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Food Hall, More Green Space Coming To Central Perimeter Shopping Center

A Florida investor is putting the finishing touches on a major retail repositioning project in Dunwoody that will include a new food hall operator.

A rendering of The Lawn at CTO Realty Growth's Ashford Lane mixed-use campus in Central Perimeter.

CTO Realty Growth Inc. is in the process of transforming Ashford Lane, a 269K SF open-air shopping center off Perimeter Center West that was originally built by prolific Atlanta mixed-use developer Jeff Fuqua during his tenure at The Sembler Co. in the early 2000s.

CTO purchased what was known as Perimeter Place last year for $75.4M, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported, and it is turning a former furniture store into a 17K SF food hall simply called The Hall. The property, across Perimeter Center West from Perimeter Mall and in the heart of Central Perimeter, is CTO's largest single purchase to date, CEO John Albright said.

“It was very attractive to us because of the infill nature of Perimeter, given the densification that's going on,” Albright said.

The developer is also replacing a series of smaller roadways in the project and turning them into a green space, according to a recent CTO filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Existing tenants at Ashford Lane include Marshalls, Crunch Fitness, Ross Dress for Less, Taco Mac, Shane's Rib Shack and Panera Bread. CTO didn't acquire Ashford Lane's SuperTarget and condominium tower.

The firm is aiming to be able to raise rents on spaces as they backfill them with what CTO describes as “higher-end tenants,” according to the filing. Albright did not disclose what rents the firm is targeting.

The Hall is scheduled to open this summer and The Lawn is set for a fall debut, Albright said.

CTO seeks value-add real estate buys in markets with strong job and demographic growth and is scouting the metro area for another purchase as it tries to place $30M in 1031 exchange funds from a project it sold in Aspen, Colorado, Albright said.

So far, that is easier said than done.

“We're bidding a lot,” Albright said. “But on the whole, there is not as much on the market as you would imagine.”'