Architect Jack Honderd (green vest) believes the new mixed-use project East will be a catalyst for ensuing development on the city’s east side. On the right is Dillon Baynes, principal partner with Columbia Ventures, the developer that’s putting together East. Courtesy Greg White, city of Decatur

East Decatur Station partner calls new development ‘a real catalyst’

The ceremonial groundbreaking for the mixed-use project East marks the first significant new development in east Decatur in over a decade.

“This is a real catalyst, a jump start,” said architect Jack Honderd, one of three principal partners of East Decatur Station.

EDS opened in 2004, and in the duration he partnership has accumulated 35 acres from New Street to Sams Street that have mostly remained unchanged at light industrial.

Honderd believes that several factors may now collaborate to change that. East, with a proposed 378 market rate apartments, 92 affordable senior apartments and 22,000 square feet of retail/restaurant is one.

Another is City Schools Decatur’s purchase last summer and this fall of roughly eight acres on Talley St./South Columbia Drive, a likely site for a new school. Third is the city’s potential purchase of the AT&T property, also on Talley, where Decatur leaders would like to build a storm water maintenance pond and park.

“I admit, I thought some of this would’ve started happening 8 to 10 years ago,” Honderd said. “But in the end, organic, long term growth is going to be better than planned, forced growth that has to meet a timeline.”

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