Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

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204 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Randall Shearin Successful mixed-use project flls a need among in-town Atlanta neighborhoods, and will soon add a second phase. Emory Point Fills Neighborhood Need W ith the successful opening of its Emory Point project in 2012, Cousins Properties is underway with the development of Phase II of the mixed-use center, adding more apartments and retail to the specialty center. Emory Point sits at an advantageous lo- cation in Northeast Atlanta. It is adjacent to the main Emory University Campus and the headquarters campus for the Cen- ters for Disease Control (CDC). The site itself is on land owned by the university, on a 75-year ground lease to the develop- ers. There are also a number of affluent, established and desirable neighborhoods surrounding the project, including Druid Hills, Morningside and Virginia-High- land. There are about 24,000 students and employees at Emory and the CDC's main headquarters adds to that. Both in- stitutions draw a number of visitors, many of whom stay at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel, located next to Emory Point. Emory Point was originally envisioned as a retail and condominium develop- ment. When Atlanta's condo market be- gan to falter in the late 2000s, Cousins abandoned that idea, taking up multifam- ily instead. It created a joint venture with Gables Residential for the entire project, not just the multifamily. However, Gables handles the residential leasing for the proj- ect and Cousins handles the retail. "This was a prime urban infill mar- ket that was under-retailed," says Darryl Bonner, senior vice president of leasing for Cousins. "National merchants were not looking for suburban markets, they wanted urban infill. This project was per- fect for retail tenants seeking an affluent market with a somewhat captive audience. As developers, the barrier to entry to this market is extremely high." The area around Emory is underserved by restaurants, so from the beginning Cousins wanted to have restaurants as a key part of the project. Phase I contains 80,000 square feet of retail and 443 apart- ments in a multi-story format. Cousins wanted the ground floor to have an iden- tity, so it created an independent feel for the retail from the residential space. Phase I is anchored by several res- taurants, including many popular local restaurants like Marlow's Tavern, Fresh To Order, Tin Lizzy's Cantina, Paradise Biryani Pointe and Chow Mei Mei. Na- tional restaurants Burger Fi and Which Wich are also located at Emory Point, as is a chef-driven restaurant that quickly helped to establish the project: The Gen- eral Muir. Other merchants include Strip- paggio, an oil and vinegar retailer; Lizard Thicket, American Threads, Francesca's and Fabrik, women's apparel concepts; and national merchants LOFT and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. Specialty retailers in- Phase II of Emory Point, anchored by Earth Fare, will open in June. Pictured is the second phase under construction. The General Muir is a chef-driven restaurant that helped define Emory Point as a destination.

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