Ponce de Leon Place, Decatur GA (pic submitted by Stan)
Ponce de Leon Place, Decatur GA (pic submitted by Stan)
The old Bowen Press building at 312 Church Street is one of the more unique buildings in Downtown Decatur.
For years the building space behind the street front retail locations (Sapori, the coming Brushstroke Sushi Izakaya, Re/Max) has been rather hidden from the general public, serving as an offices for SafeCo Insurance and most recently a temporary City of Decatur office space.
However, we learned with much fanfare late last year that Guy Wong would soon be opening up a new restaurant, Big Boss Chinese, in part of the space off the street. And now we learn – via the Decatur Focus – that Trinity Mercantile & Design is moving into and renovating the space, exposing the old barrel vaulted ceilings.
Trinity Mercantile & Design is also growing. Owners Lisa Turner and Wallace Bryan are moving the business across the street into a bigger location adjacent to Big Peach Running Co. The new store can be accessed from Church Street or Trinity Place. The new space, once occupied by SafeCo Insurance and used for several years as temporary office space by the City of Decatur, takes advantage of the beautiful, historic architecture of the building.
Take a peek inside and feast your eyes on the gorgeous barrel vaulted ceiling they have exposed.
The city goes on to describe the building a “retail and restaurant center that will bring more energy and foot traffic to this side of the square”. The blurb also notes that neighboring Sapori di Napoli will also soon be adding a covered patio.
It sure will be interesting to see this space when it’s all built out.
I recall a good amount of interest from the masses the last time we posted an update on closing the Stone Mountain PATH trail gap back in 2013.
Well, here’s a good bit of news – and some nice history – for all you pedal pushers and sneaker jockeys :-), courtesy of the PATH Foundation…
DeKalb County, PATH, and CSX Railroad are negotiating an agreement that would allow PATH and the County to complete the missing segment of the Stone Mountain Trail between Glendale Road and Clarkston. The discussions are preliminary at press time but all parties are at the table attempting to reach an accord.
In 1992, The old Decatur to Stone Mountain trolley right-of-way was ‘discovered’ by the PATH Foundation founders during their search for a suitable trail corridor that would connect the Olympic venue in Atlanta to the cycle venue at Stone Mountain Park. This lovely, tree-lined corridor stretching from downtown Clarkston to Stone Mountain Village, had been deeded to DeKalb County by Georgia Power Company after being abandoned decades before. Needless to say it was just what the doctor ordered: a continuous, publicly owned corridor that was level and virtually free of obstacles.
The first foot of trail PATH ever poured was on the trolley corridor near the corner of Country Address, just east of Clarkston. A mile of trail was completed at this location and used as the ‘model mile’ to convince potential donors that trails were good and PATH was the real deal.
PATH went on to complete a majority of the trail between Freedom Park and Stone Mountain before the 1996 Olympics. One glaring exception was the half-mile segment west of Clarkston including the bridge over I-285. There were too many issues involved with crossing I-285 and encroaching onto railroad right-of-way for a young, inexperienced nonprofit to resolve in a timely fashion.
The recent negotiations were encouraged by the fact that DeKalb County condemned the edge of the CSX right-of-way for trail development late last year. Rather than continuing the court case, the parties have agreed to pursue a settlement that will allow a trail bridge across I-285 into Clarkston but would exit CSX right-of-way east of I-285. The PATH design team is altering plans to reflect terms of the agreement in hopes the project will move forward. Stay tuned.
Sorry, I should have posted this notice earlier in the week, but it sure sounds interesting!
Tonight at the Decatur Public Works building, you can stop in and learn more about the Avondale MARTA parking lot development. As the invite below states they’ll also be info on “pedestrian and bicycle trail expansions and proposed public amenities.”
Avondale MARTA Station rendering courtesy of MARTA via CityLab
Chadwick sent in this photo from the Decatur Housing Authority’s Gateway Apartments showing that construction fencing has gone up around the site in preparation of demolition and redevelopment as “Trinity Walk”.
An item on the Decatur City Commission’s agenda last Monday regarding the application for tax credits for Phase II of the redevelopment noted that Phase I development was “currently underway”.
Phase I includes building 69 affordable housing units. Phase II will add an additional 52 units. You can see from the site plan below (from this Dec 2014 solicitation document), Phase I will take place at the back of the site, while Phase II will be built closer to the MARTA rail line and West Trinity Place.
Phase I was awarded tax credits back in January.
Construction on the long-awaited downtown Decatur Waffle House – first announced here back in April 2014 – is about to begin.
DM has confirmed with Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne that construction on the renovation of the former Sammiches n’ Stuff/Little Shop space at 515 North McDonough will begin in the next two weeks.
We have also confirmed that Waffle House will remove the false front of the building as part of the renovation and will attempt restore the original brick to its former glory if its still in good shape– similar to the rehabilitation done on the exterior of the Jeni’s Ice Cream space a couple of years ago.
Ms. Menne notes “They are not used to rehabbing and are going out on a limb to meet our request and we appreciate that effort.”
Like many other Waffle House locations around the country, the Decatur location will be open 24 hours.
Logo courtesy of Wikipedia
A recent post on the AJC reported that the three ongoing apartment developments in downtown Decatur (315 West Ponce, Trinity Triangle and Paces Clairemont) would add a total of 600 units to the city.
While 600 new residences in such a short amount of time is certainly interesting – and worth discussion – what’s even more interesting is the bedroom breakdown. (I realize that sort of sounds like a some kind of illicit activity)
Of the 600 apartments being constructed, 70% of them are 1 bedroom. Of the remaining, 29% are 2 bedroom and just 1% are three bedroom.
We followed up with Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne regarding the reason why a city with such a self-destructive appeal for families is building so many 1 bedrooms. She replied…
It’s all about market and pricing but we were also encouraging developers away from larger units for fear of impact on schools. However, the real driver was market.
The market driver explanation is interesting, since the limited case study of the Place on Ponce has shown that there is currently greater demand for 2 bedroom apartments than 1 bedrooms in the current market. (Though as of yesterday, it sounds like all the 1 bedrooms have also leased)
But perhaps that’s a short-sighted view and the real goal of the developers is to cater to the underserved market of young singles and retirees who currently have few options inside the city limits. Regardless, the overwhelming majority of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments is certainly good news for the city’s school system, which is struggling to keep up with rising enrollment.