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Attorney says plan for North DeKalb Mall redevelopment to be publicly withdrawn on Jan. 22

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Attorney says plan for North DeKalb Mall redevelopment to be publicly withdrawn on Jan. 22

The vacant Macy's store at North Dekalb Mall. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
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A plan to redevelop North DeKalb Mall is on the county’s Jan. 22 Zoning Hearing agenda, but an attorney for the mall’s owner says it’s only a formality.

Kathryn Zickert, an attorney for Sterling Organization which owns the mall, said the item must be withdrawn in a public meeting.

“It has to be publicly withdrawn and will be,” she said.

So does that mean the redevelopment project is officially dead?

“I would never say never,” she said. “Who knows? But for now we can’t move forward.”

If it had come to fruition, the project would’ve seen North DeKalb Mall torn down and replaced with a Costco-anchored mixed use development. The project would’ve included hundreds of apartments, dozens of town homes and a 150 room hotel. There were plans for retail space, including a 14,500 square foot food hall, and office space.

But the project got off track late last year when the mall’s owner and Costco couldn’t reach an agreement with the county.

Zickert said there were numerous requests by county officials and residents that included completing a PATH trail with a bridge, completing a secondary PATH trail, redoing the streetscape and more.

“The staff wanted us to pull the big boxes up to the internal street, which means we’d have no place to unload,” she said last month. “It was out of hand. Staff wanted us to move the gas pumps. Costco said, ‘Absolutely not.’”

Commissioner Jeff Rader said the county was concerned about loading docks being placed too close to neighborhoods and the inability of Sterling to configure the site in a way that satisfied residents.

“We understand Sterling has legacy leases for some of the larger big boxes on the site that gave those tenants a lot of power dictating the lease rates and configuration of sites for them,” Rader said last month. “It made it harder for Sterling to urbanize the site in a way the community was supportive of. When those leases burn off, there’ll be an opportunity to look at this as a clean sheet of paper.”

So for now, it appears that the project is at a standstill. To learn more about the project and what led to the current impasse, click here.

 

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