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Two years after the Java Monkey burned down, property owner plans to redevelop site

Business Decatur Food

Two years after the Java Monkey burned down, property owner plans to redevelop site

The patio area of the Java Monkey following a fire in November 2018. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Decatur, GA — A November 2018 fire completely gutted the Java Monkey coffee shop on Church Street in downtown Decatur.

The fire was determined to be caused by arson. The case against the suspect in the crime, Rickey Thomas, is still pending.

Now there are signs that the property could be redeveloped. Property owner Joseph Ahlzadeh has a request pending before the Planning Commission. He is requesting a special exception to reduce the required number of parking spaces for the property from two to zero and to allow certain exceptions to streetscape standards for the property.

His application notes there is still street parking available and a MARTA station nearby. The application indicates the property will be demolished and rebuilt, but offers no clues about a potential new tenant. Attempts to reach Ahlzadeh were unsuccessful.

The Planning Commission will hold its meeting virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For information about how to attend the Oct. 13 Planning Commission meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., click here.

Java Monkey was a Decatur institution for over 25 years before it burned down. The fire also damaged nearby businesses that have since reopened.

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