|Signage on North Druid Hills for the collective Toco Hills shopping center|
Major changes at historic intown center
Edens, the Columbia, South Carolina owner of Toco Hills Promenade, has signed a 35 year ground lease on Toco Hills(s) Shopping Center.
Toco Hill(s) shopping center was built in 1956 by notable Atlanta developer Clyde Shepherd, Jr. Shepherd reportedly named the center Toco Hills in homage to the word "Toco," to which he was introduced in Brazil, and which he said translated to "more luck than you can imagine."
Shepherd, a graduate of Druid Hills High School, built a number of "Hill" shopping centers including Sage Hill on Briarcliff Road and Skye Hill, at Clairmont Road and Buford Highway.
Shepherd died in 2010 at the age of 96, but his family through various subsidiaries maintains ownership in a number of his properties.
|Toco Hills Promenade|
In doing research for this post I learned that the "Toco Hills" shopping district I knew as two centers, was in fact three. "Toco Hills Promenade" extends from
Uncle Maddio's Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe past Publix to Jimmy John's.
|The separation of the two centers occurs here|
The second center starts at the alleyway beyond Jimmy John's and extends from Famous Pub and Office Depot (formerly Linen Loft and before that, A&P) to the strip including Bagel Palace and the UPS store to Matsuya, the Japanese restaurant. The center also includes the freestanding clock tower property.
|The wall extends beyond the roof-line to separate the second and third portions of the center|
The final portion extends from the acupuncture facility to the right of Matsuya, including Kroger, on to Pike Family Nursery.
The Shepherd family ground leased the Office Depot-anchored portion to Edens, retaining the Kroger-anchored portion in their portfolio.
|Office Depot anchors the second portion of the center|
The freestanding out-parcel property (in front of Kroger) on LaVista Road that up until a few years ago had a home on it, is not included in any of the properties and is actively being marketed for redevelopment. (A Cabana Grill was proposed for the property in early 2014, but those plans failed to materialize and the concept has since exited the Atlanta market.)
In a press release, seemingly incorrectly stating that the company had "acquired" Toco Hills Shopping Center, EDENS seemed to indicate they plan to merge the two centers.
"EDENS envisions bringing a cohesive feel to the shops and restaurants facing North Druid Hills Road through design and a diverse retail mix."
One of many issues that could arise in the combination of the two centers is that Goldberg's ("Goldbers,"according to the Edens website,) is located in the Promenade portion, while Bagel Palace is located in Toco Hills shopping center. Bagel Palace opened in 1993, whereas Goldberg's Bagel & Deli opened in Toco Hills Promenade in 2010. There may very well be lease issues in having the two similar businesses in the same center, should the two centers be joined under a single umbrella.
Edens purchased Toco Hills Promenade in January 2006 from then-owner Brandywine. The 154,000 square foot center, anchored by a 52,000 square foot Publix Supermarket, has changed hands a number of times over the years.
Although the most recent transaction occurred last month, the Edens website does not yet reflect the new property.
In addition to Toco Hills Promenade (and now Toco Hills shopping center), Edens' Atlanta area holdings include Tuxedo Festival, Andrews Square, Brookwood Village, Buckhead Market Place and Lenox Marketplace in Buckhead, Fountain Oaks in Sandy Springs, Merchant's Walk in East Cobb and Alpharetta Commons in Alpharetta.
Edens is also the developer trying to build a new Publix-anchored center near the intersection of Moores Mill Road, Bolton Road and Marietta Boulevard. The project has been tied up in bureaucratic red tape and politics for nearly a decade.
What are your thoughts on this development? What is your earliest memory of the collective Toco Hills shopping centers? (My first job was at Kroger Toco Hill.) What would you like to see open in the Toco Hills centers?
Please share your thoughts below.