The developer who turned a shuttered Sears store into an aquarium said that was just the beginning of his ambitious redevelopment plans.
Stonecrest Resorts, the real estate development company behind SeaQuest at Stonecrest, announced a slate of new projects for the Mall at Stonecrest. Anchored by the aquarium, the company plans to turn the 15-acre property into a “family entertainment and lifestyle destination,” according to a news release.
The company announced plans for Privi, a large retail and entertainment concept, which will include a food hall, shared office space, a health and wellness complex, an axe-throwing attraction, a comedy venue, a bookstore and several other attractions. In total, the finished development is estimated to create 560 jobs.
“Privi is designed to be a one-of-a-kind culinary, entertainment and tourism destination that will evolve into the new gathering place for the east metro Atlanta community and draw visitors from around the southeast region,” Vaughn Irons, principal and developer of Stonecrest Resorts, said in the release.
Last October, Stonecrest Resorts purchased 143,000 square feet of empty building space, including the Sears, from the city for $2.1 million. The city owned the properties because it was the potential site for a public safety hub before those plans were abandoned by city leaders.
The following month, SeaQuest at Stonecrest opened, aiming to bring a tourist attraction to the the young city that’s about 20 miles east of Atlanta. SeaQuest advertises itself as an “educational land and sea adventure” with hands-on attractions and exhibits, and most of the company’s 10 locations are within shopping malls.
Irons called SeaQuest the first phase of a two-step redevelopment vision for the property. He said the aquarium’s initial success allowed him to obtain financing for the second phase, which is estimated to cost $17 million.
“We were able to accomplish both phases of development with private dollars and without asking the taxpayers to fund this project,” Irons boasted in the release. Private Capital Investors and Socotra Capital, both based in California, were named as investors along with London-based Forum Partners.
Privi, which is a play on the words “privilege” and “privy,” will include a 50,000-square-foot food hall. It’ll be curated by Good Food & Company and will include an Atlanta Breakfast Club, a fine-dining restaurant, a rib and comedy joint, a sushi restaurant, a wine bar, a market and a hip-hop-themed karaoke spot, the release said.
The project’s retail components include a bookstore with a coffee shop, a home goods store and clothing stores. A cigar emporium is also being considered, the release said. The 18,000 square feet of incubator space will include meeting rooms, private offices and studio spaces for photography, podcasting and digital media productions.
The health and wellness complex will consist of a spa, an infrared sauna studio, a vitamin therapy medical institute, a mixed martial arts training and fitness center, a juice bar, a health food cafe and a space for family therapy, according to the release.
Renovations are expected to begin this spring, and the Privi building is already 85% leased, the release said. Specific tenants will be named at a later date. The first aspects of the project will open this summer, with the upper-level food hall being completed by spring 2023.
For more information, visit stonecrestresorts.com.