Organic grocery store signed to Emory Point

By Kimber Williams | May 22, 2014

Earth Fare, a North Carolina-based organic and natural foods grocer, has been signed to anchor new retail space being created in the second phase of construction at Emory Point, according to Cousins Properties, Inc., and Gables Residential.

The company, which markets itself as "a healthy supermarket," will lease a 24,782-square-foot space on the ground floor of the new Phase II development, a street-level location along Clifton Road, says Jason Frost, vice president of Cousins Properties.

A mixed-use project launched last year, Emory Point's Phase II is currently undergoing construction on the former site of the Emory Inn, located just south of the Phase I Emory Point property across from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Phase II development will create 40,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space and more than 300 luxury apartments; Frost notes there is already a waiting list for the new apartments.

Although finding a grocery store to serve an urban setting with a strong pedestrian focus wasn't easy, "I think an organic-type grocer fits in very well with the Clifton corridor," Frost says. "We're excited. We think it's a huge win."

Founded in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1975, Earth Fare is a growing chain of more than 30 organic supermarkets that has spread into communities in nine states throughout the Southeast and Midwest. The company currently has two stores in Georgia, located in Athens and near Augusta.

Earth Fare outlets function as full-service supermarkets, offering organic produce, meat and seafood, bread and dry goods, beer and wine, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Company materials indicate the stores are distinguished by their commitment to ban products that contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors and sweeteners, bleached or bromeated flour, and synthetic growth hormones in fresh meat and dairy.

Earth Fare stores also offer fresh food stations featuring items such as pizza, sushi and salad. The company touts a commitment to buying from local producers sourced within 100 miles of each store.

Frost says negotiations are continuing to secure other retailers; the number of added retailers will depend upon their individual space needs, he notes. Earth Fare will take up about half of the scheduled retail space.

Phase I of Emory Point, which opened in fall 2012 with 80,000 square feet of retail space and 443 apartments, received a 2013 Urban Land Institute Atlanta Development of Excellence Award and an EarthCraft Multifamily Certification, which reflects the community's impact on the local area and its commitment to resource-efficient projects.  

Construction on Emory Point Phase II is proceeding on schedule, Frost adds, with retail and residential space expected to open by Spring 2015.