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- 2013 - December - 27th -

Belk construction OK’d in East Arlington

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

A new Belk department store will start taking shape at the Atlantic North shopping center in northwest Kernan and Atlantic boulevards in East Arlington now that the city approved the permit for the building.

Target Contractors Inc., an affiliate of Atlantic North developer Sleiman Enterprises, is the contractor for the $3.5 million shell structure, a 96,323-square-foot building. The city approved the permit Thursday.

The 96,323-square-foot, single-story department store is being built at 11901 Atlantic Blvd. The project comprises 88,973 square feet for the mercantile area, 3,750 square feet for storage, stock and shipping space and 3,600 square feet for the mechanical functions.

BHDP Architecture of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the architect.

Belk confirmed Sept. 27 that it will open a new store at the site in 2015 and that construction is scheduled to begin in July.

Jessica Graham, vice president of communications and community relations at the Charlotte, N.C.-based company, said then that Belk had not made any decisions about other store locations.

That would include the future of the store in Regency Square Mall, which is 3.3 miles west of the new Belk location at Atlantic North, which is anchored by Academy Sports Outdoors and LA Fitness. An Earth Fare grocery store is under construction.

Belk has two other stores in the market – at The Avenues mall and Roosevelt Square.

Regency Square, which was one of the area's first regional malls when built in 1967, has been losing tenants.

The apparent timing of the Atlantic North construction raises questions about when a decision will be made or announced regarding Regency.

Belk's store there is a two-story, 188,800-square-foot store, while the Atlantic North store is one story and half the size.

Rockwood Real Estate Advisors of New York is marketing Regency Square Mall for sale.

The Daily Record reported that Regency's occupancy level dropped to 47.6 percent as of June 30, down from 60.1 percent at the end of 2012, according to a quarterly report from its owner, General Growth Properties Inc., filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Belk's future appears to be critical to the mall, not only for its store traffic but because of its location. Belk is at the center of the enclosed mall and customers use the store as a pass-through from the Penney-anchored wing on the east to the Sears-anchored wing on the west.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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