Decatur to Sign Contract with Cousins on Callaway Property on Monday

Decatur’s Linda Harris sent around this note last night, which is also on the city’s website…

The Urban Redevelopment Agency will meet at 8:30 p.m. or immediately following the City Commission meeting on Monday, August 5, 2013 in the City Commission Meeting Room to authorize the execution of a contract with Cousins Properties for the sale and redevelopment of the Callaway Building property.

Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne provided this additional detail to DM…

This action is the culmination of a two year process that began when we invited developers to submit proposals. We selected Cousins and then embarked on a two-year journey to get to a final contract with DeKalb County to purchase the property. The County will be leasing back the property for up to 2 years to give them time to relocate the remaining services located in the building.

Menne says that the city hopes to close on the sale of the property in the next month or so.

25 thoughts on “Decatur to Sign Contract with Cousins on Callaway Property on Monday”

  1. Shouldn’t a protest of some sort be started? Aren’t these the same evil industrialists that want to foist a WalMart of this fair town or something like that?

      1. … who are pretty much the opposite of evil.

        (Mister Ira Smarty Britches, you keep that up and we’re not gonna let you in *our* Walmart! :0)

    1. Ira, seriously? You do not even know the plan yet you are ready to protest. Change is not always a bad thing.

  2. I still do not understand why the county has to sell the property to the city so the city can sell it to Cousins.

    1. It’s not that they have to. It just ends up being something that falls under the charge of the DDA, which is to facilitate downtown development in line with our community and strategic goals. Sometimes this involves the city recognizing assets or parcels that are key. The seller might be inclined to sell to anyone, regardless of how much that buyer shares the city’s vision. By purchasing the property, we can reserve sale for someone that will work together towards shared interests.

      It’s fairly common. The building that now houses Starbucks was a DDA purchase, as was the site where the Trinity Triangle project is going to go, and the Avondale Marta parking lots that are moving towards redevelopment.

      1. Oh, now you’ve done it. Now everyone knows the DDA is at fault for allowing a super-mega chain like Starbucks to seep into the downtown heart and sole of the indie culture.

  3. I’d kill for a city park in that spot. Never gonna happen of course, but a small waterpark, trees, grass, basketball courts. What a great place to spend the afternoon in Downtown Decatur. Truthfully, the only options for “something to do” in Downtown Decatur is to spend money somewhere. I mean the toy park is great and all…but give me more!

    1. DM, this absolutely requires a post of its own: Things to Do in Downtown Decatur that Don’t Cost Anything. My guess is that the list is longer than one might think…

    2. That site is fairly large and could accommodate something park-like. I don’t know specifically what Cousins has planned here (though I think there was something on it here before), but they are fully capable of incorporating some sort of public amenity into their designs, though maybe not an amphitheater or huge space. I also remember the city wanting Trinity to be Decatur’s “second main street.” Developing the property with public space certainly supports that goal.

      I assume there will be a public hearing during the design phase. Show up and suggest something.

    3. Isn’t the Decatur Square (just steps away) essentially a park? It’s got a fountain, trees, bandstand, picnic tables.

      1. It’s also pretty small for the amount of people that use it/cross it every day.

        I mean, I can’t practice my chainsaw juggling without nearly hitting some skateboarder or popsicle salesman .

    4. Remember Decatur Rec Center… And Beacon Hill on Trinity is going to have a nice public space courtyard- that also has a “screening wall” for outdoor summer community movie nights…

  4. I think the city desperately wants tax revenue. That’s why getting it away from the County was important. That also explains why the seemingly logical idea to add the property to the DHS campus is a non-starter.

    1. I think the city’s also ready to have that last bastion of ugliness out of the city center.

      Nextup: The McDonalds block. And that bit of Howard between the depot and the ice house lofts.

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