Project Profile: Bethesda Walk, Lawrenceville, Ga.
DLC Management Corp., based in Tarrytown, N.Y., is one of those savvy shopping center companies that seems to instinctively know what to buy, what to sell, what to redevelop, what to re-merchandise.
And, most of all, DLC knows what will turn a shopping center on its ear.
Bethesda Walk, in Lawrenceville, Ga., on the outskirts of Atlanta, was a fairly typical grocery-anchored shopping center anchored by a Publix and tenanted by a variety of service and retail businesses. In 2009, the Publix store closed, and DLC launched a search for the right anchor to drive the center’s success.
In December 2011, DLC announced it had struck a deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to open a Walmart Neighborhood Market at Bethesda Walk. The new store would be the concept’s debut in Atlanta – and that was a big deal.
Along with the announcement that Walmart Neighborhood Market was coming to town with a 44,271-sq.-ft. store, DLC also revealed that the vacant Publix space would undergo a multimillion-dollar interior and exterior renovation to house the new Walmart.
Metro Atlanta’s first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened in June 2012 at Bethesda Walk – and, said DLC president and CEO Adam Ifshin.
“The opening of the Walmart caused a 180-degree turn in terms of the center’s traffic and sales,” he said. “We had gotten some leasing done at the center prior to the Walmart announcement, but it effectively leased up after the news of Walmart’s impending arrival became public.”
Interestingly, Bethesda Walk wasn’t the first deal that Walmart signed in Atlanta, but it was the first to open.
“That’s about our execution,” said Ifshin. “And we’re proud of that.”
Today, the parking lot of the 68,271-sq.-ft. shopping center remains packed, proof not only that Wal-Mart’s expanding market concept is a winner but also that DLC knows what will transform one of its assets from a solid performer to a superstar.