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ATLANTA-North American Properties is redeveloping Merchant’s Festival, at the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads, which will bring a Target to the site and increase its size to 220,000 sf. Work is expected to be completed this fall.

In addition to Target, the shopping center will include approximately 50,000 sf of small shop space. At the time the project started, the occupancy level was 53%. When it is completed the center will be 100% leased with new and existing tenants including Pier 1 Imports, Houlihan’s, Starbucks, Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies, Pearle Vision, Fitness Resource, Churchill’s Pub, Bookmiser, European Dry Cleaners, Festival Barber, East Cobb Urgent Care, Massage Envy, Siba Salon and Six Beans.

North American Properties vice president of leasing Tonya Creekmore tells GlobeSt.com that Target had been looking to open a store in this area, which served as an impetus for the project. To accommodate Target, a two-story parking deck is being included in the project. The entrance to Target is on grade with bordering Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads, while approximately 50% of the parking is below ground.

“This shopping center had always struggled with visibility and tenancy issues and often had a dark anchor tenant,” Creekmore says.

Merchant’s Festival opened in 1982, contained 150,000 sf and was anchored by an A&P Supermarket. Despite its location, the center struggled over the years with tenant turnover and marketability due to its design, according to NAP. The new architectural design, completed by Phillips Partnership, incorporates upscale design elements, such as varied building finishes, metal awnings, wall sconces and other ornamental embellishments. About 37,000 sf of the original shopping center will remain intact after the redevelopment.

Merchant’s Festival is located in one of Metro Atlanta’s premier suburban communities, East Cobb, where average household incomes exceed $130,000. As a result of the changes, the shopping center has attracted more upscale tenants. “These are the type of retailers that have been striving to be located here and the type of shops that residents want,” Creekmore says.

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