Records reveal possible site plan for North DeKalb Mall redevelopment; plan includes grocery storeAn image from an early draft of a site plan for North DeKalb Mall. Image obtained from DeKalb County. The PDF with the full site plan is contained in this article.
This story has been updated.
Editor’s note: Decaturish respectfully requests that other media outlets credit us if they use these documents in their own reporting if they have not independently obtained them. If you appreciate our work on this story, please sign up to become a paying supporter at supportmylocalnews.com
Greater Decatur, GA — North DeKalb Mall is once again being eyed for a massive redevelopment project, but the developer – Edens – has played things close to the vest, opting to share little with the press and holding closed-door meetings with the community.
But records provided to Decaturish show that Edens is planning to balance out its residential and retail plans with green space, trails and other public amenities. Whether they’ll satisfy neighborhood concerns about the scale of the project is another matter.
The plan, which is still preliminary and hasn’t been widely distributed, also shows nearly 50,000 square feet allocated for a grocery store, but doesn’t name the store. The plan appears to include retaining the AMC theater and Marshall’s retail store. It’s important to note: the site plan Decaturish obtained could change before it’s formally presented to the public.
To see the PDF of the preliminary site plan, click here.
Theresa Same, the zoning chair for the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association, is one of the few members of the public outside the county that has seen the preliminary plans. On Feb. 8, she said she’s not commenting for now because she wants to give the public a chance to see it and share opinions about it.
Edens will hold its first public community meeting on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Decaturish received a link to attend a virtual meeting Edens held a few weeks ago with select members of the community, but was asked to leave the meeting because the press hadn’t been invited. Edens, which also owns the Toco Hills Shopping Center on North Druid Hills Road, has so far declined to speak to the press. The public’s first glimpse project was a filing for the development to be considered as a Development of Regional Impact by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
The preliminary site plan provided in response to a records request looks like the one presented during the meeting Decaturish was asked to leave. The records request also produced a summary of early community feedback on the plan.
The Edens proposal is more ambitious than the failed proposal that came before it. The developer wants to create a mixed-use development with retail, a hotel, apartments and town homes. Plans call for 300,000 square feet of retail space, 200,000 square feet of office space, a 150-room hotel, 1,700 apartment units and 100 town homes. The project’s estimated completion date is 2028.
For comparison, a plan in 2018 that fell through proposed 425 apartments and 40 to 50 town homes.
Edens proposes greenspaces and shared use paths within the project. One of the slides demonstrates the project’s overall connectivity plan. The developer is planning to realign Mistletoe Road and the entrance buildings.
Perkins and Will, a design firm hired by the County Commission for $20,000, listed several proposed revisions to the site plan based on early community feedback. Commissioner Jeff Rader said the firm is advising the county, not Edens. Suggestions for the plan include widening the shared use paths and adding bus shelters. Concerns include the lack of integration of the Mysterious Way townhouse parcel into the overall master plan, and the Birch Road trail alignment.
There may also be an affordable housing component to the project. The memo from Perkins and Will says one of the “Next Steps” is, “Proceed with next steps on the provision of affordable housing within the master plan.”
To see the Perkins and Will memo, click here.
Here are additional slides from the presentation provided by DeKalb County in response to our records request:
Correction: An earlier version of this story provided incorrect information about who had hired Perkins and Will. This story has been updated with the correct information.
Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.