For years, the 15-story condominium tower sat vacant and slowly fell into disrepair.
Now, developers say they are close to starting construction on a $100 million project that could turn the old building into an active senior living facility located adjacent to Spaghetti Junction.
It’s been almost two years since the developers, Peacock Partnership, obtained permits for the project. But because the building is made up of 243 condos with various owners, Peacock has been purchasing them piecemeal before starting construction.
“It’s a complicated piece of real estate,” said Dean Peacock, the managing principal of the company.
One of the ground-floor condos was owned by DeKalb County. On Tuesday, commissioners approved selling it to Peacock for about $25,800. Now, Peacock said, there are just seven units left in the building that his company doesn’t own.
The building once housed storied Club Europe and the Presidential Hotel. The units were eventually converted into condos, but they have been vacant since 2012 when residents were driven from their homes after an unpaid power bill.
Peacock purchased the property in 2018 for $1.5 million. Before the senior living development was approved, other potential buyers suggested turning the cylindrical tower into a giant Coca-Cola can, apartments, condos, a hotel, student housing or self-storage units.
It sits on Presidential Parkway just south of Spaghetti Junction, visible above the trees from the ramps at the I-285 and I-85 interchange.
Peacock said he is waiting for county staff to review and approve the construction plans.
Developers also plan to pursue an incentive package from Decide DeKalb, the county’s economic development arm, that would allow them to receive property tax breaks, Peacock said.
In the meantime, crews are attempting to clean up the rundown building, which has been a target of vandalism since it was vacated. That has also proved to be a difficult task, since some of the condo units were also used as office space.
They have come across everything from “old sofas and La-Z-Boy chairs to desks and copy machines. They’re all trashed,” Peacock said.
The tower will receive a “full-blown gut on the interior,” Peacock said. He plans to build 400 one-bedroom and studio units for seniors.
In addition to the tower, the property includes 35,000 square feet of one-story building space. That will all be converted into amenities for the community, Peacock said. The facility will have a fitness center, aquatic spa, a “wellness and vitality center,” yoga studios, hair and nail salons and more.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $100 million, Peacock said. He hopes to begin construction by 2020, with work lasting about a year and a half.
“We’re still on track. The train’s just not moving quite as fast as we'd like it to be moving,” he said. “We love the location, we think it's going to be a great asset.”
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