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‘Renewed effort’ – Avondale Estates hotel project has new developer

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‘Renewed effort’ – Avondale Estates hotel project has new developer

An intial rendering of the proposed hotel in Avondale Estates. Image provided by the city of Avondale Estates.

This story has been updated.

By Hayden Sumlin, contributor

Avondale Estates, GA – The hotel and parking deck project in Avondale Estates has a new developer. The Avondale Estates Downtown Development Authority received an update from the developer on Sept. 12.

During the April 2022 meeting, the DDA approved a memorandum of understanding with ForrPlaces for the development of a hotel and parking deck near the city’s Town Green. The hotel development project, along with the Town Green market development and townhome community, encompasses the three projects proposed for Avondale Estates’ Downtown Master Plan.

The development authority moved on from ForrPlaces, the group that originally proposed the project and was slated to develop the hotel and parking garage at Town Green.

“Unfortunately, the financing didn’t end up working for that project,” city spokesperson Ellen Powell told Decaturish.

In July 2023, the DDA held a special called meeting to approve a memorandum of understanding with the new developer, Apsilon Hotels, for the hotel and parking garage project. During the four-month period after the memorandum was signed, the finer details related to the hotel development deal will be ironed out and presented to the DDA.

The project includes construction of just over one acre next to the Avondale Estates’ Town Green. The hotel site is located along Highway 278/ North Avondale Road at the corner of Lake Street. According to the MOU, the development will include at least 90 hotel rooms, a conference room and event facilities, other amenity facilities, ground floor retail, and a parking deck behind the hotel.

The boutique hotel with an accompanying parking garage at Town Green would be Avondale Estates’ first hotel. The parking deck will have at least 240 spaces and be behind the townhomes and hotel, so it won’t be visible from North Avondale Road. Most of the spaces in the parking deck will be reserved for public use to meet the demands of visitors to the park and businesses. About 20 spaces will be dedicated to the townhomes, 60 dedicated to the hotel and the remainder will be public parking, according to the MOU.

The hotel, parking deck, and future townhome developments will be located at 90 N. Avondale Road, 88 N. Avondale Road, 84 N. Avondale Road, 4 Lake Street, and 6 Lake Street.

At Tuesday’s DDA meeting, Apsilon Hotels co-developer, Paul Fialkowski, gave an update on the project’s progress since the summer.

The new hotel developers are going through the feasibility and costing process for design, operations branding, and financing, according to Fialkowski. Because a new memorandum of understanding was signed by Apsilon Hotels, the project needed to find financiers, architects and hotel operators.

Fialkowski hopes that Apsilon Hotels will have secured the necessary development approach to enter into a legally binding agreement with the development authority by the DDA’s November meeting. The MOU is an initial agreement with the DDA, before a legally binding development agreement can be signed.

“At that date, we’re probably going to have a more defined understanding of what works,” Fialkowski said.

One of Fialkowski priorities for the hotel development’s “renewed effort” is to ensure that the parking garage is designed to accommodate all three projects in the Downtown Master Plan – the hotel, the townhome community, and the proposed Town Green commercial development. The parking situation was described as a “collective effort” by DDA Chair Dave Deiters to ensure that community and business needs are met.

“I wouldn’t say there was anything unexpected [at the meeting Tuesday evening], what [Fialkowski] brings is amazing experience, knowledge, and a real common sense approach to things,” Dieters said.

When asked about parting ways with the previous developer, Dieters declined comment.

Deiters hopes that by November the DDA and Apsilon Hotels can enter into a binding legal agreement for the development of the hotel and parking garage, although he said the MOU would be extended if necessary.

“Nothing is locked in until the development contract is signed,” Deiters said.

All parties involved in the development were optimistic that the project was progressing. When completed, the DDA members hope that the boutique hotel will provide additional revenue to the city. Additionally, they hope that the parking deck will drive spending and support retail around Town Green.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the location of the hotel and that the developers were in the due diligence process. The story has been updated with the correct information.

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