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Is Cousins Eying Decatur for Mixed-Use Project?

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Remarkably, the core of downtown Decatur has added zero new rental units since the Ice House Lofts wrapped in 1999, but mega-builder Cousins Properties could be ending that drought. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Cousins has set its sites on a property just north of Decatur High School, at North McDonough Street and West Trinity Place — aka, One Callaway Square. It was considered one of the chief infill development opportunities, in one of Georgia's most livable cities, before the Terrible Economic Sputter crippled its potential like so many others.

While Cousins wouldn't comment and no plans have been filed, speculation is that a new grocery store could anchor the development, with apartments being another possible component, the newspaper reports. A study in 2008 found new apartments were vital in luring younger residents and new employers to Decatur's blossoming downtown area. One official told the newspaper: "We definitely have projects that were approved in the past, right before the economy tanked, that we are beginning to see come back."

That's a reference, in part, to another proposed (and long-shelved) mixed-use project called "Trinity Triangle," located next to Decatur's old-school Dairy Queen. Could all this help bolster Decatur's rep as "Berkeley of the South"?

· Cousins Properties eyes new project in Decatur [Atlanta Business Chronicle]