Two years after initial plans emerged for redeveloping the Mall West End into a $400-million, mixed-use “opportunity zone,” the Southwest Atlanta shopping center appears destined for a somewhat different fate.
According to the AJC, New York-based developer Tishman Speyer placed the West End mall under contract Friday with intentions of bulldozing the current stores and boutiques and building a mixed-use complex spanning 1.3 million square feet.
Tishman Speyer, the company behind Rockefeller Center and Buckhead’s One Alliance Center, is expected to act as lead partner and pay eight figures for the 1970 shopping center, the AJC reports, citing sources close to the deal.
Located next to MARTA rail and up the street from Atlanta University Center, the mall property spans about 12 acres and counts Radio Shack, Foot Locker, Rainbow clothing, and eateries such as American Deli and Abdullah the Butcher as primary attractions today. The owner, HT Group, has been exploring options to offload the property for a couple of years.
A deal between that group and Elevator City Partners—a firm founded by Atlanta BeltLine visionary Ryan Gravel and venture capitalist Donray Von, a West End native—appeared imminent early in 2020 but later fell apart.
Elevator City’s vision called for a dramatic, multiphase, $400-million reimagining of the mall property, eventually resulting in a transit-linked mini city of retail, hotel rooms, a public greenspace, affordable housing, and a technology and media hub suited for a diverse workforce of graduates from nearby HBCUs.
The good news—according to one former head of West End’s neighborhood planning unit interviewed by the AJC—is that Gravel and Von will be involved in the Tishman Speyer deal, acting as codevelopers as part of a broader purchasing group.
All plans sound preliminary, but the early word is that the existing mall will be razed for offices and retail, with up to 1,000 apartments and condos built at market prices and an affordable housing component that hasn’t been finalized, per the newspaper.
The sale could close by year’s end, followed by demo no earlier than next summer.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away from the mall, Ackerman and Co. is moving forward with an $85-million expansion of the Lee + White warehouse district that could see a new food hall break ground this summer
• Food hall fronting BeltLine's Westside Trail could break ground this summer (Urbanize Atlanta)