Having flirted with death for years, ailing North DeKalb Mall will begin its transition into a more diversified town center later this year, according to its ownership and development team.
Real estate developer Edens has rechristened the mostly vacant, 1960s mall “Lulah Hills” as another preliminary step toward reshaping it into a lifestyle complex resembling suburban Halcyon or Avalon in the northeast section of ITP Atlanta.
Edens, a national firm with regional headquarters in Atlanta, plans to begin demolition of the mall later this year and deliver the first phases of new development in 2025, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Edens’ other retail properties in the metro include Whole Foods-anchored Buckhead Market Place and the refreshed Toco Hills.
Plans call for Lulah Hills to span some 73 acres and include nearly 2,000 units of housing, in addition to shopping, dining, and lodging options. Only the existing AMC movie theater will remain in place.
Upon its 1965 debut, North DeKalb Mall was the first in metro Atlanta to be fully enclosed, operating where North Druid Hills Road meets Lawrenceville Highway until it shuttered in 2020. Edens acquired the mall property the following year.
Edens’ Lulah Hills blueprint calls for 2.5 million square feet overall, with a new PATH Foundation trail linking the property to nearby Emory University. The redevelopment breakdown: 1,700 multifamily units, 100 townhomes, a 150-key hotel, roughly 320,000 square feet for retail and restaurants, and no office space.
In December, DeKalb’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a Market Square Tax Allocation District, or TAD, for North DeKalb Mall's planned redevelopment. The TAD also covers areas near the mall property, to include North Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway, in hopes of spurring economic development similar to what other parts of DeKalb have seen in recent years, according to county officials.
In conjunction with other redevelopment projects in the area, backers say the TAD could spell $806 million in new property value for the outdated commercial zone—nearly 20 times the current valuation. The tax measure will also help fund affordable housing in central DeKalb, alongside new parks, landscaping, lighting, and transportation and mobility enhancements, county officials have said.
Edens officials have previously said their goal is to fully open the reimagined mall property in 2028.
Find a preview of how the finished district is planned to look and function in the gallery above.
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