DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Inside Plaza Fiesta, every nook and cranny is a taste of home for many shoppers, and when some of them heard rumors that it would close, they panicked.
For tenants like Londy Batres, it's also a livelihood for her and the woman in Guatemala who custom-makes all the dresses in her store, Típicos y Artesanías Boutique.
“This plaza is our second home.. If we were to ever close, we’d leave many families who depend on this with no income," Batres said.
She said that concern grew for her when she learned about the change in ownership at Plaza Fiesta. False rumors started circulating, saying Plaza Fiesta would now close.
Property Manager Cristina Bolanos has since dispelled those rumors.
"We're not closing," she said. "I don't know if when we mentioned that we are not closing, they thought that this is just temporary and that is a transition, but there is no short or long term plans on closing the property."
The property was sold to Asana Partners, which is the same firm that owns Krog Street Market, for more than twice the amount when it was last sold 16 years ago. Bolanos explains that things in Plaza Fiesta are still business as usual, despite new ownership.
“The previous owners, they were adamant to have someone buying the property that has the same line of business, the same line of thought. So this is another investment fund, but it doesn't affect the management," she added.
She explains leases for tenants also stayed the same and have already been transferred to the new owners.
"All the lease agreements have to be honored as part of the normal operation. Even when you sell a property you have to honor any agreement and when any property fails, if they decide to close any stores, they will have to apply any compensation and any rules that are in their agreement. But that is not the case here right now," Bolanos said.
Frank Chavez, whose fashion boutique store, Lizzy Fashion Boutique Atlanta, has been in Plaza Fiesta for over a decade, says the rumors of the property closing are already affecting business.
"I get about ten calls a day from clients asking what’s going to happen, if they’ll still be able to order their dresses, and I’ve had to explain over and over that we are not closing. Not now and not later," he said.
That's the message everyone wants to get across: Plaza Fiesta will continue business as usual. The hours also remain the same.
“I basically live here all day, then get home only to rest at night. I love providing services to others, and seeing girls going to their quinceañeras and making their dreams reality," he added.
Amid all the rumors, the management team at Plaza Fiesta sent out the following email to tenants:
We wanted to take this opportunity to make sure all of you know that, despite many false articles and false rumors spreading through different media sources, Asana Partners, the new owners of Plaza Fiesta, are committed to keeping Plaza Fiesta operating as the hub for the Hispanic and Latino community as it is.
The Plaza Fiesta owners and staff remain committed to our tenants, shoppers, and the partnership with our Hispanic community.
Please feel free to reach out to the office if you have any questions, and be sure to let your friends, family and customers know that Plaza Fiesta is open for business as usual and check the website for upcoming Holiday activities.
Plaza Fiesta Management Team
For more information, click here.