Draft of the city of Dunwoody’s master plan for the Georgetown area. Click the image for a larger view.

As the city of Dunwoody formulates a master development plan to revitalize its southern gateway, the owners of the Georgetown Shopping Center are preparing to start construction in April or May to spruce up the center, one of the oldest commercial properties in the area.

The catalyst for the facelift of Georgetown Shopping Center is that the Kroger supermarket is expanding from 48,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet, according to John Lundeen, president of Coro Realty Advisors, which manages the shopping center.

Lundeen, who took over control of the center in 1977, when it was purchased by a German foundation, said Kroger is expanding west in the center and taking over the space now occupied by Tuesday Morning, which is relocating to another spot in the center.

“There is a lot of movement of involving spaces and tenants,” Lundeen said, but that is only the beginning of what will be a year-to-18-month project and will include streetscapes along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, a new color scheme for the center, and plantings in the parking lot.

“There are a lot of cosmetic changes going on,” Lundeen said.

He said his company had done two or three renovations of the shopping center in the past, but this is probably the most extensive. With this renovation, the center will increase from 127,000 square feet to 148,000 square feet.

The work was approved by the city of Dunwoody in January and the center will be modified, according to Lundeen, to coordinate with what Kroger is doing.

But Lundeen also pointed out that he and his firm have been working hand in hand with the city and its master plan for the Georgetown area.

That area stretches from west of the shopping center to Shallowford Road and north from I-285 to the place Chamblee-Dunwoody and Shallowford roads converge. The master plan area also includes the Brook Run Park area.

The purpose of that master plan process is to enhance the area’s identity, character and appearance as a gateway to the young city of Dunwoody. In fact, the Georgetown area has two major gateways off of I-285 into Dunwoody: Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and Shallowford Road.

Lundeen said the area also is a gateway to Chamblee and also Brookhaven, which lie south across I-285.

Coro also is working with the city in terms of the streetscapes along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and new sidewalks along that stretch of the road.

“We are still waiting on the city to come up with its final concepts for the streetscapes in that area and the sidewalks before we move forward with that work,” Lundeen said. “That probably won’t get implemented until the end of this year or the first of next year.”

He said the renovation of the shopping center will likely take a year or a little longer.

“It depends on how Kroger proceeds on it,” Lundeen said. “At this point, we think they are going to keep the existing store open during construction and work around the expansion. They could decide to shut down, but my opinion is, they will probably stay open.”

Lundeen said the Georgetown store is a successful one for Kroger. “They do good volumes there.” He said. “They are adding a lot of new departments and retail areas” within the new store configuration.

Coro and their financial partner also own the adjacent property, called Chamblee-Dunwoody Office Pavilion, which is primarily a medical office complex. It is south of Springhouse Lane and north of the shopping center.

“We bought it with the prospect of someday incorporating it into the shopping center project, but that never became a reality,” Lundeen said.

One aspect of the Georgetown master plan project is to encourage greater connectivity—bicycle and pedestrian facilities within Georgetown and to other community areas, such as Brook Run, Dunwoody Village and Perimeter Center.

Springhouse Lane could provide one of those connecting routes to the Perimeter Center area.

With the expansion of Kroger and the renovations to the Georgetown Shopping Center and streetscape improvements along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Lundeen said, Coro expects its properties will remain a major focal point within the broader Georgetown master plan area and help provide an improved southern gateway into Dunwoody.

John Schaffner

John Schaffner was founding editor of Reporter Newspapers.