Challenges Games and Comics to leave North DeKalb Mall in June

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Challenges Games and Comics owner Tony Cade. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Zoe Seiler

Challenges Games and Comics only has a couple of months left at North DeKalb Mall. Owner Tony Cade will have to leave his current store by June 15.

In a Facebook post, Cade said April and May would be the last two months for the store at the mall. The mall is slated for redevelopment as a mixed-use project.

Developer Edens plans to create a mixed-use development with retail, a hotel, apartments, and townhomes. Plans call for about 300,000 square feet of retail space, 200,000 square feet of office space, a 150-room hotel, 1,700 apartment units and 100 townhomes.

The project’s estimated completion date is 2028. The plan also shows nearly 50,000 square feet allocated for a grocery store, but doesn’t name the store. To see previous renderings of the plan obtained by Decaturish, click here. The project will set aside 10% of workforce housing units and include a retail incubator.

The future is still uncertain for Challenges Games and Comics. Cade has been searching for a new space for about a year and is still looking for a new location. He hopes to say in the Decatur area.

“It’s one of those situations where I’ve been looking for other spots, and with what we do, we actually need gaming space,” Cade said. “I don’t need a lot of room for merchandise, but I’ve got to have room for people to game in.”

Finding an affordable space that’s large enough for retail and gaming has been difficult.

“What makes us special is that we’re able to build gaming communities and hold events for people, so they can meet other people to play with,” Cade said.

Last summer, the owners of North DeKalb Mall had the remaining tenants sign a one-year lease, but it could be terminated with 30-days notice. He was notified recently that he has until June 15 to surrender the current space.

He added that he’s grateful to have been notified this month to have time to figure out his plans.

But Challenges Games and Comics will continue to operate as normal for the next couple of months.

“We’ll still be doing activities and people will still be able to come get their merchandise and stuff like that,” Cade said. “Hopefully, before June hits, we’ll have another location.”

The comic book store celebrated its ninth anniversary last year. It has been located at North DeKalb Mall for about eight years.

“This spot right here was an arcade for like 30 plus years. I used to play here as a kid back in the 80’s. The name of it was Challenges Amusement Arcade,” Cade previously said. “Since the signage and stuff was historic, and I was able to save some of the neon lights, I’m like let’s go ahead and change the name to Challenges Games and Comics. Because everyone who’s ever grown up in this area knows this arcade.”

He added that Challenges is like a landmark for those who grew up in the area.

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