Friday, June 28, 2024

[EXCLUSIVE] Lulah Hills Launch Event Seems to Subtlely Confirm First "New" Tenant

June 26 marked the "official" start of work to turn "dead mall" North DeKalb Mall into Lulah Hills, a mixed use development from developer EDENS.  The firm, who owns dozens of shopping centers around the country - including Toco Hills - spoke highly of the vibrant community and their plans for the 73+ acre property at this week's launch event but did not reveal any tenants planned for the project... or did they?

ToNeTo Atlanta has heard for months from more than one industry source that Publix plans to relocate its store from Shamrock Plaza (3870 North Druis Hills Road) to Lulah Hills.  Most recently we briefly mentioned this in our wide ranging post covering the past, present and future of the North DeKalb Mall property.  Worth noting, too, is that the Shamrock Plaza store is outdated by some standards - having opened June 3, 1999 - and is without some of the updated amenities found in today's Publix stores.  

Although we did not ask representatives from EDENS about this tenant at the Tuesday event, other media did and were told that the developer had "no comment at this time."

Undeterred by the lack of openness, we turned our attention to materials that were available to review.  On one prominently displayed site plan marked "June 2024" we observed that the largest stand-alone building on the Lulah Hills plan, the same building the presumptive grocer would occupy, was a very specific size: 48,848 square feet.  

About 50,000 square feet? No.  48,000 square feet?  No. 48,848 square feet.  An exact number we recalled having seen before.  The number looked familiar because - as research confirmed - it is the precise size of the active Publix Supermarket prototype store.  

A Publix in development at Wiregrass Commons in Wesley Chapel, Florida is not only the exact same size but is also the exact same shape!  The Wesley Chapel store is one of several Publix stores both open and planned to have the 48,848 size and shape.  

The current Shamrock Plaza Publix is 37,745 square feet, according to public records.   One notable upgrade is that the new Publix as shown in the site plan would provide the grocer a drive-thru pharmacy.     

"A10" is anchor space is Lulah Hills, Confirmed Publix in Florida below 

Georgia, with more than 200 Publix stores, is the Lakeland, Florida-based grocer's second largest market by store count after its home state which has nearly 900! 

ToNeTo Atlanta wrote in 2021 just how active Publix was then and remains to date in metro Atlanta.  In the years since that report, the grocer has opened more than a dozen new stores in Georgia including recent stores in Milledgeville on June 26 and this past May in Villa Rica where the grocer opened a new store, replacing an older store nearby.  

In February 2022, Publix debuted their new store at Hugh Howell Marketplace which replaced an older Publix at nearby The Centre on Hugh Howell.  The replacement Publix was actually smaller than its predecessor store - which opened January 15, 1996 - but more in line with the grocer's current size.  (Crunch Fitness now occupies the former Publix)  

"We are part of a redevelopment of a commercial area that gives us the ability to operate one of our newest prototypes. #544 is being replaced as it’s an older store running short on term, located mid-block, the new store is located at a true intersection making it more convenient for customers," a Publix spokesperson told us in advance of the move.  

In the coming months Publix will open a new store at Buckhead Landing along Piedmont Road in Buckhead where it will replace the longstanding "Disco" Kroger.  The new Publix will, according to Publix, be in addition to rather than instead of their many existing Buckhead area stores.  

In Brookhaven, however, where work on the grocer's new store recently got underway and will backfill another former Kroger in Cambridge Square, it will replace an existing Publix in nearby Oglethorpe Crossing, which has been open since March 3, 1997.  

If the Shamrock Plaza relocation does come to fruition as expected, it could create space (which sources tell us is already being discussed) for a Trader Joe's to backfill a portion of the current Publix.  ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported in December that the highly sought after grocer was looking to add as many as six new stores to metro Atlanta in the coming years.  Two stores - planned for Halcyon in Alpharetta and Chastain Market in Chastain Park - have been identified.  The Shamrock Plaza space is believed to be the "Decatur area store" we were told was also in the works.   

