ATLANTA-Locally based Madison Retail LLC is developing two neighborhood shopping centers, the $25-million, 119,492-sf Royal Lakes Market Place in Hall County and the $25-million, 133,726-sf Covington Market Place in Newton County. Both centers will be anchored by Kroger supermarkets.

Royal Lakes, located at the intersection of Highway 53 and Sloan Mill Road, will feature a 70,225-sf Kroger, 49,267 sf of retail shop space and four outparcels. Leases have not been signed yet, but negotiations are under way with a national coffee retailer, bank and a variety of goods and service retailers for all but 48,000 sf of the space and the four outparcels.

Construction is expected to begin in May with a projected opening in fall 2008. “We don’t like to sign a lot of leases until the center has taken shape,” Madison Retail principal Charles Worthen tells

The neighborhood surrounding the Royal Lakes has a country club and golf course community. It is also close to Gainesville State College, Chateau Elan, Road Atlanta and the Atlanta Falcons training camp. Within five miles of the site, the population has grown by more than 22% and the average household income is $57,000.

Covington MarketPlace, at the intersection of Salem Road and Kirkland Road, will feature a 78,849-sf Kroger and another 54,877 sf of small shop space for restaurants, service providers and other retailers. Negotiations are under way with several regional and local retailers. Construction has started with a projected opening in the fall. Salem Road has been identified as the future transportation corridor connecting Interstate 20 to Georgia Highway 138/20 and is currently being widened from two lanes to four lanes to accommodate population growth.

Worthen adds that both developments are located in high-growth areas. “Kroger had a void in both areas,” he says.

The principals of Madison Retail have been involved with the development of 12 Kroger-anchored shopping centers totaling 2.25 million sf. The company currently has more than 550,000 sf of mixed-use and retail space under development.

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