The death knell tolls for the building where homegrown musical acts like Cat Power, Black Lips, Deerhunter and Janelle Monáe cut their teeth. For those with appetites for destruction, a "Wreck The Walls" party is planned for 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at Augustine's bar and restaurant, which neighbors the former site of Lenny's, a legendary Atlanta dive. Revelers will hoist a drink and watch the demolition of 307 Memorial Drive, a squat building that formerly housed Dottie's Food and Spirits before becoming Lenny's — the so-called "CBGB of Atlanta" — around the year 2000. Kelly Tenedini, Grant Park Neighborhood Association fundraising chair, told Curbed the party will pay homage to the former bar's past, with an eye toward the site's future as a mixed-use development in the new year. "GPNA sees the new building at the old Lenny's bar site as a positive step for smart growth," Tenedini said. "(We're committed) to seeing Memorial Drive thrive as we recover from the recession."
Tenedini said the site's developer will host an unveiling for media and neighbors at the "Wreck The Walls" event. Last we heard, plans called for a $10 million, five-story project with 94 apartments, 6,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space and a small amount of space for offices. Urban Realty Partners told Curbed in September they planned to open the project next summer, pending any delays. That would probably be a stretch now, given that the site isn't cleared.
There's been a lot of plot-clearing activity on Memorial Drive in Grant Park lately, including an entire city block on the other side of Augustine's. We were told that site was cleared as part of a "Clean and Green" initiative by the Atlanta Housing Authority, a means of making the site more usable for future projects.
"We want developers to take a serious look at the benefits, culture, infill sites and historic redevelopment opportunity that this corridor affords," Tenedini said, noting the area's proximity to downtown and the state capitol. "It truly is not just a gateway to our neighborhood but to the city as well."
[ABOVE: The original Lenny's. Photo: AtlantaDailyPhoto]