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Published on March 23rd, 2016 |

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Edens considering ‘local’ prospect for Moores Mill Center residential

Edens Southeast Vice President Herbert Ames told a Northwest Community Alliance audience Wednesday night the company is working on a new “local” prospect to build the residential portion of the Moores Mill Shopping Center redevelopment, although he didn’t name the prospect.

Edens Vice President Herbert Ames talks to the Northwest Community Alliance meeting March 16 with display boards behind him of renderings of the project.

Edens Vice President Herbert Ames talks to the Northwest Community Alliance meeting March 16 with display boards behind him of renderings of the project.

He did say, however, that work has begun at Moores Mill. “The buildings are gone. You need to drive by and take a look.” He added he regretted that City Councilwoman Felicia Moore was not able to begin the demolition on the day of the grand opening because of the lack of a city permit.

Moore, who was in the audience at the meeting had been promised by Ames that she would be able to strike the first demolition blow to the buildings with a heavy piece of equipment because of the 18 or more years she had worked on getting this project done, 11 of those with Ames.

Ames also told those assembled at the March 16 meeting, “If we are not creating an impact on the places we are doing business, then we are not doing it right.”

He said Edens is focusing more on urban infill developments now, pointing out that the South Carolina-based company owns 13 retail centers in the metro Atlanta area—six of those in the city itself. Those 13 centers represent 2 million square feet of retail. In total, the 50-year-old Edens owns 125 properties on the East Coast and in Texas.

Ames told the group assembled at the Northside Church of God, 1736 Harper Street, that Edens does not develop residential properties, but “we will control the design of the residential” part of the Moores Mill project, which will include 345 residential units and will include 15,000 square feet of retail space.

The main retail part of the development will include the $5,000-square-foot Publix supermarket, as well as an additional 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. Ames said his company will

Herbert Ames points to aspects of the site plan for the Moores Mill Center redevelopment.

Herbert Ames points to aspects of the site plan for the Moores Mill Center redevelopment.

roll right out of the demolition and site preparation work into working on the Publix.

Ames told the group from the northwest Atlanta neighborhoods, “with the 2,000 residential units under development right now in the corridor, everything is ready to break free around this site.”

He said the retail leasing for the Moores Mill redevelopment is “off to a good start. This is a natural place for a lot of retail to come together.” He expects a mix of a couple of restaurants among maybe 8-10 retail clients at the center.

“We have to balance everything to make the numbers work for success,” Ames said. “If we are not smart, we are not going to listen to the neighborhoods.”

Stating that there were a lot of things to get past over the last 11 years, Ames praised Edens’ phenomenal partners “who have been in the trenches together. This was not supposed to be this difficult,” he added.

“Now it is time to put all that in the rearview mirror and look forward to June 2017,” Ames told the group, referring to the opening date for the Publix supermarket.

Photo from Moores Mill Center groundbreaking of Ames holding his infant son Thomas Dewitt Ames.

Photo from Moores Mill Center groundbreaking of Ames holding his infant son Thomas Dewitt Ames.

(Footnote: Ames did have to correct one thing in BuckheadView’s story about the grand opening celebration. The picture of him with his new child referred to his “daughter.” The child is a boy, which Ames and his wife have named Thomas Dewitt and have given the nickname of Witt.)

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