Avondale Estates still waiting on developer to close on property

Avondale Estates is still waiting for South City Partners to close on the East College Avenue property between Sams Crossing and Hillyer Street. South City has planned a mixed-use development for the 3-acre site that includes 196 apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space.

The developer and brokers Ackerman & Co. have been in negotiations with longtime landowner Joe Gargiulo since May 2015. Initially a closing date was set for June 2016, then moved back to last November. On Monday Avondale Mayor Jonathan Elmore said he’s now hoping the closing will be this week.

Ben Campbell, a brokerage associate with Ackerman didn’t want to comment Monday, but said he might have an update late this week.

The project is vital for the city on several fronts. It would mark the official western gateway to Avondale Estates, with city officials hoping it will spearhead further development within the downtown business district.

The city is planning a ceremonial groundbreaking but Elmore said that has now been delayed. South City wants not only to wait until after the closing, but until it has demolished the three existing buildings on the property, including Coyote’s Mexican Grill, which is moving to the old Carpe Diem location in Decatur.