Three buildings at the corner of Alabama Street and Highway 27 were being demolished this week, clearing the way for the city to seek developers for the land.
The city had bought the property in October, including the former coffee shop, convenience store and chicken restaurant. This week, those buildings were being razed.
City Manager Tim Grizzard told the Times-Georgian on Wednesday he will ask the city council members if they would like to start requesting proposals from area developers for the property. There were no plans for the property when the city purchased the site last year, but he said the city wanted control over what is developed there.
He added anything could be put on the site from a restaurant with outdoor seating to a mixed-use residential development to a hotel.
If the property is not developed by a private investor, Grizzard had told the newspaper the site could be used for a city project.
Grizzard said in October the 2.4-acre property at 105 N. Park St. was bought by city officials for $1.8 million, and city officials could start getting ideas from developers as early as February.
After the city bought the property, he said the three buildings on the property, including the former Handee Mart, Church’s Chicken and 4 a.m. Coffee Roasters sites, would be demolished “immediately.” Crews began demolishing the three buildings on site this week.
Grizzard said a gas station had been planned for the former site of 4 a.m. Coffee Roasters, but he added the mayor and council wanted more control of what gets built on the site.
The coffee shop is relocating to 401 Maple St., Suite B, in the rear of the Maple Street Mansion where South of Heaven used to exist. The owner of the coffee shop announced on Facebook this week that he is hoping to open the doors to customers starting on Jan. 20.
Grizzard said the roof of the original building needed extensive repairs, and the former sites of Church’s Chicken and the Handee Mart had been vacant and boarded up.
“The mayor and council were interested in controlling what goes there,” Grizzard said in October. “That corner is kind of a gateway into the downtown, and they wanted to have some control over what’s going to go there and how things look. It’s close to downtown, right next to the Arts Center, right next to the Marriott Hotel, and we got what we believe is a good buy on the property.”