ATLANTA-Dillard’s Inc. is bullish on metro Atlanta’s retail scene, planning new 200,000-sf stores to open in summer and fall 2004 at the 1.43-million-sf Perimeter Mall in affluent North Fulton County and at the $2 billion Atlanta Station mixed-use venture in Midtown, according to the Little Rock, AR-based merchant.

Dillard’s announcement didn’t indicate the hard construction cost of the new store at the 32-year-old Perimeter Mall at 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road. But area construction industry estimators, experienced in comparable projects, tell the store will probably be built for about $200 per sf or a total $40 million. The gross leasable area is 502,000 sf, according to the mall’s Web site.

Dillard’s will be Perimeter’s fourth anchor, joining the 315,000-sf Rich’s-Macy’s, the 230,000-sf Nordstrom and the 250,000-sf Bloomingdale’s, which is scheduled to open in mid-October of this year.

The new stores will bring Dillard’s Atlanta-area retail portfolio to 1.2 million sf with a total construction value of $240 million, industry sources tell

Dillard’s Perimeter Mall store will be constructed on the former JCPenney store site which closed in 2001. The JCPenney structure will be demolished in July.

Besides Perimeter and Atlanta Station, Dillard’s will have stores at the 1.5-million-sf North Point Mall, the 1.2-million-sf Arbor Place in Douglas County, the 1.3-million-sf Mall at Stonecrest in DeKalb County and the 1.9-million-sf Mall of Georgia in Gwinnett County, the largest mall in Georgia.

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