Tuesday, September 21, 2021

[UPDATE] Toco Hills Owner Acquires North DeKalb Mall, Costco Still "Interested"

North DeKalb Mall once again has new owners who are looking to redevelop the property.  According to a report Tuesday by Decaturish, Columbia, South Carolina-based EDENS has acquired the nearly 70 acre property from West Palm Beach-based Sterling Organization.  The $43 million sale closed September 17 and while North DeKalb Mall has been removed from Sterling's website, it's not yet present on EDENS.

The mall, first built in 1965, has changed hands several times over the past twenty or so years with Atlanta-based Hendon Properties acquiring it in October 2003 for $25 million, trying unsuccessfully to add a Costco and other elements before offloading it for $15.4 million in May 2014 to Lennar Commercial Investors LLC, together with Sterling Organization.  Sterling, too, tried unsuccessfully to redevelop the mall with its most recent effort falling apart in late 2018.  The property was put back on the sales block earlier this year.  

It's not yet clear what EDENS paid for the property but they definitely have the funding to pull off a deal like this, having sold three Atlanta area assets in just the past three years. EDENS sold, for an undisclosed sum, the Target/Publix/Dick's-anchored Lenox Marketplace in Buckhead in April, followed by the Publix-anchored Alpharetta Commons in Alpharetta for $24.6 million in May.  In late 2018 the firm also sold the Kroger-anchored Sandy Plains Centre in East Cobb for $44.2 million.  

EDENS currently owns nine shopping centers in metro Atlanta including both Toco Hills Promenade and Toco Hills Shopping Center at Toco Hills, the latter of which it acquired in late 2015.  Since its acquisition, Toco Hills has added several new local and national businesses including Westside Market, Spiller Park Coffee, Chopt, Club Pilates, Flying Biscuit CafĂ©, Yumbii, and soon, Ulta Beauty.  

Patience, something it seems Sterling, and Hendon before it ran out of, is something EDENS has been shown to have.  Moores Mill, a Publix-anchored center that EDENS developed at Moores Mill Road on Atlanta's "Upper Westside," opened in May 2017 after more than ten years of assorted setbacks.  

Kathryn Zickert, a partner at Smith Gambrell Russell who previously represented Sterling in their rezoning efforts at the mall, confirmed to Decaturish that she now represents EDENS in an upcoming rezoning application for the mall. 

Costco, who according to real estate experts prefers to purchase rather than lease its properties, could still be in the mix but our experts were split on the likelihood that they will be part of whatever EDENS is planning, with one noting the fact that EDENS prefers to lease its assets rather than sell portions.  

ToNeTo Atlanta reached out to Richard Galanti, Costco's longtime CFO, who in an email response Tuesday indicated  "We remain interested; but currently do not have any deal." with regard to them being part of the redevelopment at North DeKalb Mall.  

We also received the following statement from Herbert Ames, Senior Vice President, Development, EDENS, with regard to our inquiry into what their plans are for the property:  

“For more than 50 years, North DeKalb has enjoyed a great history of commerce and a tradition of bringing people together. It is an honor to be its next steward, a pivotal role with considerable responsibility to transform a 77-acre infill site.  We look forward to dialogue with the community as we look to reshape this place for the next 50 years.” 

Burlington in late August relocated their North DeKalb Mall store to Briarcliff Village near Northlake Mall, where the retailer backfilled a shuttered Office Depot.  Following Burlington's departure from the mall, few tenants remain, but they include Marshalls, AMC Theaters, Dollar Tree and Challenges Games & Comics, among others.  

What would you like to see happen to North DeKalb Mall?  What is your fondest memory of North DeKalb Mall?  What restaurant or retailer would you like to see join North DeKalb Mall?

Please share your thoughts below.  

25 comments:

Unknown said...

Would love to see something similar to Krog Strret or The Works. More European market style food, shopping and a brewery! Plus a outdoor music venue and a Trader Joe’s.

Greenwave said...

Tear the whole thing down as far as I'm concerned and revamp the entire thing like Halcyon, Colony Square, Peachtree Center, etc. Right now it's a dump and the only thing worthwhile there is the AMC

RichKnobSales said...

Please please please keep the movie theater!

Erey said...

Would definitely like Costco there but the community wants some restaurants like Logan Roadhouse, Papi, Olive Garden, City Barbeque,. It is a very diverse community of all nationalities we are sophisticated but not snooty we love bargains but we can afford more so nice local bars and restaurants along with nice discount stores like TJMaxx, if you look at Costco and Apple clientele that's the type of community we have.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a Costco here. Atlanta is getting denser and denser, and it is taking longer and longer to travel just 6-10 miles away. We need amenities close to where we live. I hope that the neighbors living near N. Dekalb Mall don't bust up this deal, too, because there are tons of us in the area who want this redevelopment.

