Developers seek permits for redevelopment of 2nd Avenue and Hosea Williams
The East Lake Foundation in May announced that the owners of Fellini’s and La Fonda’s restaurants are behind a proposed redevelopment of the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Hosea Williams.
But there’s been little activity at the site and no other news since the announcement, which included plans for a Greater Good BBQ on the northwest corner of the site.
Fellini’s owners Mike Nelson and Clay Harper are partnering with Jay Martin and Nathan Bolster on the project. Martin told Decaturish that the developers are pursuing land disturbance permits for the site.
“We actually just filed for our land disturbance permit for the southeast corner,” Martin said. “That sort of begins the permitting process.”
Martin wasn’t ready to name any other tenants besides Greater Good BBQ.
“We’re actively in discussion with lots of exciting people, lots of interesting folks that would be great for the area and for the neighborhood,” Martin said. “Until we are 100 percent certain, I don’t want to mention specific names.”
He said the timing of the project hinges on the city of Atlanta’s approval of the various permits, making a timeline difficult to pin down.
“A lot of this is out of our hands,” Martin said. “Obviously it’s subject to the time frames on the city’s process. We simultaneously have the southeast and northwest corners moving forward toward getting land disturbance permits. Once we get those permits in hand we can do some site work.”
The Cousins Family (CF) Foundation bought the properties in 2005, but development of the properties was delayed due to the recession. The original press release said the building on the southeast corner will be modified for two new restaurant concepts with outdoor seating and a third smaller restaurant.
Martin said the development team was approved for a zoning variance on Sept. 10 that will allow for the construction of a walkway between the southeast corner parking lot and the East Lake Foundation’s Community Learning Garden.
“That was at the request of the East Lake Foundation and we were eager to make that happen,” Martin said. “So we wanted to tie together our development with the Learning Garden and we were more than happy to incorporate that into our site design.”
Martin said the developers have already purchased one corner of the site and intend to purchase two more.
“We’re purchasing property from the foundation set up by Tom Cousins, the Cousins family, and the Learning Garden is something under the auspices of the East Lake Foundation,” Martin said. “Broadly speaking, all of these foundations have a mission to improve the East Lake neighborhood.”
Martin said there’s a vacant auto body shop on the northwest corner, a vacant 1920’s-1930’s era storefront building on the southeast corner, and a vacant lot next to a single family home on the northeast corner.
“We’re going to preserve the existing buildings on the northwest and southeast corners,” he said. “We’re still trying to figure out if we’re going to preserve the house on the northeast corner. It’s a 20’s or 30’s bungalow style house. It has good bones. We haven’t determined whether it makes more sense to renovate it and put a business in it or start from scratch with the site.”
The investment in the property is expected to be in the millions, Martin said. He wasn’t ready to say when Greater Good and its neighbors might be open for business.
“It’s a very good question, and it depends a lot on how quickly the city moves in the permitting process,” Martin said. “We’re pushing to get up and running as soon as possible. The northwest corner will certainly be the first business to open. We’re moving as quickly as we can.”