Visions for Vacancies is Smyrna-Vinings Patch's weekly feature that looks at a vacant building and asks readers what they'd like to see there. This is your chance to dream big. If it were up to you, what would you open there?
Normally Visions for Vacancies highlights a vacant structure, but this week’s feature looks at an empty development—Smyrna’s Jonquil Village. Plans for Jonquil Village have changed several times over the years and a new plan is being developed by Branch Properties now.
The original plan called for a mixed use development with high-end condominiums and Publix as an anchor store.Tampa, Fla.-based developer A.G. Armstrong was to complete the project, which won city approval for a $26.2 million tax allocation district subsidy. But when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in early 2008 that it was unconstitutional for local governments to utilize school revenues for TADs, the funding became void and Armstrong was later bought out by Lakeland, Fla.-based Twelve Points Georgia LLC.
Todd Maxwell, the CEO of Century Retail in Lakeland, and Stephen Daniel, who owned the old Jonquil Plaza, formed the partnership of Twelve Points. Jonquil Village was demolished and reportedly at least $17 million was sunk into the development before the economy bottomed out.
There it sat for a few years before late 2010 when Maxwell bought the property out of foreclosure in order to sell it and protect his substantial investment.
Fast-forward and things begin to look up for Jonquil. The property got a new developer, Branch Properties. The firm submitted another mixed use development plan in late 2011 that called for apartments instead of condos. This concerned some of the residents in the nearby Williams Park neighborhood who thought apartments would negatively impact their property values.
and indicated that it would resubmit a retail-only plan. and the site plan was still being developed. At that time Branch indicated that Publix was still interested in the development.
So what would you like Jonquil Village to look like? Do you think retail only is the way to go or would you prefer a mixed use development? Do you think Publix would be a good fit? What other retailers could go alongside it?