News
  • By Asia Ashley

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McDONOUGH — Developers for the proposed Henry Promenade outdoor shopping mall off Jonesboro Road have confirmed that the development will not be moving forward, at least not any time soon.

“It’s dead,” said Steve Edwards of Stafford Properties, who had filed a rezoning application for the property in late 2015.

Edwards would not go into details about what has transpired since March when the Henry County Board of Commissioners approved rezoning for a portion of the property on 88 acres in the southeast corner of Interstate 75 and Jonesboro Road, north of Mount Carmel Road. He simply stated the development couldn’t get any tenants after working on it for a “long time.”

 

Richard Bell of ReVest, an investment and advisory firm, said that before 2016, those involved in the development planning had been working secure retailer Dillard’s for the outdoor mall. The plan to secure a major fashion anchor would then result in other retailers such as DSW, Steinmart, and H & M following suit, he said. Soon after Dillard’s expressed interest in locating at the mall, the department store’s sales began to “drop significantly,” said Bell.

“This is a unique period that the fashion anchors are in and as we know it is failing,” he said. “Without it, you’re not going to get all the tenants you need.”

Parties had considered locating Belk as an anchor store, but Bell said it would leave an empty building in another area of Henry County, since a Belk department store is already less than half a mile from the proposed mall site.

“If they came to us and said they need a bigger space we would consider it,” said Bell.

 

The Henry Promenade development was proposed to create 890,000 square feet of commercial space to include anchor tenants, specialty retail, restaurants and two hotels totaling 220 rooms, according to project documents. No residential components were included in the proposed development.

Though several news outlets have reported declines in the retail industry, a retail and residential development called Jodeco Atlanta South — planned for Jodeco Road, just one interstate exit north of where Henry Promenade would have been located — appears to still be moving forward.

The city of Stockbridge has been working on a development agreement with Jodeco Atlanta South, which so far only has Cabela’s signed on as a tenant. Bell said he does not consider Cabela’s an anchor store, since it’s not a major fashion retailer, which is typically needed for large-scale projects.

Max Grelier, chief development officer of RCP Companies, which is developing Jodeco Atlanta South, could not be reached for an update on the project.

However, Gina Adkins, whom has spoken to the Henry Herald on behalf of the company for several months, said the company “might have an update in three to four weeks.”

Bell said with many anchor stores, such as Belk, rebranding and changing their models, he plans to stay in communication with potential anchor stores to attempt to rebirth the project at some point.

He added that the Henry Promenade project became more complicated as developers could not get more than 10 property owners to agree to a smaller version of the project. Having one property owner involved for the Jodeco Atlanta South project is the only advantage Bell considers the Jodeco development has.

“That site is ground zero for retail,” said Bell of the Henry Promenade development. “It was the least burden (for infrastructure) for Henry County and creates the most reward.”

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Essay winners earn weekend get-away at Camp Fortson

  • By Heather Middleton

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HAMPTON — Nine Clayton County students gathered at Camp Fortson earlier this month to spend a weekend getting to know each other and becoming better acquainted with nature. Each student earned the trip when they were named the winners of the 2016 Kids Outdoor Scholarship, which required students to write a 250-word essay describing an outdoor activity they’d like to participate in.

This year’s camp was held July 15 to 17. Each essay was required to include at least one activity from the Georgia Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. This “Bill of Rights” describes several activities kids should experience by the age of 14, such as splashing in the water, playing on a team, camping under the stars, exploring nature, learning to swim and catching a fish.

Camp Facilitator Stephanie Berens said the weekend is about getting back to nature and playing outside.

Students participated in several activities like zip lining, canoeing, sensory awareness and wilderness survival.

“The weekend is a great opportunity for kids to experience something they may never have had the chance to do,” said Amy Keeney, marketing and communications officer at Clayton County Parks and Recreation. “It’s just a great opportunity for our kids in Clayton County.”

For more information about how to participate in the 2017 essay contest or the Georgia Children’s Outdoor Bill or Rights, visit www.claytonparks.com/kids-outdoors/ and select scholarship info.

Lake Spivey Community area residents. Please be on alert, recently a home inside of Lake Spivey Country Club, near the entrance, was Burglarized. Numerous items were stolen including guns, electronics, jewelry, and a car from the garage. The auto was later located abandoned on Walt Stephens Road. The homeowners were not home during the intrusion as they were away visiting family members out of state. There is word that the homeowner may have made it known to people in the community that they would be away during this time frame and the alleged thieves may have known about their absence from the property. Please be advised that Clayton County Police Department is investigating this incident and will pursue all leads. If you or anyone you know have any information on this incident, please call Clayton County Police Headquarters where they will gladly accept an anonymous call with information leading to the apprehension of suspects. As a precautionary, please limit the number of people knowing when you and your family will not be at home as this is a clear opportunity for would be thieves to undergo a "crime of opportunity" like this one.