Again, neither Publix nor EDENS has confirmed any of this but while as of last week we only had smoke, this week's meeting seems to have brought the fire.  

What are your thoughts on the plans for Lulah Hills?  Do you think the Publix relocation makes sense?  Did you hear nothing we said except for Trader Joe's + Decatur?

Please share your thoughts below. 

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

There needs to be thus kind of redevelopment at the Northlake Pavillion shopping Plaza, that place is depressing and no one wants to shop there with the current tenants. The Kro-ghetto is awful, one of the oldest in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

I’ll ask my Publix contacts if they have heard anything.

Anonymous said...

BINGO!!!! Thats definitely Publix

Anonymous said...

Sure wish Trader Joe’s would take the vacant Lidl space in Bethelview Rd in Cumming.

Anonymous said...

A Trader Joe's @ Shamrock Plaza would be most excellent !! No doubt.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have TJ at Lulah Hills than at Shamrock Plaza.

Sing Oil Blog said...

No doubt that is a 48M Publix. If constructed, it will be essentially identical to the new Hugh Howell store you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Except that there is already a Publix across the street in Briarcliff Village.

Anonymous said...

i want Trader Joe's at Buckhead Crossing now that Michael's has or is taking the Office Depot space in that shopping center.

Anonymous said...

Publix moving to the new development makes total sense, as the Shamrock store is indeed outdated. TJ would be a great replacement, if the shopping center doesn’t have some sort of agreement with Publix to keep another grocer out. As often mentioned on this blog we need one on this side of town.

I always expect to find the Northlake Kroger on the chopping block list. It’s very outdated and cramped and they haven’t put much effort in modernizing it. A new larger Kroger at Festival or as part of the Northlake Mall redevelopment would be great, but it may be too close to the newer Chamblee Tucker store. I don’t like to see Kroger closing up stores without replacement locations. The chain has a lot of haters, but competition and choice is healthy. I wouldn’t want to see Atlanta become like parts of Florida where Publix is the only regular grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Briarcliff Village is not across the street from North Dekalb Mall.

Anonymous said...

I’d actually like to see Cub Foods come back there. Their rotisserie chickens were so juicy! And great prices on bread and Cub butter.

Anonymous said...

Publix moving to the new development makes total sense, as the Shamrock store is indeed outdated. TJ would be a great replacement, if the shopping center doesn’t have some sort of agreement with Publix to keep another grocer out. As often mentioned on this blog we need one on this side of town.

I always expect to find the Northlake Kroger on the chopping block list. It’s very outdated and cramped and they haven’t put much effort in modernizing it. A new larger Kroger at Festival or as part of the Northlake Mall redevelopment would be great, but it may be too close to the newer Chamblee Tucker store. I don’t like to see Kroger closing up stores without replacement locations. The chain has a lot of haters, but competition and choice is healthy. I wouldn’t want to see Atlanta become like parts of Florida where Publix is the only regular grocery store.

Anonymous said...

It looks very car oriented. Sad statement about our County and poor planning.

Anonymous said...

No mention of how the increased traffic will be addressed in the area. Also has anyone considered how this will affect all of the commercial space just down the street at Scott and Dekalb Industrial? I haven't been to 90% of the businesses there already.

Anonymous said...

Any timeline for lullah hills publix to open? Because if trader Joe's waits for them to vacate shamrock it's going quite a while...

Anonymous said...

They should leave it all empty. No business equals no traffic. Tear down all the businesses in that whole area. It will be nice, no traffic.

PatBorow said...

The existing Publix would be perfect for a TRader Joes. Adequate parking, too.

Anonymous said...

Lullah pubix prob won’t be till ‘25, mall not even torn yet!

Anonymous said...

Still only Mervyn’s and the mall portion where Woolworths was are torn down. Maybe as bestos?

Anonymous said...

'25 lol that's optimistic. I'm guessing with all the red tapes and delays we won't see anything in lullah until '27 at best

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