Jan 27, 2022 - Business

Atlanta's North DeKalb Mall wants to go big — real big

An aerial view of a typical 1960s enclosed shopping mall surrounded by parking lots and trees on the edges

Photo: Courtesy of Edens

The new owner of North DeKalb Mall, one of metro Atlanta’s shopping malls lurching along in search of a second life, wants to create a major mixed-use draw on the 77-acre property.

Why it matters: A well-designed mixed-use complex on the site could create a dense, walkable development in what today is a sea of parking lots and strip malls.

Details: In a filing Monday to state officials, developer Edens pitched retail, office, hotel, and residential space on land near the intersection of I-285 and state route 78.

  • The company — which revamped the equally enormous Toco Hills — wants to build 300,000 square feet of retail, 200,000 square feet of office space and a 150-key hotel. It’s also pitching 1,700 apartments and 100 townhomes, according to the application.
  • Plans call for completion by 2028.

Flashback: Built in the mid-1960s, North DeKalb Mall was once a top shopping destination and home to such department stores as Mervyn’s and Upton’s. Plans for a Costco failed to materialize, and today the mall is known best for the AMC Movie Theatre.

What they’re saying: “We consider it to be a very important site in DeKalb,” Commissioner Jeff Rader told the AJC last May. “It’s a very large tract of land that you don’t usually get for development in an urban area.”

Edens declined to comment.

Reality check: Known as a Development of Regional Impact application, the filing outlines what could be built, not necessarily what will be. The numbers aren’t set in stone and are more to help officials gauge potential impacts to the surrounding area and infrastructure.


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