North DeKalb mall, which has several vacant storefronts, has become more well-known as a filming location than as a thriving retail center. The mall’s previous owner, Sterling Organization, put the property up for sale in May, and two DeKalb commissioners said they expected the land to become a sprawling mixed-use development. Sterling did not respond to requests for comment before publication.
Sterling announced plans in 2018 to redesign the mall around a Costco, hotel and new housing units. The company filed paperwork to try to rezone the 77-acre property, but that vision was abandoned, according to commissioners Jeff Rader and Ted Terry.
Both commissioners said they expect the large property to include a hearty residential component, while attempting to reinvigorate retail interest in the area, which is just west of Clarkston’s city limits. Rader said it’s a rare opportunity for a developer to completely transform an area.
“We consider it to be a very important site in DeKalb,” he said in May. “It’s a very large tract of land that you don’t usually get for development in an urban area like this.”
Edens’ website describes the firm as a retail real estate owner, operator and developer with a portfolio of over 100 places. Among nine properties it lists in the Atlanta metro area are Buckhead Marketplace on West Paces Ferry Road; Toco Hills on North Druid Hills Road; Merchants Walk on Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta and Brookwood Village on Peachtree Road.
Other malls in metro Atlanta are having to pivot amid the COVID-19 pandemic and changing trends among shoppers, given the rise of e-commerce.
North Point Mall in Alpharetta, which changed management earlier this year, is pursuing an open-air, mixed-use concept for the 44-acre shopping center. According to documents filed with the Atlanta Regional Commission, its project would include dozens of townhomes, roughly 650 apartments, a 150-unit hotel and hundreds of thousands of square feet of office, medical, retail and restaurant space.