ATLANTA—Three years ago, the Amsterdam Walk retail center in Midtown Atlanta was hurting—bad. Forty-two percent of its space was vacant. Instead of simply chasing more retailers, owner/manager Halpern Enterprises decided to go in a different direction to turn things around.

To supplement the search for more retailers, Halpern and leasing agent Gene Kansas of Gene Kansas Commercial Real Estate focused on landing retail tenants offering services that families in the surrounding affluent neighborhood would use. Now, the 126,000-square-foot property is 96% occupied with such tenants as an international preschool, a martial arts academy for kids, a Down Syndrome awareness center, and a doggie daycare.

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