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Big Changes Afoot In Commercial Heart Of Inman Park

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In the commercial epicenter of Inman Park, the long holiday weekend brought the rollicking finale of Victory Sandwich's current location, and moving trucks swarmed the collection of buildings bounded by Elizabeth Street and Highland and Elizabeth avenues. But the changes have hardly begun. Visible site work should commence any day at the mixed-use project currently known as "280 Elizabeth Street." While true demolition won't begin until Dad's Garage theatre wraps its season at the end of July and heads to a temporary home at 7 Stages Theatre in nearby Little Five Points, it's clear times are a-changin' — and rapidly. What's more, the project's entire public identify should change soon, too.

The principals are JPX Works, a partnership between developers Jarel Portman and Bruce Fernald, who closed on the 3.3-acre property at the end of May. Portman told Atlanta INtown last month the 280 Elizabeth Street moniker is a working title for the project and will be scrapped. The project's official name will be announced soon, Portman said.

In the interview, Portman shed new light on the 200-unit development, which in addition to apartments will offer about 39,000 square feet of retail space. Other features will include a public "water wall" and stripe of green space that connects Elizabeth Street with an existing pond that brims with koi fish. Some key takeaways:

· Portman told Atlanta INtown the retail portion should be an even mix of retail shops and restaurants. The goal, he said, is for residents to park their cars on Friday afternoons and not return until Monday morning.

· Stylistically, apartments will range from studios to two-bedroom townhouses, from a teensy 498 to about 1,500 square feet. Expect a dozen floor plans to choose from.

· For residents, amenities will include a fitness center, clubroom, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, a rooftop terrace lounge and 570 parking spaces, for both homes and retail. Developers have promised the parking deck will be so internalized it will be virtually invisible from nearby streets.

· As for a timeline, Portman predicted the first units will be delivered by next September. Developers expect the entire project will be finished by December 2014 or January of 2015.

When plans for 280 Elizabeth Street finally emerged, a lively discussion ensued on these pages — with commenters generally applauding the project as the next chapter in Inman Park's evolution, or decrying it as a traffic-inducing monstrosity. What say you?

· New apartments, retail coming to Inman Park [Atlanta INtown]
· 280 Elizabeth Development Vision Unveiled, At Last! [Curbed Atlanta]