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‘A golden opportunity’ – North DeKalb Mall project moving through review process

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‘A golden opportunity’ – North DeKalb Mall project moving through review process

The vacant Macy's store at North Dekalb Mall. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

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The vacant Macy’s store at North Dekalb Mall. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

An attorney representing the owner of North DeKalb Mall says there will be a meeting with the Atlanta Regional Commission tomorrow, June 1, to discuss the North DeKalb Mall redevelopment project.

Due to its size, the project must be evaluated as a Development of Regional Impact by ARC. The paperwork for the project, known as Decatur Landing, was filed on May 24. The big anchor tenant will be a Costco store.

Kathy Zickert, an attorney for Sterling Organization which owns the mall, said Friday’s “methodology meeting” will involve representatives of any party affected by the project, including the Georgia Department of Transportation and county planning officials. The meeting will be to “determine the area of influence” for the project, meaning intersections and roads that would see higher traffic volumes because of the redevelopment.

If the current plan stands, the mall – which opened in 1965 – will be torn down and replaced with a mixed-use development that includes 500 multi-family residential units (450 apartments and 50 town homes) a 150-room hotel, 300,000 square feet of retail, 46,000 square feet of restaurant space, a 14,500 square foot food hall and 50,000 square feet of office space.


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The AMC movie theater will stay on the property, as will Burlington Coat factory and Marshall’s. The first stores could open as early as 2020.

Zickert said no tenants are being kicked out and will have an opportunity to reopen in the new mall if they choose. The rental rates will probably not stay the same, however.

Sterling conducted traffic counts while school was still in session, Zickert said. She expects the DRI process to take 30 to 60 days and expects the project will go before the county in September.

Zickert said she doesn’t anticipate the density of the project will be lowered.

“That site calls for considerably higher density,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to change at all. It’s not going to go down.”

She said Sterling wants a hotel because of the dearth of nice hotels in the area.

“The demand is expected to be generated between Emory and the DeKalb Medical complex,” Zickert said. “That’s right there in the general vicinity. There are no hotels except extended stay ones, nothing until you get into Decatur.”

The zoning application filed with DeKalb County makes it clear that Sterling has high hopes for the project.

“The North DeKalb Mall property offers a golden opportunity to transform the deteriorating mall into a modern, mixed-use development that offers the retail sought after by the community as well as the residential component needed for the area’s continued growth,” the application says.

To read the full zoning application, click here.

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