By Rachel Tobin Rmaos, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Yes, the economy is reeling and big real estate deals are getting harder to start. But Atlanta has been sought-after by developers for years. And many projects are moving forward, according to developers and brokers at the International Council of Shopping Centers Southeast meeting this week in Atlanta.
> Disco Kroger: The “disco” Kroger at Peachtree and Piedmont roads will re-open on Oct. 19 as a Kroger “Fresh Fare,” with an emphasis on organic.
> Burlington Coat Factory and LA Fitness: The discount clothier and fitness chain are looking to open new stores in Atlanta.
> Macy’s: The department store is considering smaller stores.
> Toco Hills upgrade: The Publix shopping center in Toco Hills will get a $7.5 million upgrade, thanks to owner Edens & Avant, a Columbia, S.C. developer that has owned the center four years. The mall will get a new facade, new merchants and a redesigned parking lot.
> Apartments: Ram Realty, a Florida-based developer, soon will break ground on 300 apartments near Lindbergh MARTA Station in Buckhead. The 17-acre site includes a PGA Tour Superstore, to remain open through the first phase of Ram’s planned complex called Five Fifteen. Ram raised a $240 million investment fund to buy land and finance projects, according to Casey Cummings, president, and Ken Baye, senior vice president of development.
> Retailers in Hapeville: Jacoby Development is looking for retailers to fill 500,000 square feet of retail space at the former Ford auto plant. Armand A. Vari Jr. with Jacoby said he’s “talking to anybody and everybody” to fill the retail and restaurant space. “We’re being very positive,” he said with a smile, showing a picture of the project. The retail center is slated to open in fall 2010.