With just a skeleton of steel called “the erector set” by residents, Avondale ended its six-year development agreement with Florida-based Century Retail for the planned 375,000-square-foot mixed-use development in downtown Avondale Estates. A victim of the economy, Century Retail filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on its development agreement owing Avondale a completed project and $37,500. The city now waits for the bankruptcy and ownership of the property to be resolved.
“Yes, we want to be proactive,” [Avondale City Commissioner David Milliron] said. “We want to facilitate conversations [with developers]. We really want to get going on some project. But we can’t do anything until we know who the next landowner is.”
DeKalb state legislators will review plans for the cities of Decatur and Avondale to meet at Sam’s Crossing, with 10 properties becoming part of Decatur and 22 going to Avondale. Since 1999, business and property owners within these proposed areas have defeated the cities’ efforts to annex three times.
The owners haven’t changed their stance, but state Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield said she is “encouraged” by talks with DeKalb’s 20 other House members who might support a vote. Ten delegation signatures are required for a House vote.
“We are getting an early start this year,” Benfield said. “I’ve been optimistic that this is the year.”
The DeKalb delegation will review the plan at its next meeting.
The Avondale Estates City Council votes tonight on a conditional permit to allow development of a mixed-use project anchored by Publix at a four-block area just east from its Tudor-style downtown. The public meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Avondale City Hall in North Avondale Plaza.