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Sterling planning to sell North DeKalb Mall for possible mixed-use development

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Sterling planning to sell North DeKalb Mall for possible mixed-use development

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

Greater Decatur, GA — Sterling Organization has plans to sell of North DeKalb Mall to a developer who may transform it into a mixed use development.

Commissioners Jeff Rader and Ted Terry confirmed the planned sale to Decaturish, but they did not say who the potential buyer could be.

Rader said the plan for the property is likely mixed-use with a residential and retail component, hence the calls to the commissioners.

“It is likely that anything that goes in there will require a change of zoning, because it doesn’t seem like anybody is just proposing a retail redevelopment which is already permitted,” Rader said. “It will likely be something that is mixed use of some sort, but beyond that I think it’s too early to exactly say. Because it does require zoning and that’s a discretionary decision, the public will have its say on what goes there.”

It’s not clear if there is one or multiple buyers interested in the property.

Rader said it could be a development team headed up by one primary developer.

“It won’t be divided up and sold to different folks, I don’t think,” he said.

Messages left with Sterling Organization representatives were not immediately returned.

Kathryn Zickert, an attorney who has represented Sterling, is involved in the project but said she’s unable to disclose anything at this time.

“I cannot tell you anything,” she said.

That includes whether a big box retailer – like Costco – is in the mix as an anchor tenant. The mall came close to a massive redevelopment back in 2018, which would’ve been anchored by a Costco. But that fell through.

Most of the malls tenants are now gone, according to the Sterling Organization website.

Since 2018, the mall has been used as a location for filming movies and TV shows. The empty parking lot has also attracted drag racers.

Commissioner Terry said he anticipates that the new proposal won’t be like the last one, which he described as a “low-intensity strip mall.”

“We want to see something that is going to be walkable, connected to the neighborhoods, something that’s going to be a community benefit, as opposed to a place for people to drive in and drive out of,” Terry said. “It’s got to have connectivity to the neighborhoods.”

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