North Point Mall development would include 300 apartments, splash pad

This is a rendering of the redeveloped North Point Mall entrance from Dwell Design Studio.

Credit: City of Alpharetta

Credit: City of Alpharetta

This is a rendering of the redeveloped North Point Mall entrance from Dwell Design Studio.

A rock-climbing wall, hundreds of apartments, a splash pad, new restaurants and shops.

That’s a developer’s vision for 83 acres of Alpharetta’s North Point Mall, including the old Sears location inside the mall.

The city’s planning commission is set to vote Thursday night on rezoning that land to make way for a 24,000-square-foot freestanding development with 300 apartments and many public and private amenities.

According to documents outlining the proposal filed with the city: There would be 175 one-bedroom apartments between 700 and 900 square feet starting at $1,400 a month and 125 two-bedroom units ranging from 1,050 to 1,250 square feet for a monthly cost of $1,900.

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The space became available after Sears closed scores of stores across the nation after declaring bankruptcy in fall 2018. Many enclosed malls have suffered from the downfall of anchors like Sears.

Traditional retail in recent years has struggled due to increasing competition from online merchants, such as Amazon, and also because of changing consumer tastes. To respond, mall developers have sought update their rosters of tenants to include new types of experiences, such as food halls and luxury movie theaters, high-end dining and other forms of entertainment.

This is a rendering of the redeveloped North Point Mall entrance from Dwell Design Studio. (City of Alpharetta)

Credit: City of Alpharetta

icon to expand image

Credit: City of Alpharetta

North Point is located near Ga. 400 in North Fulton, among metro Atlanta’s most affluent areas, and has been battered by competing developments, including Alpharetta’s glitzy Avalon community that features restaurants, housing and retail in the same development.

Apple, Pottery Barn and other high-profile tenants left North Point in favor of the open-air Avalon, which also features Brooks Brothers, Crate & Barrel and a bevy of hot restaurants, a high-end cinema, office buildings and a luxury hotel.

Mall developer Simon, which owns Buckhead’s Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, has spent hundreds of millions to bolster the positions of Atlanta’s flagship malls.

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At Phipps, Simon added a Legoland Discovery Center, apartments and new restaurants. The mall giant recently launched a project to convert the former Belk store into and a $200 million-plus expansion involving a Nobu Hotel and flagship restaurant, office tower and a fitness center.

According to plans filed with Alpharetta, the new North Point would include a detention lake similar to the one in the acclaimed Historic Fourth Ward Park.

The documents also mention saving space to accommodate a future MARTA shelter for bus rapid transit, a contender in the race to fix Atlanta's growing traffic problem.

The general manager of North Point was not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon. Alpharetta’s spokesman James Drinkard said Wednesday that “it would not be appropriate for anyone from the city to comment” because the project hadn’t been presented.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in city hall.

Staff reporter J. Scott Trubey contributed to this report.

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