Last week, the owners of East Cobb's one-time premier shopping center, The Avenues at East Cobb, entered into a joint venture partnership with North American Properties. This group is a commercial real estate company that also owns the Avalon development in Alpharetta and has been responsible for the creation or remodeling of many open-air shopping centers around the city.
According to a statement released last week, the goal is to "reposition the open-air retail community." The shopping center will undergo an Avalon-style makeover, complete with the addition of upscale dining, a central lawn, and concierge services for guests. While The Avenue at East Cobb has held many events on-site for years now, including car shows, movie screenings, and holiday-specific activities, the developers intend to redesign the center so that it can better facilitate more frequent events in the future.
The project and resulting renovations will create a downtown-like atmosphere that was lacking in East Cobb and that has grown very popular in surrounding communities including Roswell, Marietta, and Alpharetta. While a timeline has not yet been announced for the project, this type of undertaking has been sorely needed in the area. The revitalization or creation of downtown areas has become extremely popular in surrounding communities and has brought many new businesses and shoppers to those areas. A revitalization of the East Cobb shopping center will create an even stronger attraction to the surrounding communities.
The Avenue at East Cobb first opened in 1999 and was one of the earliest models of an open-air shopping center in the area. The center currently houses a mix of national retailers including Banana Republic, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn, and local businesses including Olea Oliva and Drift House. Like many shopping centers, it struggled last year due to COVID-19 related closures but has steadily been recovering and improving since. With the announcement of this partnership, the center will hopefully receive an additional boost to aid in its full recovery.
North American Properties has quite a successful track record in these spaces. In addition to Avalon, the group was also responsible for the redevelopment and revitalization of Atlantic Station before selling the shopping center in 2016.
Additional details are anticipated in the coming months but much of the East Cobb community has embraced the planned updates as a needed revitalization of the center.
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