Decatur Commission sends plans for Callaway Building back to drawing board
The Decatur City Commission on Sept. 21 delivered a subtle message to the developers of the Callaway Building at 120 West Trinity Place: try again.
The commission unanimously and without discussion referred plans back to the city’s Downtown Development Authority for further review. Commissioner Bill Bolling asked if it would affect the timeline for construction of the mixed-use project. Commissioners were assured that further review of the plans wouldn’t create significant delays for the developer, Cousins Properties.
“We’re assuming there’s a relatively large amount of time here,” Mayor Jim Baskett said. “They’re not going to be ready to do any construction for some time here.”
Last month, commissioners balked at approving variances for the project, citing too much residential and not enough commercial spaces in the plans. City Commission candidate John Ridley has called for ending that contract and using the property for the city’s schools, but commissioners have shown no indication that they’re reconsidering a commercial use for the Callaway Building.
The city has an agreement with Cousins Properties to redevelop the 5.25 acre site. The city purchased the property from DeKalb County using $5.12 million borrowed by issuing bonds. Plans for the building go back to at least 2011.
City Manager Peggy Merriss said after the meeting that there’s no guarantee that the plans will be revised.
“(They) could come back and say, ‘You know, we’ve looked at it every which way we can and what we had is the best plan,'” Merriss said.