Owners of the Jonquil Village development project could be a week away from taking an offer that could finally decide the fate of the stalled project that was originally slated for a spring 2009 opening.
According to attorney Ted Sadler, who represents the owners of the 14-acre property, Todd and Cheri Maxwell of Lakeland Fla., four offers to purchase the property have been formally submitted.
Two additional offers to purchase outparcels of the property along Atlanta Road have been made, as well.
For several years, Jonquil Village had been owned and developed by Century Retail Corporation out of Lakeland, Fla. The $185 million mixed-use project was originally to include 30,000 square feet of office space, 160,00 square feet of retail space along with 300 condominiums and 1,300 deck and surface parking spots.
Century Retail had reportedly invested $17 million of its own money into the project before it stalled due to the struggling economy and the difficulty of retaining construction financing in a tight financial market.
In December, Todd Maxwell, chief executive of Century Retail Corp., essentially foreclosed on himself when he took over the property. The Sembler Company, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based multi-state real estate developer, signed a contract for the property in March, but that contract was never fully executed.
The Jonquil Village property extends northward along Atlanta Road from Spring Road. With no grocery store in operation along Atlanta Road from the Marietta Square to inside I-285, city residents have eagerly awaited an official announcement that a long rumored Publix will be built at Jonquil.
Sadler confirmed that two of the potential developers are indeed “Publix approved” developers, meaning the popular grocery chain is still a good possibility.
As for the other two offers, Sadler said they have been made by local developers and, at the moment, his clients aren’t sure of their intentions with the property. At the moment, Sadler said he is advising his clients on the offers as they learn more about the local developers’ plans and talk with their representatives.
A final decision could be made as soon as one to two weeks from now. “We are just making sure we understand all the offers so we can make an educated decision on which one to accept,” he said.
Another reason for the waiting period is the fact that several other developers are expected to make offers soon. Sadler said that the other potential developers include another that is Publix approved and has done a lot of work in the Atlanta area, as well as an unnamed supermarket developer. As of now, the name of that supermarket has to remain confidential, Sadler said.
But while there’s still a good possibility a grocery store is coming, the condos will not. At this point, the marketing has been for a one-level, in-line retail center with some outparcels along Atlanta and Spring Roads. Century had already done some construction work on the site, but it now appears the massive hole that was created for the subterranean parking deck will be filled in.
If the property owners accept an offer, Sadler said there would have to be a due diligence period of 120 to 150 days before the property would be officially closed on.
So far, Sadler said the Maxwells have had the offers on the table for two weeks but that they are feeling good about the outcome. Sadler explained that the number of offers coming in on the property is certainly a good sign.
“We’ve been fortunate in that regard,” he said.
- Hunt Archbold contributed to this story.