Thursday, October 24, 2019

[NEWSFLASH] Emory Confirms Plans to Open Huge New Campus at Northlake Mall

ATR Corinth Partners Friday announced that Emory Healthcare will be an anchor for the reimagined  Northlake Mall, leasing 224,000 square feet of space. Emory Healthcare’s initial plans include corporate administrative services.  Emory will occupy the former Sears building and an additional portion of the 1 million square foot mall with an option for more space in the future.  Sears closed its store at the mall in 2018.  ATR paid $8.3 million to acquire the Sears "box" and  auto center in 2017, according to DeKalb property records.     

“We’re excited to have such a well-regarded institution as our first anchor tenant for this project,” said Tony Ruggeri, partner with Texas-based ATR Corinth Partners. “Emory’s presence will add more day time traffic to an already vibrant residential community surrounding the project. It’s a winning formula to support retail and restaurants, which has worked for us in previous mall redevelopments.”  

“Northlake gives us the opportunity to centralize corporate support services in one location for more than 1,600 employees while providing the additional benefit of direct access to on-site amenities like restaurants and retail,” said Mike Mason, Emory Healthcare Vice President of Operations. “The property’s central location combined with easy highway and MARTA bus access, along with necessary parking also helped Emory Healthcare make the decision to lease with Northlake.”

This is not the first time that ATR has leased significant space in a struggling mall to a medical center.  ATR in 2006 leased nearly half of the 850,000 square foot 100 Oaks Mall in Nashville to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  

ATR Corinth Partners purchased Northlake Mall in January 2016 from former real estate trust company WP Glimcher, now Washington Prime Group.  The mall, built in 1971, was for much of its life owned by Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the U.S.  Simon has in recent years spun off several of its "non core" assets as it works to strengthen its balance sheet and trim less productive malls from its portfolio.  [Gwinnett Place Mall, whose future is currently up in the air, was another former Atlanta area Simon owned mall.] 

One man's trash is another man's treasure: such is the case at Northlake Mall.  ATR purchased the mall "for the opportunity to bring new life to an established, well-known but under-utilized area of metro Atlanta."           

“Our lease with Emory signifies the start of reimagining the former mall as ‘Northlake,’ a dynamic mixed-use development incorporating office, medical, retail and restaurants,” remarked Frank Mihalopoulos, partner with ATR Corinth Partners. “We want to provide retail and restaurant options, along with welcoming gathering spaces, to reconnect the community with Northlake as a place to spend time with family and friends.”

The announcement, while no doubt welcome by many, offered no details about the vacant Kohl's (originally Parisian) or any other tenants planned for the mall property.  Also absent from the release was news that Costco would open at Northlake Mall instead of North DeKalb Mall as many had hoped might eventually happen.    

The release did indicate, however, that "Northlake will see more office space, new retail and a mix of sit-down, fast casual and quick-service restaurant concepts."   Sources familiar with the developer's plans tell ToNeTo Atlanta that there are likely to be several freestanding out-parcel restaurants added to the excess parking around the mall.  Northlake is not alone in having a surplus of parking - Mall of Georgia and Perimeter Mall have both added out-parcel dining options - but their decrease in mall traffic teamed with a dynamic location and a growing young population makes their situation that much more appealing to new or existing quick-serve, casual, and perhaps even upscale dining options.  

Concepts like Miller's Ale House, Culver's, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Ted's Montana Grill, Freddy's and Wendy's, among others, could have interest in being park of the reimagination of Northlake Mall.  

Construction of the retail portion of the project is slated to begin in early 2020.  JCPenney and Macy’s will remain as anchor tenants and will be open during construction, according to the release.  Stamp & Coin, one of the, if not THE longest running continuously operating tenants, remains open in the mall too.  

Are you excited about the progress at Northlake Mall?  What retailers or restaurants would you most like to see be part of the "reimiagined" Northlake Mall?  Is there one one Northlake Mall store or restaurant you simply could not live without?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Please no sterile chain restaurants. A brew pub would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Please no sterile chain restaurants. A brewery/brew pub would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Can’t wait for the NIMBY’s over at DeKalb Strong to weigh in. Good win for the area. Was a very at risk mall. Obvious it was closer to mirroring the decay of North DeKalb Mall as opposed to retail investment around Perimeter Mall.

Anonymous said...

Is Emory exempt from county taxes such as Property Taxes? Would be a hit to the tax base if so.

Anonymous said...

I had difficulty understanding the convoluted sentence: "Also absent from the release was news that Costco would open at Northlake Mall instead of North DeKalb Mall as many had hoped might eventually happen." I don't know anyone who expected Costco to open at Northlake given the proximity of the Brookhaven Costco. I'm not sure anyone has any hope left that one will ever open at North Dekalb either. An "absence of news" itself might be the problem.

Anonymous said...

This is exciting news for the Northlake area! We have waited a long time for an opportunity like this.

I hope some nice dining options will also be available. There is a lot of upscale housing surrounding Northlake from Lakeside on one side to Smokerise on the other. It's a long way through heavy traffic to go to dinner at Buckhead or Perimeter Mall and it makes for a long, tiring evening.

Thank you for keeping the work going in the background. I never lost faith in this project.

Anonymous said...

To whoever asked about tax: The developer's quote says Emory will be **leasing.**

Anonymous said...

Good news that will breathe new life into a struggling, at-risk property. Blighted malls and shopping centers breed criminal activity and I'm glad the refurbishment will finally happen. This will hopefully help drive traffic to nearby dining and retail to generally give landlords a reason to increase rents and attract some classier and nicer tenants other than nail and hair salons found around Northlake Festival, etc. Anyone know what's going on with the old Sports Authority shopping center across the street from the mall? That could possibly be a nice upgrade to mirror Tucker Meridian with Dick's, Sprouts, etc.

Unknown said...

Would be great if Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour would open up again!

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