New owner to revamp Around Lenox

A struggling shopping center located just feet from Lenox Square Mall has a new owner, and soon will get a new name and image with hopes to lure fashionistas.

The shops at Around Lenox, a 6.5-acre Buckhead shopping center, will get a $5 million renovation, said buyer Eric Weatherholtz with Healey Weatherholtz Properties in Atlanta.

Despite being near Lenox, a mall that gets millions of visitors annually, Around Lenox has struggled in recent years. Built in 1979, it's only 45 percent occupied.

Weatherholtz said he has eyed the center for years, and the 522 parking spots make it hard to beat. He's optimistic he'll sign more retailers, despite the recession. "The world-class location takes a lot of the bumps out of the road," he said. He wants to add more boutiques and restaurants to make it a "mecca" for independent stores.

One tenant is Blue Genes, a locally owned jeans store that has been hit by a wave of break-ins. Healey said he's working on a security plan for them.

Weatherholtz wouldn't disclose the purchase price, which wasn't immediately available in the public tax record. His firm secured a $6.3 million investment for the project from a fund managed by Baltimore-based Alex. Brown Realty. The seller was New York investment firm Angelo Gordon Co., according to DataBank.