Developers in the City of Stonecrest say they’ve completed a significant step toward turning the city’s well-known but ailing mall into a lifestyle destination that attracts more than just shoppers—and gives people reason to regularly visit.

Stonecrest Resorts officials report phase two has finished construction at Priví, the 143,000-square-foot transformation of The Mall at Stonecrest’s former Sears department store.

The $4.2-million second phase at Priví adds several wellness-focused and creative tenants, joining phase-one anchor SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium on the mall’s lower level.

Located 20 miles east of Atlanta in DeKalb County, Priví—a play on “privilege” and “privy”—is expected to cost $17 million and span two levels of the former Sears when finished.

The project’s latest additions include: Baldwin’s Literary Social Bookstore, Priví Art Gallery, a coworking space called The Exposure Hub, 101 TKO Radio, Priví Event Center, 3 Degrees Infrared Sauna Studio, Picasso’s Splat Room, The Lion’s Cage MMA & Fitness Gym, and Garden Life Juice Bar.

Modern aesthetic at a Priví entry. Courtesy of Stonecrest Resorts

Interiors of the Priví Event Center. Courtesy of Stonecrest Resorts

Stonecrest Resorts also announced this week that $8.3 million in financing has been secured from Dallas-based Bay Mountain Capital to build what’s planned on the second level: a chef-driven food and beverage hall—or what the curator describes as a “foodie paradise.”

Thirteen concepts upstairs are expected to include Atlanta Breakfast Club, The Original Hot Dog Factory, Dope Coffee, a craft bar, a daiquiri bar, golf simulator suites, and a fine dining restaurant, officials say. (Find short descriptions of each concept here). 

Construction of the food hall is slated to begin this quarter, with an opening pegged for spring next year.

Also in the works is a 10,000-square-foot history and cultural center “designed to educate and stimulate visitors’ interest in African-American 20th-century business, civic, creative, health, and athletic achievements,” according to the development team.

Vaughn Irons, Stonecrest Resorts principal, says the goal with Priví is to carefully curate tenants and shape the adaptive-reuse project to provide “intown amenities within our suburban framework.”

Rendering depicting the planned look of Priví's food hall. Courtesy of Stonecrest Resorts

“We’re excited to assist with financing the repositioning of a suburban mall into a lifestyle center,” Rachel Jones, Bay Mountain Capital’s manager of commercial investments, added in a prepared statement. “Stonecrest Resorts’ experience and business plan provided us full confidence that this project would be a great success.”

Planned events to celebrate Priví’s phase two launch include a May 13 job fair and Mother’s Day concert featuring Grammy-nominated R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn. 

Stonecrest Resorts bought the 15-acre mall parcel—with two buildings totaling 143,000 square feet—from Stonecrest’s Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2020 for $2.1 million. Overall, the project is envisioned as a regional tourism destination and employment hub for Atlanta’s eastern suburbs. It’s expected to eventually create 560 jobs, officials have said.

The project’s first phase, with anchor tenant SeaQuest, opened in late 2021.

See how the second component turned out in the gallery above.


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