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FAIRBURN, GA-Six months in the planning stage, the first phase of the $90-million Fairburn MarketPlace outdoor shopping center is set to break ground in fall 2006 on a 110-acre site at the northwest corner of GA 74 and Milam Road, 18 miles west of Downtown Atlanta.

Chicago-based Landmark Investments is developing what will be Fayette County’s largest retail enterprise. Atlanta Retail Group, a two-year-old company headed by Drew Rutherford, is the project’s brokerage partner. Rutherford tells GlobeSt.com Landmark will probably develop the entire project which includes 13 outparcels.

The city council in Fairburn (Pop. 8,000) approved the first phase of the undertaking Nov. 14. Rutherford tells GlobeSt.com the gross leasing area in the first phase totals 380,800 sf and is comprised of 173,000 sf of anchor space, 100,800 sf of shops, 58,000 sf of theater space and 39,000 sf of developable pads. Surface parking will total 2,618 sf with retail parking allocated at five spaces for every 1,000 sf leased. There will be 800 spaces for the theater.

The second phase will have a total gross leasing area of 509,200 sf. Anchors will take up 359,000 sf; shops, 70,200 sf; and developable pads, 80,000 sf. There will be 3,314 parking spaces. A ground-breaking date for the second phase is still being worked out, Rutherford tells GlobeSt.com.

Closing for the 110 acres is scheduled for December. At that time, Rutherford says he will disclose the price of the land and the name of the seller. Per-sf prices for the outparcels are also being determined.

This is Atlanta Retail Group’s largest project to date, Rutherford says. “We have done much smaller projects in the past, such as a 20,000-sf [center] anchored by Starbucks, Arby’s and BB&T at Hamilton Mill; Eckerd at Stonecrest Mall; and 20,000 sf anchored by Verizon Wireless at Camp Creek MarketPlace.”

Rutherford’s equity partner in Atlanta Retail Group is Aaron Hollis.

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