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Project would convert Cumberland Mall parking into apartments, office towers

By Kristal Dixon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

A project to redevelop about 20 acres next to Cumberland Mall will bring more retail space, apartments and offices to this bustling area of Cobb County.

Brookfield Properties’ project calls for building two, 10-story office buildings each measuring 220,400 square feet. They will feature 31,200 square feet of retail space, a parking deck and an apartment building with 312 units and ground-level retail options. The project would also set aside land Cobb County could purchase in the future for a 10-bus transfer station and three-bay fire station.

Attorney Kevin Moore presented the plan Tuesday to the Cobb County Commission on behalf of Brookfield, which owns the mall. Moore said the project would replace an existing large asphalt parking lot south of Cobb Parkway, west of Akers Mill and north of Cumberland Boulevard.

Moore said the project is part of Brookfield’s vision of how the Cumberland Mall area should look over the next 20 to 40 years. Cumberland Mall opened in the 1970s and is still thriving, the attorney said. Moore said the regional shopping destination has become “what I call Cobb County’s own downtown.”

“This isn’t about Cumberland Mall dying,” he said. “What it’s about is how Cumberland Mall survives and thrives for the next decades to comes as it has over the past decades.”

Brookfield Properties’ request to rezone 17.29 acres to accommodate its project was approved unanimously by the Cobb County Commission. Commissioner Lisa Cupid was absent. 

Cobb County in July submitted a Development of Regional Impact review for the project to the Atlanta Regional Commission because of its likelihood to affect areas beyond its jurisdiction. The review assesses how a project aligns with regional planing and the effect it could have on infrastructure. According to documents submitted for review, the project is expected to be completed some time in 2025.

Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the area, said the proposal is an example of a tremendous public-private partnership. He said the county has for years wanted to build a new fire station in the Cumberland area.

Ott said a Cumberland bus transfer station was among the list of projects recommended for approval for state funding by the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority. That makes the site a viable option for the county to consider in the future if it wants to pursue a bus transfer project, the commissioner said.

“I just think that this is a tremendous example of looking forward to the future,” Ott said.