The opening of a Mattress Firm in a mixed-use development in the Reynoldstown neighborhood across the street from a Mattress Firm in a mixed-use development in the Edgewood neighborhood became a touchstone in visualizing Atlanta’s gentrification.
That for all the talk of New Urbanism, walkable neighborhoods, and mindful development city leaders and boosters were promising, a crowded, soulless monoculture could still emerge.
A Starbucks next to a Starbucks. A simulcast of “All Things Considered” displacing the discovery of the next OutKast or Janelle Monae. DIY arts organizations like Eyedrum and Mammal Gallery made homeless.
Not to mention the fate of long-term residents.
Mattress Firm recently filed for bankruptcy due to its own retail apocalypse. It seems that more people are now buying compressed mattresses shipped to their door from podcast sponsors.
One of its twin stores is now vacant.
So now if you live in Reynoldstown and want a mattress — and want it FIRM — you have to walk across Moreland Ave.
Admittedly that’s difficult to do.
I’ve yet to see a possum make it.