Prolific Developer Fuqua Plans a Busy 2015

Atlanta Business Chronicle
Amy Wenk - Staff Writer
January 9-15, 2015

On Jan. 5, nearly three years after first pitching a plan, Fuqua Development LLC got a nod of support from Atlanta City Council for Lindbergh Place, a new mixed-use project in Buckhead.

It was a good start to what's sure to be a busy year for the prolific Atlanta developer. The company today has 12 projects in the works for metro Atlanta that spread from East Atlanta to Woodstock, representing more than $1 billion in planned development.

The list includes a coveted spot on the development team for the $400 million mixed-use project that will surround the Atlanta Braves' new Cobb County ballpark, SunTrust Park.

A central focus this year for Fuqua Development is identifying retail tenants for the SunTrust Park mixed-use project. Set to open in 2017, the development could include up to 500,000 square feet of retail space (about the size of a regional mall). It promises to be an exciting mix of first-to-market restaurants, fashion boutiques, entertainment venues and possibly a grocery store.

For Fuqua Development, SunTrust Park represents the "deal of the decade," said Jeff Fuqua, who founded the company with former The Sembler Co. colleague Heather Correa. "For us, this is truly a landmark, legacy project. So, we have nearly doubled the size of our organization and created a separate team to focus on this extraordinary project without distractions to ensure its successful and timely completion."

Among Fuqua Development's other projects are a variety of dense, mixed-use developments, stretching from intown Atlanta out to the suburbs. Many are anchored by grocery stores and include luxury housing.

"The market and shopping patterns of people have changed so dramatically from 2008," Fuqua said. "So far, we have done a good job of morphing and adapting to the marketplace."

The developer on Jan. 7 broke ground on Glenwood Place, an $80 million project in East Atlanta with 162,000 square feet of retail (anchored by a new Kroger store) and 220 residential units.

Also, in January, the company kicked off Sugarloaf Marketplace, a 31-acre mixed-use project in Duluth that will be anchored by Sprouts Farmers Market. In total, it will include 75,000 square feet of retail and 330 luxury apartments.

In March, Fuqua Development looks to break ground on a 52-acre mixed-use project at Cobb and Barrett parkways in Kennesaw. The development would include 202,000 square feet of retail, anchored by Whole Foods, and around 330 residential units.

This summer, the plan is to start construction on the Lindbergh project, which was first proposed by Fuqua Development in 2012 but stalled due to some community concerns. The $110 million project at Piedmont Road, Morosgo Drive and Lindbergh Drive will include an 82,000-square-foot Kroger store, 190 senior apartments and 110 townhomes.

Fuqua Development has additional projects under construction in Decatur, Morningside and Peachtree Corners.

Several other projects are in the planning or zoning stage, including a 17-acre development planned next to Alpharetta's Avalon development. There's another project in the works near Atlantic Station, as well as others in Sandy Springs, Vinings and Woodstock.

While some of the company's projects have met with community opposition initially, what's helping Fuqua Development break through and gain approval from city officials is the company's experience and solid reputation, say its leaders.

In his nearly 25-year tenure with Sembler, Fuqua, along with Correa (a 15-year veteran of Sembler), led the team that developed major Atlanta mixed-use projects such as Edgewood Retail District, Lindbergh Plaza and Town Brookhaven.

As a result of its experience in the market, Fuqua Development has quite the list of powerhouse national retailers in its corner. The company is in discussions with Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Costco, Publix and Sprouts Farmers Market.

As far as financing, Fuqua Development has inked partnerships with Pope & Land Enterprises Inc. and Slokker International. It also brings in outside equity partners including Batson-Cook Development Co., among others.

The company partners with residential developers including South City Partners, Greystar, Trammell Crow Co., AMLI Residential, David Weekley Homes, Mill Creek Residential and John Wieland Homes, among others.

Fuqua Development also has projects in the works in Colorado, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

"These are exciting times for our profession," Correa said. "Today, there are many challenging opportunities for developers who have the experience, the creativity and the courage to dive in. Our team has those qualities and yes, we also enjoy our work."

Jeff Fuqua and Heather Correa: A landmark project this year will be SunTrust Park.