Friday, August 2, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Emory University to Open "Innovation Hub" in Vacant Earth Fare at Emory Point

Emory University has leased the former Earth Fare grocery store at Emory Point for what sources say will be a new "Innovation Hub."  The university plans to utilize the nearly 23,000 square foot space for a variety of private and public uses according to sources familiar with the university's plans.  Discussions with Emory University about leasing the space have reportedly been in the works for over a year, since before Earth Fare closed, according to multiple real estate professionals.

Earth Fare closed its Emory Point and Peachtree Corners locations last year after what real industry analysts surmised were disappointing sales at both locations.

Emory's decision to open the "Hub" at Emory Point makes a lot of sense considering both its proximity to the University's main campus and the fact that it sits within an existing mixed-use development which should help to foster the collaborative environment that the University is hoping to create.

Although official comment from either Emory or Emory Point's owner ShopCore Properties has yet to come, it's believed that the Hub will feature at least some co-working space among its offerings.  Emory also reportedly plans to make use of the extensive food preparation equipment left from the grocer, but it's not clear yet to what end.  Sources close to the project, who declined to comment either on the record or about specifics of the university's plans, indicated that the concept is still being hammered out and that changes are likely.

It should be noted too that the "Innovation Hub," or whatever the university ends up calling it, is unrelated to the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub, powered by Sharecare.
Elsewhere nearby, the former The Fresh Market at Brighten Park remains vacant and in limbo with the struggling grocer still in control of the space and reportedly working with a number of interested parties wishing to take over their lease.

In early May 2017, Cousins Properties sold Emory Point I and II, its 750 apartments and 125,000 square feet of retail space, for $199 million, reportedly a new record for multifamily pricing in metro Atlanta.  The buyer, ShopCore Properties, is an affiliate of New York-based private equity firm The Blackstone Group.

Emory Point has been hit hard by restaurant and retail closures, most recently witnessing both Fresh To Order and Marlow's Tavern shut their doors.  

The closures have created opportunities for ownership to find new tenants to replace those that have shuttered.  

In addition to the upcoming Emory University endeavor, ShopCore has a number of other recently opened or upcoming tenants slated to join the project, some in spaces .

Code Ninjas opened earlier this month in a 1,869 square foot space previously home to Palm Beach Tan, while B's Cracklin BBQ hopes to open soon in the former Marcello's (La Tagliatella).

Marketing materials for the project suggest that a name change is on the horizon, too.  "The Point" appears on marketing materials for the property hinting at an imminent name change for the project that has seen so much turnover.
"Where Atlanta meets Decatur. Where Virginia Highlands meets Emory. Where unique Atlanta shopping meets nationally renowned dining."
"It all comes together here - next door to everywhere. This is the neighborhood's answer to the Atlanta experience. This is The Point."
While creating a new identity for the project is likely a good idea, "The Point" was announced last year by Brookfield Properties as the name of the new mixed-use redevelopment of the former Sears at North Point Mall in Alpharetta. 

Despite currently moving at what multiple sources have called a "glacial pace," the hope is for the "Innovation Hub" to open by late this year 

Are you excited by the idea of an Emory-run "Innovation Hub" at Emory Point?  Does the name "The Point" make you want to visit the developnent less or more?  What could be added to the center to make you more inclined to visit more often? 

Please share your thoughts below  


Cat said...

I was hoping that Trader Joe's was going to open in the Earth Fare space.

Anonymous said...

Expect it to focus on several different areas but prominent on healthcare innovation and social enterprise space focused on incubating community kitchens/culinary start ups and urban farming business support.

Anonymous said...

To the marketing genius who came up with that incredibly insipid copy, it's Virginia Highland, not Virginia Highlands. Oooh that always sticks in my craw.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I've been living in Atlanta since 96 and always thought it was VA "Highlnads" ... I don't know anyone who drops the S. In fact most people simply refer to it as "The Highlands"

Phaedra said...

Reply to Anonymous @10:19. TOTALLY!!!!! Highland has always been SINGULAR!!!!! Way before '96!!!! Been Here since '63....

Anonymous said...

I and many others I know were devastated when Marlow's closed! Does not make sense. I hope they do something with Emory Point faster than something is being done with N. DeKalb Mall! With all the Emory and CDC folks around EP, it's amazing that EP isn't thriving.

Anonymous said...

sports pub in Emory Point would be nice. A cheap, family friendly place would be nice as well. Tacqueria del Sol's many locations are ALWAYS crowded due to its cheap food! I think they should consider something like this

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