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Changes near Manuel’s Tavern to extend beyond 16 under-construction townhomes

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A Poncey-Highland road realignment and outdoor patio for the landmark watering hole are also in the works

The first rendering for 550 North Highland—although officials note that parallel street parking, as depicted with exotics above, won’t be part of final designs.
The first rendering for 550 North Highland, although officials note that parallel street parking, as depicted with exotics above, won’t be part of final designs.
Rendering courtesy of Selig Enterprises

The southern side of one of Atlanta’s most iconic local businesses is set to change in ways that extend beyond the elimination of a free parking lot.

Selig Enterprises recently lifted the veil on a 16-unit townhome venture called 550 North Highland, which is under construction where patrons of next-door Manuel’s Tavern had been parking for ages. Selig owns the lot and the Manuel’s property.

Between the townhomes and the Poncey-Highland institution, plans also call for realigning Williams Mill Road. Doing so will make for easier right turns for drivers onto North Highland Avenue and create space for a large patio at Manuel’s, Elizabeth Hagin, Selig’s marketing director, told Curbed Atlanta.

Also in the works are streetscape improvements that include sidewalk widening, improved street lighting, and enhanced landscaping—although additional parallel street parking on North Highland, as depicted in the initial townhome rendering, is a no go, said Hagin.

Designed by Atlanta-based architect Jerry Spangler of TSW and constructed by Monte Hewett Homes, the 550 North Highland townhomes began work last month. They’re expected to finish in late 2020.

Expect a patio at this corner soon.
A patio is bound for this corner soon.
Eater Atlanta

Expect partially covered rooftop terraces with city views, options of three or four bedrooms, and square footages ranging between 2,309 and 2,555. Prices are still to be determined.

“We haven’t released any estimate on pricing,” Hagin wrote in an email. “We’ll wait and see what the market dictates.”

Four years ago, Selig bought three parcels from the Maloof family, owners of Manuel’s Tavern, and then completed needed renovations on the bar’s building in 2016. Selig officials say they worked closely in 2018 with the Poncey-Highland Neighborhood Association and city leaders to rezone the property and draft designs.

“We’ve been very excited to work so closely with the Maloof family and with the neighborhood to make sure this project is a welcome addition,” noted Hagin.

At top is the formerly free parking lot where Selig Enterprises has begun construction. Also shown is the current alignment of Williams Mill Road.
Google Maps

Loss of the North Highland lot reduces Manuel’s free parking allotment by 30 percent. But a study had shown that almost one-fourth of drivers using the lot weren’t patronizing Manuel’s anyway, according to tavern owners.

A mixed-use project by developer Green Street Properties planned for the site about four years ago never materialized.

Meanwhile, across the street, a 15-unit project called Freedom Townhomes was announced more than three years ago, with initial expectations of opening in fall 2016. Adjusted timelines provided to Curbed Atlanta since then have not been met, and construction still has not begun.