Friday, April 21, 2017

The Times They Are a Changin' at Toco Hills: New Development Under Way

New development moving forward. 

A little over a year after I indicated that plans were underway to redevelop a prime parcel at Toco Hill, work has finally begun.  The 1.4 acre parcel directly in front of the Kroger on LaVista Road was cleared of trees on this past Thursday and Friday, while the old home on the property had been demolished years ago.  

The new center, tentatively called "Shops at LaVista," is to include 12,500 square feet of retail space over three suites. This is up from the 11,000 square foot total that was quoted to me last year by the property's developer, Sandy Springs-based Crim & Associates.  Additionally, the earlier plans included a drive-thru for one tenant, something that has since been eliminated.  

The property and the home that once stood there was for many years the Arnall residence.  The Shepherd family never controlled that parcel, and as such, are not involved in this project.  To that end, there will no access from the new center to the Kroger portion of the center.  The only way to access the center will be from a dual entrance/exit on LaVista Road.  
The three suites will be 7,500, 3,200, and 1,800 square feet, respectively, and will reportedly be all retail.  Although I was unable to get confirmation of any of the tenants, sources say all three leases have been executed and that none of them will be Mattress Firm.  Given the sizes, wireless carriers and chain dental offices are possible tenants for the smaller suites.

Crim describes the property on its website as being special:

"Crim Development is building an 11,000 a 12,500 square foot retail building on the last undeveloped site in the Toco Hills Shopping Center. The site on Lavista Road in front of Kroger has been pursued by retails and developers for 50 years. Issues that prevented development of the site have been cleared through court order."

The redevelopment of the property meant clear-cutting the parcel of many mature trees of which only a few remain. It is unclear if the developer has plans to include the remaining mature trees in their redevelopment plans, but I, for one, hope they do.  

A site plan for the project indicates the new building will include 59 new parking spaces.  

The Toco Hills parcel is the third previously undeveloped parcel in the area to be redeveloped, or with a planned redevelopment, in the past couple of years.  

The 11.5 acre Grand Slam Golf & Baseball facility on North Druid Hills Road closed earlier this month and will soon be cleared for a new townhome development.  

Another townhome development is currently underway on Briarcliff Road between Fisher Trail and Clairmont Road. This project represents the development of a nearly seven acre, previously wooded parcel.

Plans call for the Crim project to be completed in October.

What would you like to see open in this new center?  What is your oldest memory of Toco Hills?  Are you excited about the changes in the Toco Hills area?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Eric Hovdesven said...

Well if Mattress Firm is out of the questuon, how about a Sleep # ? Unfortunate there is no interparcel connectivity. Agree on hoping the retain the remaining old growth trees.

Anonymous said...

I think it was the Arnold, not Arnall, family.

Anonymous said...

Crim has confirmed that the smaller 1800 sqft space has been leased to business owner Nelle Cotto of Tucker, who is planning on opening a women's spa treatment salon called "LaVista Vajazzle."

Jimk said...

Traffic entering and leaving that property via LaVista Rd is going to make that property a "special" pain in the ass, especially in the afternoon as all the Emory traffic is streaming out.

Anonymous said...

Wheeeeeee! More traffic!!! And no one can flush :(

Anonymous said...

How about hardwoods? That area has more than enough retailers.

somewhereinthyme said...

I took tap dancing lessons, upstairs, at Tico Hills. I remember a Milton Bradley store and lived going to the quiet little movie theater at the far end. The shopping center was definitely part of my childhood in the 60's and 70's!

Anonymous said...

By the way, it's Toco Hill, not Hills --

Anonymous said...

It'd be great to have a park in there instead of more wireless carriers and town homes. And TRAFFIC. Sheesh. All about dollars not quality of life. American visionaries are becoming extinct in the business world.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon you could have had the "business vision" to purchase the property save the hardwoods, eliminated the traffic, etc. As the owner you have the right to do that. The current owners have the right to do what they are doing. Its not like you did not have a chance. The property was for sale for a long long time.

Patrick Kelly said...

My brothers and best friends played all throughout the woods behind the original Toco Hill(s) site. We created a number of bike paths that led from Houston Mill to the back of the mall. As youngsters it felt like a forest that stretched for miles. Great memories during a time when we left home during summer mornings and didn't return until supper!

Mary Anne said...

I lived in Atlanta for 12 years, and on every return visit I find myself at that corner. Cannot imagine how this development passed any of the traffic studies. My days of visiting Tall Tale Books may have come to an end. ��

Anonymous said...

Maybe a few of the commentors can pool their money, buy the property, plant hardwoods, build a park and seal off vehicle access.