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Can New Buyers Breathe Life Into Desolate North DeKalb Mall?

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Amongst the tumbleweeds, vacant storefronts and odd array of shops selling bedazzled Obama sweatshirts and wall art from the 1980s, it's still sometimes possible to sense the ghost of the bustling shopping destination that North DeKalb Mall once was. Built in 1964 at the intersection of North Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway, the 622,297-square-foot mall, which has struggled in recent years, is anchored by an AMC theater, the world's saddest Macy's, Burlington Coat Factory, Ross Dress For Less and until it recently closed, an Applebee's that (no joke) hosted Friday night karaoke with $2 Jell-O shots. Lennar Commercial Investors and Sterling Organization, who recently purchased the property for an undisclosed amount (2013 tax records list the value of the land as $7.75 million and the building as $1.94 million), will attempt to restore the historic mall's former glory by converting it into an open-air shopping experience.

In a press release, Mike Cohn of Lennar Commercial cited the mall's proximity to employers such as AT&T, Emory University, Cox Communications and Kroger and easy access to major thoroughfares as reasons for the purchase, adding, " [A] redevelopment will greatly benefit the high density neighborhoods surrounding the property, including Emory, Druid Hills and Decatur." No timeline has been announced.

According to data from Lennar Commercial's website, the average income near the mall is between $62,429 (one mile radius) and $76,154 (five mile radius), which will certainly help determine the brands that are brought into the new open-air shopping center. Which stores do you hope to see there? Are there any existing tenants that should stay?

· North DeKalb Mall Profile [Lennar Commercial website]
· Lennar, Sterling buy North DeKalb Mall [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Lennar, Sterling buy North DeKalb Mall [11 Alive]
[Image via Google Maps. Plans courtesy of Lennar Commercial.]