Could Atlanta's next market-style, mixed-use concept be destined for a long-in-the-tooth stretch of Memorial Drive with pending Beltline connectivity? Well, that's the rumor. According to notes from a recent Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League meeting, the same developer behind Krog Street Market (which would be Paces Properties) has purchased the former Atlanta Dairies complex and is "exploring zoning." Plans would call for a mix of office, retail, apartments and possibly a small entertainment venue similar to Variety Playhouse. Notably, the project would aim to keep the site's "historic buildings and (make) them look like they used to," the meeting notes state. The property, most recently owned by Parmalat, has been abandoned since the dairy closed and has fallen into decay. Online property records don't reflect the sale yet, if it is finalized. (We've reached out to Paces and will update with any further information). It wouldn't be the first time the 10-acre site has been targeted for mixed-use development, but these plans sound more respectful of history, a la two burgeoning markets a little ways north on the Beltline.
Way back in pre-Recession 2008, Atlanta-based developers Brand Properties planned to demolish the Atlanta Dairies building in favor of a mixed-use complex anchored by a large grocery store, like a more compact version of the Edgewood Retail District. That project would have added 350 housing units, too, but when the economy started tanking the plans, like so many others, crumbled.
Last year, a tipster sent word that an unnamed developer was sniffing around the property with renewed interest in razing the whole Atlanta Dairies site and starting with a clean slate. A shame, cried the tipster, because the complex had the true sense of place that's inherent in industrial buildings — not to mention corridors that would make for good dining patios and covered walkways.
Across the street, a new Habitat for Humanity facility has cleaned up another large property. Both sites sit a few steps west of the pending Eastside Trail extension, which is supposed to rev up this autumn. With so much happening in neighborhoods all around Memorial Drive, can it be long before this beleaguered stretch of the corridor really takes off?
[ABOVE: Circa-2012 site images via Google Maps; interior images via Curbed Atlanta tipline.]