum of two ERD employed off duty APD officers patrolling the premises at all times on weekdays and three ERD employed off duty APD officers patrolling the premises Friday through Sunday - 24/7 coverage
D. Improved camera system with a no exception 24/7 monitoring policy, a 30 day minimum data retention, and complete surface area and parking deck coverage

If 100% of these requests are met by November 21st we will join with a team of other neighborhood organizations and security patrols to use our significant collective influence to help get the word out throughout Atlanta that the ERD is the safest place to shop.

If 100% of these requests are NOT met by November 21st we will use these same significant collective powers of influence to execute a boycott of all ERD establishments on Fridays starting with Black Friday, November 28th, and continue on all Fridays until 100% of these requests are met.

We know that we are asking you to do things that we are sure are already on your list and are encouraging you towards an objective that you have almost certainly already made your own. We would just not feel comfortable remaining silent on this important issue while our friends and neighbors are in harm’s way.

Some members of an adjacent neighborhood online forum have debated whether the boycott is the right approach, arguing that the move could backfire. Edgewood Security Patrol President Nathan Dean told 11 Alive that the boycott will only be aimed at Best Buy, Lowe’s, Target, and other big-box retailers. Protesters will support locally-owned businesses located in the retail complex, he said.

We’ve reached out to Venneman for comment. If we hear back, we’ll post an update with her response to the threatened boycott.