ATLANTA-Dillard’s Inc., a 64-year-old, Little Rock, AR-based retailer with 336 full-service department stores in 29 states, has signed a letter of intent with Atlanta developer James F. Jacoby and the American International Group of New York to build a three-story, 225,000-sf store at the planned $2 billion, 138-acre Atlantic Station venture in Midtown.

The store is expected to open in early 2004 at an estimated development cost of $45 million or about $200 per sf, area construction industry estimators tell

Dillard’s officials couldn’t be reached at’s publication deadline. But in a prepared statement, Dillard’s CEO William Dilard II says the Atlantic Station site is “a great fit for this fresh approach to shopping in Atlanta.”

In the same statement, Jacoby says, “Dillard’s, and particularly Alex and Bill Dillard, have made a point to take retail to the next level.” The developer says “malls have served America well for the past 40 years, but people are rediscovering the joy of window shopping from the sidewalk, and that’s what Atlantic Station is all about.”

Other retail/restaurant tenants planning Atlantic Station outlets are United Artists Theatre (16-screen cinema), California Pizza Kitchen, Eye Gallery and Marble Slab. Jacoby is also negotiating with Bloomingdale’s of New York and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, AR.

Atlantic Station is being built on the west side of the Downtown Connector. It is planned for 6.5 million sf of office, 1.4 million sf of retail and entertainment centers, three hotels totaling 1,000 rooms and 2,500 homes. SouthTrust Bank of Birmingham, AL and two Atlanta law firms will be the project’s first office tenants in a 17-story, 425,000-sf, $75 million building under construction and expected to open in late 2003.

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