‘Build the thing’ – Avondale’s Town Green commercial development to begin later this yearA rendering of the Town Green commercial development in Avondale Estates that will front the park along North Avondale Road. Photo courtesy of the city of Avondale Estates.
Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission, at its Oct. 25 work session, discussed the design of the Town Green commercial development. Construction on the commercial development is slated to begin later this year.
“The next step is to build the thing,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said.
The Town Green project includes the construction of four-acres of the land. About two acres are a park and the other two acres are a market pavilion and commercial development. The site is located along Highway U.S. 278/North Avondale Road between Lake and Oak Streets. The park and pavilion have been completed.
The commercial development will be completed in about a year and the Town Green will be fronted with retail space, restaurants, and outdoor seating. The Dale will be a 24,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial development. It is being built by ATG Partners, which is the development team of Fabric Developers, LLC, and Healey Weatherholtz Properties, according to a press release.
Fabric Developers developed the two-acre park portion of the Town Green project. Peter Constructive, Inc. will be the contractor for this $13 million development.
“We’re here ready to close on this and ready to break ground for three reasons,” said Jerry Miller of Fabric Developers. “No. 1 is the compelling of your original vision of building onto your Town Green. [The city] made the investment, we’re building on to it, and without that we wouldn’t be here.”
Miller added as that the developers had seen a $2 million increase in cost at one point. While the developers were able to bring the cost down slightly, the project is still $1 million over where they were in schematic design.
“This is a project that needs to be done,” he said. “We didn’t want to wait. We made the pivots necessary to get to where we are now.”
The original concept of the project is still intact, Miller said, but has been refined.
In 2018, Avondale launched an open, public process to determine the best use of the land. The city received about 13 concepts at the time and moved forward with the concept submitted by resident Sheri Locke, who is a senior architect at SSOE.
“We’re connecting the new mixed-use project and the patio with the playground,” Locke said. “We’re going to have a slide, seat steps, a ramp and a stair that will all connect down and negotiate that grade change.”
The mixed-use development will have two buildings – a west building and an east building. There’s also a paseo, or alley, between the buildings. Each building will be two stories.
“In the east building, which is the bigger one, we have three tenant spaces that will face North Avondale Road, each with a unique storefront,” Locke said. “Entry is unique in each case. They each get a window bay that’s a different size and shape.”
There is also a restaurant space facing the Town Green in the east building. The tenant spaces and restaurant are on the first floor of the building, along with public restrooms. The second floor is planned to be office space.
“We’ve spent the money to prepare the structure, so we can do a variety of things. It could be assembly space, a yoga studio or whatever up there, so office, quasi-retail. There’s some flexibility there,” Miller said.
In the west building, there is one tenant space facing North Avondale Road and there is also a restaurant space facing the Town Green. The second floor will be a covered event space also facing the Town Green. There will be a bridge connecting the second floor of each building.
“That event deck is facing the park, and then restrooms that serve it and the restaurant below,” Locke said.
Locke added that there are several trees and plantings planned for the patio. The paseo will have an outdoor bar as well, connected to the restaurant.
The transition from the commercial development to the park is recommended to be budgeted in the 2024-2025 capital program, Bryant said.
Healey Weatherholtz Properties is working on tenant prospects currently, and there will likely be three food services in the development.
“We’ve got two anchor restaurants and what we think will be a food service component in the east building facing the Town Green,” Miller said.
Commissioner Lisa Shortell said that she loved that through all the changes and budgeting issues, the original concept was maintained.
“I think when people think about the Town Green right now, they don’t realize it’s not completely finished,” Shortell said. “This was always part of the concept and always part of the plan and the final piece that the Town Green needs.”
Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher added that he enjoys seeing all the residents and visitors who come to the Town Green now.
“I’ve been overwhelmed every time we’ve had events at the Town Green,” Fisher said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how active the park has been with nothing there, and really can’t wait until this is done to see what it does full time.”
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