Best Buy is joining a lengthening list of Atlanta Highway retailers moving their operations to Oconee County’s Epps Bridge Centre.
Oconee County Code Enforcement issued a commercial building permit on Monday for a 30,299-square-foot-building for Best Buy to be located on the east side of the shopping mall, adjacent to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
|Dick's On Left 1/8/2014|
Workers were on the site early today.
Also on Monday, Oconee County Code Enforcement issued a shell permit for construction of 13,200-square-foot-building adjoining the Guitar Center.
That construction will build out the three-building central complex of the strip mall. No tenants are identified in the document for that new building.
Atlanta Highway Store
Best Buy currently is located in a free-standing building at 3898 Atlanta Highway, just west of the Georgia Square Mall.
According to Athens-Clarke County tax records, the Atlanta Highway building was constructed in 1994.
|Best Buy 12/18/2013|
That current Best Buy building is 45,900 square-feet in size, or half again as large as the store Best Buy will occupy in the Oconee County mall.
Old Navy, another of the Atlanta Highway retailers who moved to the Oconee County mall, also downsized its operation with the change. That decrease in space was offset by increases in the sizes of sister stores for the Gap and Banana Republic.
Other Retailers Who Moved
In addition to Best Buy and Old Navy, other retailers who moved their operations from Atlanta Highway are the Gap, Alumni Hall and Pier 1.
Children’s Place also has space at the Epps Bridge Centre, but it has not moved its operation there and continues to be open in the Georgia Square Mall.
The Children’s Place space in the Oconee mall is less than half the space the retailer now occupies in Georgia Square Mall.
The old and new Pier 1 stores are about the same size.
Best Buy Anticipated
The Bishop Company of Atlanta, developers of Epps Bridge Centre, listed Best Buy as a potential tenant in a leasing plan dated Sept. 12, 2012, filed in the Oconee County Planning Department last year.
| Where New Building Permitted |
At that time, according to those documents, the letter of inquiry was in negotiation.
Best Buy, a multinational consumer electronics retailer, is headquartered in Richfield, Minn.
Shopping center developer Bishop has had considerable success in landing the retailers it identified in that 2012 document.
After construction of the building for Best Buy and the shell for the building next to Guitar Center, the only unbuilt part of the shopping center itself will be northwest of the existing Marshall’s.
The company has had less success with the 12 outparcels surrounding the shopping center.
Only one of those is built at present.
Construction of the shell for which the building permit was issued on Monday is expected to be completed by July 30.
That building is valued at $0.9 million, according to the permit documents.