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Simon To Build Nobu, Office Building, Life Time Athletic To Replace Belk At Phipps Plaza

Simon Property Group is trading in dresses, boots and handbags for a Nobu, Life Time's co-working concept and a 12-story office building.

Rendering of Simon Property Group's proposed redevelopment of the Belk department store at Phipps Plaza

Simon Property unveiled plans Tuesday to redevelop a portion of its luxury Phipps Plaza mall in Atlanta's high-end Buckhead submarket with a new Nobu-branded hotel, a 250K SF office building and a three-story Life Time Athletic facility.

The proposed project comes on the heels of Belk's announcement earlier this week that it planned to shutter its signature department store at the back end of Phipps next summer. Simon expects to break ground on the new project bordering Phipps Boulevard soon afterward.

The overall project — which is projected to cost north of $200M — is slated for a spring 2020 delivery. 

Nobu inked a deal to flag the 150-room luxury hotel and operate a 10K SF Nobu sushi restaurant — a favorite of celebrities worldwide. Atlanta will be its 16th hotel, and the Phipps Plaza location will likely be its only one in the metro market, Nobu CEO Trevor Horwell said.

Horwell said average room rates at the hotel will run north of $200/night, and the development will include a rooftop bar and restaurant and some 30K SF of banquet space. 

Life Time also plans to develop a three-story, 90K SF facility that will include workout studio space, a full-service LifeSpa, an eatery, a rooftop pool, a bistro and Life Time Work — Life Time's recently launched co-working concept that offers both open desk and private office memberships. Bisnow first reported Life Time's move into co-working last month.

Simon Property Group President John Rulli

The 12-story office building will be Simon's first foray into office development in Atlanta, Simon President John Rulli said. He said the project should prove attractive to tenants seeking a walkable environment with lots of amenities.

Simon is expected to tap a third-party leasing company for the office project, marketing toward technology and finance companies, he said.

“We look at the market and absorption, and we think it's right-sized,” Rulli said. “We'll probably pre-lease a lot of it.”

Simon has developed other office projects over the years, including more recent developments in Austin and Fort Worth, Texas. Simon owns and manages 2M SF of office nationwide.

Nobu CEO Trevor Horwell

Rulli said Simon also is looking at a redevelopment of its Lenox Square mall across Peachtree Road from Phipps, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Details of that project were not disclosed. 

"I can’t talk about it," he said to the paper. "We are close to doing it. But you are going to see some pretty cool things happen at Lenox in the not-so-distant future.”