Toco Hills Promenade Still Working to Fill Empty Storefronts
Roughly seven months after major renovations, the shopping center remains nearly half empty.
If you frequent the Toco Hill Shopping Center, then you probably noticed the section of the center that faces North Druid Hills Road has undergone some major changes. The Toco Hills Promenade, the property that stretches from Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint down to Publix, went through a major redevelopment process that began in early 2010 and finished in October. However, despite major renovations many of the shopping center’s windows remain home to red and white “available” signs.
The property is owned by Edens & Avant, a Columbia, SC, company that owns and manages 124 shopping centers in major urban areas throughout the East Coast. Robbie Robertson, a company spokesman, said the company was appealing to potential tenants by stressing the Promenade’s unique collection of local and national businesses.
“We work really closely with the community to find a merchant mix that’s more reflective of the surrounding area,” he said.
Edens & Avant has a policy of not commenting on any pending negotiations, he said, and he declined to offer more about specific plans to fill the Promenade’s vacant storefronts.
This reporter counted 33 storefronts at the property, 16 of which are occupied and 13 of which are not. Five other storefronts are empty but did not advertise availability.
The recent improvements to the 154,300 square foot, 52-year-old property were substantial. An Edens & Avant press release boasted of a “fresh architectural aesthetic,” including new storefront lighting, green screening and landscaping, a repaved parking lot and pedestrian-friendly walkways and public gathering places.
And while many vacant storefronts remain, new tenants have moved into the shopping center. Goldberg’s Bagel Co. & Deli now serves up fresh-to-order New York style bagels to North Druid Hills shoppers and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt offers self-serve fro-yo. Other new additions to the complex include Dr. Marc Wright, DDS and Leslie’s Pool Supplies. La Parilla, an expanding Georgia Mexican restaurant chain, will move into the shopping center this fall.
Publix, the complex’s largest tenant, also remodeled its store and added curbside service.
Darnall said that all of these changes were aimed at ensuring that the Toco Hills Promenade conveyed a welcoming image to the community.
“In considering our redevelopment options, we wanted to create a place where local shoppers could relax and reconnect with one another,” he said. “With a more inviting atmosphere that was designed to connect with the community, the new Toco Hills will continue to be an essential part of the [North] Druid Hills neighborhood for the next 50 years.”