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North Point Mall Going On A 'Retail Diet' With Redevelopment

The new owners of North Point Mall are replacing some of its ocean of retail space with offices and apartments, one of a handful of high-profile redevelopments coming to North Fulton County.

The Von Maur anchor at North Point Mall in the affluent North Fulton County community in Atlanta.

Trademark Property Co. plans to build 36 townhomes, 650 apartment units, a 150-room hotel, 330K SF of office and 30K SF of medical space at the North Point Mall property, according to a filing with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which evaluates real estate projects that have a regional impact.

“I think it's clear that the mall itself wants to go on a retail diet,” Trademark Senior Vice President of Development Jeff Johnson said during Bisnow's North Fulton event last week. “So more of the mall may transform into mixed-use.”

New York Life Insurance Co. took over the ownership of the 1.3M SF mall earlier this year after Brookfield Property Partners handed over the keys to the lender instead of going through a foreclosure proceeding. The insurance giant then tapped Trademark Property Co. to redevelop the mall.

Before Brookfield gave up the mall, it had plans to tear down a shuttered Sears store to make way for apartment units and retail. But Johnson said Trademark's three-phase planned redevelopment would develop a more extensive portion of the 40-acre property, with the first phase focused on office, coworking, and food and beverage space. He didn't say how much, or which part, of the existing mall would be torn down for each phase.

“[We're] beyond planning. We're at a point where we're having serious discussions with the city [of Alpharetta] that shows a plan that includes multifamily, office, hotel and some retail,” he said.

Orkin & Associates Vice President Josh Barnes, North American Properties Managing Partner Tim Perry and Trademark Property Senior Vice President Jeff Johnson at a Bisnow event Nov. 3

Johnson said adding the residences will boost the mall's negotiating position for the future roster of retail tenants. In its filing, Trademark plans for 211K SF of additional retail and 86K SF of restaurant space, but those spaces will likely be smaller than the ones at the existing mall.

“The uses around the multifamily project, the retail, really needs to be relevant,” he said. "Especially with the larger [retail] box, you're not going to see growth there. I think it's going to be a less-is-more approach."

Redevelopment is gaining traction in North Fulton County beyond North Point Mall, regional real estate and economic development executives said at the Bisnow event last week. While developers are underway with nearly 350K SF of fresh office in North Fulton, a number of builders are focused on redeveloping older properties in historic downtown areas of Roswell, Alpharetta and Sandy Springs.

“For some communities, development is a big focus,” Select Fulton Deputy Director of Economic Development Samir Abdullahi said. "For other communities, redevelopment is a bigger focus."

Select Fulton Deputy Director Samir Abdullahi, Roswell Inc. Executive Director Steve Stroud, Sandy Springs Economic Development Manager Caroline Davis, City of Johns Creek Communications Director Bob Mullen, Alpharetta Director of Community & Economic Development Kathi Cook and Milton Community Development Director Robert Buscemi.

Another major shopping center in North Fulton also may be heading for mixed-use redevelopment. Mimms Enterprises has listed King's Market along Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell for sale with JLL. The 281K SF Publix-anchored shopping center's location — right at Georgia 400, the main artery into North Fulton from Atlanta — makes it an appealing redevelopment play.

“That's primo. It's going to go for top dollar,” said Steve Stroud, the executive director of Roswell's economic development arm, Roswell Inc. “I bet you 10 to one, it's [going to sell for] the highest dollar-per-square-foot for a retail shopping center in North Fulton.”

It was unclear as of press time if a buyer has emerged from the marketing process. JLL Senior Managing Director Jim Hamilton declined to comment. 

Roswell is seeing two other redevelopment projects: Armada Hoffler's Southern Post project at the site of the former Roswell Plaza shopping center, and a boutique hotel that will rise where a shuttered Wells Fargo bank branch now sits in Downtown Roswell.

Stroud said both projects will help improve foot traffic in Downtown Roswell — already a popular dining destination — during the day and overnight.

“All of the sudden, office is really important to downtown,” he said. “We're going to keep more people downtown.”