Erosion control and site clearance of the former AT&T parking lot and storage area has begun, eventually leading to a residential-only development of 136 units. Also underway is an outline (foreground) for extending New Street 250 feet and emptying in front of the new Talley Street Upper Elementary School. Bill Banks for the AJC

East Decatur construction project on hold for now during pandemic

Of several large-scale Decatur construction projects underway, the most intriguing is a 136-unit development facing the New Talley Street Upper Elementary School. This, along with the recently completed Courtland Decatur East, marks the beginning of transforming the east side of Decatur, a light-commercial/industrial precinct for several generations, into a more residential enclave.

The Talley Street development, on hold for two weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is scheduled to resume April 6, although that could change.

Still, the development’s commenced with erosion control and site clearance of the former AT&T parking lot and storage area. The residential-only development covers 7.3 acres with plans calling for 45 stand-alone townhomes (most facing Talley St.) and 91 condos.

Another primary component is extending New Street by 250 feet, ultimately bisecting the project and linking East College Avenue with Talley. New, which has been a dead end for at least a half century, will intersect with Talley right where the elementary school forms an angle. There will be no other roads within the development save for driveways.

John Maximuk, Decatur’s Director of Design, Environment & Construction, estimates the work could take two years, although that’s dependent on a number of factors including the current pandemic.

This development fits into the city’s regulating master plan, approved by city commissioners in 2018, after Decatur had spent years trying to purchase the AT&T property. Among others this calls for a storm water detention pond, a park, a preserved wooded area and trails and extending several other dead end streets, all in the vicinity of the new development.

In 2018 the city also rezoned 66 parcels, or 45.5 acres, in east Decatur (including the old AT&T land) from heavy commercial/light industrial to mixed use

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