The Mall at Stonecrest
|Location||Dekalb County, Stonecrest, Georgia, USA 30038|
|Opening date||October 2001|
|Management||Urban Retail Properties|
|No. of stores and services||120+|
|No. of anchor tenants||4 (3 open, 1 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||1,162,000 sq ft (108,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
|Website||the Mall at Stonecrest|
The Mall at Stonecrest opened in October 2001 on the growing I-20 corridor.
The mall's anchors are Dillard's, JCPenney, and Macy's. Also attached to the mall on the second floor is a movie theater located in the outdoor plaza near the pavilion food court. Across from the tbeater on the opposite side of the plaza is Round One Entertainment. Surrounding the mall area there are other stores and restaurants. This once-successful mall carries many of popular mid-level national retail stores, and is opening new restaurants in its plaza area in 2014 as old ones close. Apartments and condos are also slowly increasing in the area, making Stonecrest a mixed-use community.
This mall was envisioned and planned over 30 years ago. Original opening dates as reported by the AJC included dates in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The mall had names like Turner Hill Mall, Interstate East Mall or Metro East. Each time, there were proposed dates that ended up falling through due to various issues among various developers. One land developer had an issue in the early days of getting retailers to commit (at the time South Dekalb Mall was still thriving). A few times the land was cleared of forest to make way for the mall and then things fell through. Local residents often questioned if the mall was even going to happen. Other things were envisioned for the area as planned by Dekalb County planners to include a convention center, outdoor theatre, mid-rise to high-rise apartment units, MARTA rail station (proposed terminus for the east line), satellite college campus and more. While the county did construct a library (Stonecrest Library), MARTA is currently reviewing plans of the east line rail extension to the mall with a proposed new sales tax, and economic development officials are studying to see if a convention center for the area is still viable. The goal would be to attract private investment with incentives rather than public dollars to build such.
In 2014, the Mayor of the City of Lithonia, Deborah Jackson, proposed three successive plans to annex parts of what are now the City of Stonecrest. The earliest proposal included much of Lithonia Industrial Park, north of I-20. The final, and largest, proposal would have included much of what is now the City of Stonecrest, including Stonecrest Mall; much of the Stonecrest Regional Activity Center; and Lithonia Industrial Park. Numerous business owners in the Industrial Park banded together to fight the proposals. The City Council of Lithonia created a task force of stakeholders to study annexation. Members of the task force demanded that the Mayor of Lithonia, at a minimum, obtain a feasibility study for annexation, as well as demonstrate to owners' satisfaction that annexation would not increase their property taxes. Mayor Jackson could not overcome the stakeholders' objections, and plans for annexation were dropped, thereby making possible creation of the new City of Stonecrest. The cityhood bill went through various legislative hurdles at the Georgia General Assembly and saw a public referendum in November 2016, being approved by 59%, with elections and official municipal incorporation in spring 2017.
The mall and business corridor were previously served by the South Dekalb Business Association. In 2011, the Stonecrest Business Alliance Incorporated was formed to focus on the Stonecrest Overlay District. With the advent of the new City of Stonecrest, the Business Alliance has extended it membership to all businesses in the city. The controversial and sprawling East Metro DeKalb Community Improvement District was created by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in 2014. That CID is chronically underfunded, and has undertaken no projects within the City of Stonecrest other than limited off-duty police patrols in the western fringe of the city. The East Metro DeKalb CID is proposed to be replaced within the City of Stonecrest by the future Stonecrest CID.
In 2006 much of what is now the City of Stonecrest was included in the designation of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area by Act of Congress. The mall is accessible via the Arabia Mountain PATH, which runs throughout the 40,000-acre (160 km2) area. Stonecrest Mall is one example of how businesses and residences can be included in a national heritage area unlike a national park. On March 4, 2017, the mall has opened Round One Entertainment, a bowling and amusement center featuring the latest Japanese arcade games, billiards, karaoke, ping pong, darts, and a restaurant with a full service bar.
Notable News Headlines Involving the Mall
In May 2009, the management instituted its Parental Involvement Program (derisively known in the community as the "anti-teenager policy"), whereby anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult after a 4pm "curfew" on weekends, or be forced to leave by mall security. This was in response to several notable incidences of violence and mayhem perpetrated primarily by teenagers.
In April 2010, an argument over a parking space led to a stabbing and a shooting.
In December 2011, police had to quell a disturbance at the mall on the day of the release of a new Air Jordan limited edition shoe. The mall was to open at 8 AM but at about 7 AM already 200 people were waiting outside. The mall door was pried open and the crowd rushed inside to the door of the store selling the shoes.
In January 2013, it was reported that that mall was "beset by debt issues that could leave it vulnerable to foreclosure".
On November 2, 2017, Sears announced that their location at The Mall at Stonecrest would also be closing as part of a plan to close 63 stores nationwide. The store closed in January 2018, while the former Parisian and Kohl's building that closed on November 1, 2016 became offices for Atlanta Sports City on October 5, 2017.
- Forest City. "Directions Map". Forest City.
- [books.google.com/books?id=cs9UAAAAMAAJ&q=stonecrest+mall+atlanta+opened Urban Land, Volume 61, Issues 1-6, p.45]
- "STONECREST: 4 YEARS OLD AND GROWING: Offices, houses join mix at mall", October 20, 2005, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- "DIVERSITY CLAUSE: Mall at Stonecrest offers black and white Santas (beards are both white)", December 23, 2002, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- http://biscuitstudios.com, Biscuit Studios-. "Keystone Bridge Connects 30 Miles of PATH Trails - Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area". arabiaalliance.org.
- "National Heritage Areas (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov.
- "The Augusta Chronicle: Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Augusta, GA". The Augusta Chronicle.
- "Ugly scene at Stonecrest Mall as people stampede for Air Jordan sneakers", WXIA-TV - 11 Alive news (Atlanta), December 23, 2011
- "Mall at Stonecrest facing debt woes", Greg Bluestein and J. Scott Trubey, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 4, 2013