Brookhaven is set to buy the closed Krystal restaurant on busy North Druid Hills Road for $2 million, though officials do not yet know what will become of the valuable property.
The fast food joint shut down last fall after serving small, square-shaped burgers to customers for almost 50 years.
The half-acre property just north of I-85 will technically be purchased by the Brookhaven Development Authority, a public, nonprofit body that operates separately from the council. The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a $650,000 loan to the development authority to assist with the purchase.
City leaders have not yet decided what they will do with the land, city spokesman Burke Brennan said. The old Krystal is located next to the trailhead for the Peachtree Creek Greenway, a multiuse path that opened in December. It’s also less than a quarter of a mile south of Buford Highway.
“It’s a strategic acquisition for economic development and transit purposes,” Brennan said.
The purchase comes amidst a boom in development along the corridor. Just across I-85, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recently built a massive medical office building and plans to build a new hospital next to it. And Emory Healthcare is moving forward with plans to build a sprawling, $1 billion campus in Executive Park.
Brookhaven’s purchase of the Krystal building “allows the city to be more of an active participant in whatever future development goes in that area,” Brennan said.
Due in part to frequent traffic backups in the area, the city recently conducted a study of North Druid Hills Road between Peachtree and Briarcliff roads to research traffic trends and possible infrastructure improvements.
The Krystal opened in 1973. According to city documents, the property is currently owned by VEREIT, a real estate firm. The property was last appraised by the county at $1.2 million.
The Dunwoody-based fast food chain filed for bankruptcy in Atlanta last month. Krystal shuttered dozens of restaurants in recent months and now has just shy of 300 corporate and franchise locations.
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