With the major holiday shopping done and the new year at hand, The Forum Peachtree Corners is moving ahead with plans announced last year to upgrade the 500,000-square-foot development.
One of the most anticipated changes is the creation of Politan Row, a chef-driven food hall that will further cement The Forum as a desirable destination beyond retail.
“The Politan Group has signed an agreement with us to open a food hall with seven different stalls inside, which is going to be on the North Plaza that we just completed,” said General Manager Sue Storck.
“They’re very chef-driven, smaller concepts. It’s not going to be chains. It’s going to be more locally owned and have a very diverse menu,” she added.
Situated between Aomi, a Japanese restaurant, and women’s wear retailer Soma, Politan Row is the third food hall concept under North American Properties (NAP), the real estate and development firm that owns The Forum.
Trendy new dining options
The nearly 10,000-square-foot structure will also feature Bar Politan, a private event venue, and an outdoor patio in front of the greenspace.
Politan Group is also activating the adjacent jewel box (a stand-alone structure not attached to the rest of the property), housing a restaurant and wine bar separate from the food hall.
According to a news release, the brand will be announced as the project nears completion. Although the chef lineup hasn’t yet been finalized, fans of the concept at Colony Square may see a few familiar faces and fresh, up-and-coming talent.
NAP chose to partner with the Politan Group for its hands-on approach to hospitality, similar to how NAP manages its mixed-use portfolio. Like all other locations, Politan Row at The Forum will ensure top-notch service from entry to exit.
Another factor setting this space apart is its use of Fine China, real silverware and proper glassware.
NAP administration said that the most distinctive characteristic of Politan Group is its design-forward mentality, which focuses on creating elevated dining destinations that draw people in and inspire them to connect over food.
More entertainment options
The North Plaza was completed at the end of October, and the next phase of development is expected to begin by the middle of January. Another larger plaza will be built in the central area of the property between Pottery Barn and seafood restaurant Peche.
“We’ll be adding an LED screen there so that we can host movie nights and do sports on the screen,” said Storck. “We can also have that area for our music performances that we will do again this year. All our events will be hosted in that area.”
The Forum will also add valet parking on a limited schedule at that end of the property.
“It’s going to be the unpaid gathering space for the property,” said Storck. “That Central Plaza area will be a greenspace and central gathering space for the property.”
“There will be furniture and seating out there so folks can just gather and either enjoy time with family or they will be able to partake in our events,” Storck explained.
“We’ll continue to have our live music events and our weekly fitness and children’s events that we’re probably going to bump up to two a month starting in the spring because they have been very successful,” she added.
In the summer and fall, the Central Plaza area will be able to host all those events, along with college football games, family movie nights, and more.
Upgrades to safety
When NAP acquired The Forum, it immediately increased security to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
There are now more officers from the Gwinnett County Police Department and officers from Peachtree Corners’ new Marshal program on the property as well.
“We hire off-duty police for the busy times or for the weekends,” said Storck.
Yet, with the rise in theft, more needed to be done.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2023 National Retail Security Survey, external theft, including organized retail crime (ORC), accounted for an average of 36% of retail sales losses in 2022. Now more than ever, brands and landlords alike are seeking tools to mitigate this issue.
Organizations such as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) are advocating for both through Congressional support for the INFORM Consumers Act and S. 140/H.R. 895, the bipartisan “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023.”
“With our ongoing commitment to revolutionizing the retail real estate industry through technology and innovation, we are proud to partner with local municipalities and law enforcement agencies on curating secure communities for our guests, tenants and employees,” said Jay Richard-Yu, NAP’s director of innovation and digital assets.
“Technology has the power to automate workflows, and binding these assets will provide management with an advanced, interconnected approach toward combating ORC at The Forum,” he added.
Flock Safety’s license plate recognition software
Co-founded by Georgia Tech alumni Garrett Langley and Matt Feury in 2017, Flock Safety is an all-in-one technology solution designed to eliminate crime and keep communities safe.
Flock License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras provide objective evidence to help solve crimes, 70% of which are committed with a vehicle, and prevent potential issues, including shoplifting, parking lot break-ins and vehicle theft.
The cameras capture license plates and vehicle characteristics, not people or faces, and send real-time alerts to security personnel and law enforcement when a vehicle associated with a known offender or endangered person passes the camera.
Flock Safety is trusted by more than 4,000 communities across the country and has raised over $330 million in venture capital from leading firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Axon Bedrock Capital, and Matrix Partners, among others.
Furthermore, the company has recently ranked on the 2023 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and has been acknowledged as one of the top 4% of companies on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list.
The Forum has been equipped with Flock LPR cameras for two years. NAP bolstered the property’s security infrastructure this fall through a public-private partnership with the City of Peachtree Corners, adding 27 external cameras across the site.
Streamlining critical communications with Fusus
To further streamline surveillance and communication processes between the onsite security team and local law enforcement, Fusus has also been integrated into the multi-layered camera system through its proprietary CORE appliance.
Fusus was Launched in Peachtree Corners during the summer of 2019 by U.S. Navy veteran Chris Lindenau, CEO, and U.S. Army veteran Anthony Baldoni, COO.
Fusus is a cloud-based, Real-Time Crime Center and Security Operations platform that extracts and unifies live video, data and sensor feeds from public and private sources, enhancing law enforcement agencies’ situational awareness and investigative capabilities.
Merging resources into a single, efficient and unified stream of information, Fusus allows for policy-based, intelligence-led policing and faster emergency response times.
Fusus currently powers over 250 crisis command centers globally. Earlier this year, the company was ranked 70th on Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies and named a Best Place to Work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
It has also received several Stevie American Business Awards and ASTORS, the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security awards program.
New long-term retailers at The Forum:
- Giulia: Opening this winter
- High Country Outfitters: Now open
- Lovesac: Opening in 2024
- Lululemon: Now open
- Peche: Now open
- Petfolk: Opening in 2024
- Politan Row: Opening in 2024 (seven chef-driven dining concepts)
- Stretchlab: Opening this winter
New short-term retailers at The Forum:
- Auburn Candle Co.
- The Baby Nook
- Gifts We All Want
- Girl Tribe Co.
- Go! Calendars, Toys, and Games
Arlinda Smith Broady is part of the Boomerang Generation of Blacks that moved back to the South after their ancestors moved North. With approximately three decades of journalism experience (she doesn’t look it), she’s worked in tiny, minority-based newsrooms to major metropolitans. At every endeavor she brings professionalism, passion, pluck, and the desire to spread the news to the people.