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SMYRNA, GA-Halpern Enterprises Inc., the family-operated company that owns Belmont Hills, is asking local officials to rezone parcels at the 51-year-old Smyrna shopping center site for the development of 500 apartments, 200 townhomes and at least two restaurants, area retail brokers familiar with the project tell GlobeSt.com. Belmont Hills is a 100%-leased, 486,896-sf discount shopping center.

Halpern officials couldn’t be reached by GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to learn the estimated development cost of the new projects. However, area construction sources familiar with comparable jobs tell GlobeSt.com. the hard construction cost will be at least $50 million.

Once known as the largest shopping center in the South, the discount-focused Smyrna location has added a 203,000-sf Wal-Mart Supercenter to its roster. Wal-Mart will anchor the redeveloped Belmont Hills retail and residential venture at Atlanta and Windy Hill roads, brokers and marketers intimate with the undertaking tell GlobeSt.com. Belmont Hills currently houses Sears Outlet, Rainbow Apparel and Furniture Mall.

According to the company’s website, Halpern Enterprises Inc. was founded by the late Bernard Halpern who started his business career as a neighborhood grocer and later branched into residential real estate, developing duplexes, triplexes and small apartment complexes. In the 1960s, Halpern exchanged his residential properties for shopping centers in metro Atlanta. The company owns 3.4 million sf of retail space at 33 properties.

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