Erey said...

We are a very diverse community made up of all nationalities Costco would be absolutely great, but we would also like some nice restaurants like roadhouse Olive Garden Papi, Chinese, Mediterranean . We are the baby boomers from all over the country we like Apple products we are sophisticated but not snooty. We like quality but we look for bargains. When you know your community you can’t help but be successful.

Anonymous said...

I hope Challenges stays in the area.

Anonymous said...

De-mall it and go with the previous plan. The locals who voted it down, because of “traffic” would rather have a closed down boarded up eye sore? Really? Let’s go! Marshalls and Dollar Tree do a great business there as well as the theater, albeit less in comparison to pre-pandemic traffic. Those three can stay in a new location on the property and remove the old mall which can never be returned to its previous glory as is.

Anonymous said...

I can see a mini Avalon there. What about the Macy's property? I understand that it was owened by Macy's. Was it part of this deal?

Ham said...

Based on DeKalb's great planning I expect an extended stay motel, mattress store and self storage.

Katherine said...

This could be nice, but leave out the apartments (we have plenty of them!) and include green space!!!

Katherine said...

Please whatever is done, no more apartments.

Anonymous said...

Edens doesn't own Toco Hill. They have a long-term master lease with the Shepherd family. All recent deals are in effect subleases.

Anonymous said...

Folks saying "no more housing" also are people who complain about traffic and sprawl . . . . the byproducts of land use that has encouraged housing spread out all over metro area. 77 acres inside perimeter with 75 Bus quickly getting to Avondale Station is great place for more housing.

For climate change, adding housing is far more important here than some greenspace. Also, already greenspace literally next to this mall.

Alex said...

Turn it into affordable housing and then move all the immigrants and refugees there. Win Win.

Sanni said...

Food hall, open market so local vendors can sell food or merchandise (farmers market), open amusement zip line skyline walk mini golf, rooftop bar, tiny homes and green space. Include the community garden because that has stayed when everything else died or closed and went away. Connects back to the community

Anonymous said...

lipstick on a ghetto corpse ayn goan do nuffins….fix the root problem.

S Brown said...

Way too many folks from intown Atlanta and Decatur are driving way too far to get to Costco and other suburban style amenities, while this property sits nearly empty. There is a solid base of consumers with cash nearby, and it seems very ripe for responsible development. It already has a big beautiful urban garden, a stream nearby -- preserve those! And the movie theatre and Marshalls both do a booming business. Just expand thoughtfully, with either a Costco, or a Trader Joe's to anchor it. It already has the major roadways to manage traffic to the site.

Anonymous said...

Just revamp the thing to look more like an 80s mall, but make that the point. Big palm trees, loads of neon, etc. Then anchor-wise, get a Trader Joes, 2nd & Charles, Cost Plus World Market, keep AMC. Then in the food court get a good local coffee shop like Spiller Park, a couple local breweries (Outrun seems like it'd be a good fit for an 80s mall), Glide pizza, Victory Sandwich Bar, etc. but then also have some interesting national chains (like they did with Chopt in Toco Hills). Make the whole mall open container. Have a space for live music, but not a whole venue as atlanta's venue scene is already pretty crowded. No costco please.

Anonymous said...

Hope this one works out. And I hope it doesn't take 10 years. Sadly, the reason the last one didn't work out is still part of the equation..... Dekalb County Board of Commissioners.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9/22, 11:55pm: you might have had a stroke. You should go see a doctor immediately. Many of those words you typed are either due to a state of complete incoherence. Otherwise it’s just a state of complete racism. Hopefully you can get some help.

Anonymous said...

Costco please

Anonymous said...

I'd love to keep the theater there as well, but I really can't imagine that it's viable. I've been going there for my movies for years precisely because I know the place is always empty and I can focus on the movie. Makes me happy, but can't imagine AMC turns a profit there, and that business model is more of a challenge every day.

Anonymous said...

As one of those annoying neighbors who live right next door, I'd like to see a buffer greenspace built with a nice trailscape all around the back and side of the property, to protect the wetlands behind the Mall, also known as the Shepherd Nature Preserve. That's a privately owned and privately maintained area that's open to everyone at no charge. A linear park nicely landscaped that would protect the from run-off from any parking lot, and build up the greenspace available would be great.

I've been living in DeKalb County near this mall for 28 years and this Mall was suffering from "creeping Mall Death" the entire time.
I'd love to see local businesses, including a book store, the Movie Theatre, and a drugstore. I'd like to see some locally owned restaurants, not chains. This area is saturated with apartments/ condos & infill houses. All of the green space in DeKalb has been filled in, and we need to keep some of it available here.

Anonymous said...

And the neighborhood made several unreasonable demands and complaints about which Dekalb county commissioners buckled into. I attended the community meeting sterling had at n dekalb mall

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