Avalon's owner takes over Marietta center with plans to renovate

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
Al Urbanski profile picture
The Avenue East Cobb will be upgraded with green space and fine dining.

North American Properties announced that it has acquired a minority interest in The Avenue East Cobb in Marietta, Ga., with plans to elevate its guest services, events, and restaurants to the level it provides at other Georgia properties like Avalon and Atlantic Station.

NAP will now manage the property in a partnership with PGIM, the global management investment business of Prudential, which last year saw The Avenue East Cobb named one of the “Top 10 Comeback Centers” by Chain Store Age. 

Poag Shopping Centers operates another center in Marietta called The Avenue West Cobbwhich was not part of this deal.

New features guests can expect to see phased in at the 230,000-sq.-ft center will be the addition of a central lawn ringed by chef-driven restaurants with patio spaces, a concierge program to aid guests’ shopping and parking, and an expanded events lineup. NAP puts on more than 200 events at Avalon, which is in Alpharetta, each year.

“Lifestyle centers like The Avenue East Cobb were designed to fill gaps in the market--the retail deserts between regional malls--by providing outdoor shopping for the community,” said NAP managing partner Tim Perry. “As these communities have matured around them, they became the center of the community and while The Avenue East Cobb has remained a high-performing asset over the years, NAP sees an opportunity to elevate the destination into a true third place with a modern mix of retailers and restaurants.” 

The center is already home to top national brands that include Lululemon, Sephora, Pottery Barn, and Williams Sonoma. What it’s lacking, according to the new owners, are the gathering places, the fine dining facilities, and the happenings that are the ingredients of a true town center.

“East Cobb is home to an incredible population of families who are looking for places to go and things to do, yet it lacks any resemblance of a downtown,” said Adam Schwegman, a partner and senior VP of leasing at NAP.

Since embarking on an acquisition strategy in December 2019, the Atlanta-based developer has executed redevelopment and repositioning plans at Colony Square in Midtown Atlanta, Newport on the Levee in Newport, Ky., and Birkdale Village in Huntersville, N.C.