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Northside Tavern to Get Mixed-Use Neighbor on the Westside

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The hits keep coming on the Westside, with the announcement of a three-acre, mixed-use redevelopment along Howell Mill Road where Northside Tavern stands. Plans call for 15,000 square-feet of retail space topped by six floors of fancy-pants apartments, totaling 380 units, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. But for blues lovers, there's no reason to fret; the new building will wrap around the popular dive bar — built as a grocery back in the 1940s — like that hulking friend who's had a few too many and needs to be dragged back home. The move echoes redevelopments announced elsewhere in the city, with tracts of land being cleared of everything except the neighborhood bar. We have transit-oriented developments and park-oriented developments, but could this be the beginning of beloved-bar-oriented developments?

Developer Allen Morris Co. wants to have zoning changed on the site — bounded by Howell Mill Road, Brady Avenue and 11th Street — from industrial to mixed-use. The new development, designed by Dwell Design Studio, will join the growing list of more than a dozen completed or in-process projects along the Howell Mill Corridor on the Westside. If all goes according to plan, the development will be complete in a little over three years.

The preservation of Northside Tavern, which opened in 1972, will "lend authenticity to the neighborhood," Frank Buonanotte, founder and chairman emeritus of Atlanta-based The Shopping Center Group, told the newspaper.

That sounds familiar.

Down in the Highlands, storied watering hole for Georgia politicos (and President Obama), Manuel's Tavern will see its parking lots transformed into a mixed-use development. While up the street the Clermont Lounge is set to be mounted by a chic new hotel. All three projects promise to retain their charms and divey vibes, even as the neighborhood changes. Time will tell if the bar-oriented development trend is: 1. An applaudable way of saving the past while maximizing a property's potential. 2. A convoluted mess of old clashing with new.

· Developer eyes 3-acre project for Howell Mill corridor [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· The Rapidly Changing Face of Atlanta's Western Front [Curbed Atlanta]
· Northside Tales [Northside Tavern]