Avondale Estates back to the drawing board on four city-owned acres

This aerial shows the old Fenner-Dunlop mill district in the center. But to the center-left lies the four acres owned by Avondale Estates, most of which is currently parking. The city’s Downtown Development Authority has created a “process map” for outlining definitive development plans regarding those four acres. Courtesy Avila Real Estate.
Caption
This aerial shows the old Fenner-Dunlop mill district in the center. But to the center-left lies the four acres owned by Avondale Estates, most of which is currently parking. The city’s Downtown Development Authority has created a “process map” for outlining definitive development plans regarding those four acres. Courtesy Avila Real Estate.

Avondale Estates has created a timeline, or “process map,” for outlining definitive development plans regarding the four city-owned acres on North Avondale Road, several blocks west of the Tudor Village.

As Avondale Estates Commissioner Terry Giager pointed out during a special called meeting last week, the city has spent the better part of nine years debating downtown’s redevelopment. Last year alone the city produced eight schemes for the four acres that now seem to have been shelved.

“I’m not sure why we are repeating this process,” Giager said with some frustration. “Why do we have to approach this like we’ve never done it?”

But members of the Downtown Development Authority insist the process map is much different than previous plans, with specific monthly goals and a final objective of delivering a precise plan to potential developers by September.

During the May 3 meeting the general consensus among commissioners and residents is that most don’t want any buildings more than two stories high. Also they want a mix of arts, local business and community spaces.

But there now appears some division on whether the four acres would still feature a town green or some other style of public space.

Mayor Jonathan Elmore said he hopes the commission can unveil “a half dozen” designs during next month’s meeting. Special sessions regarding development are held the first Wednesday of each month.