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Visions for Vacancies: Jonquil Village

What would you like to see developed at the Jonquil Village site?

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? 

Lissa K. June 01, 2012 at 06:28 PM
At this point I don't care what's there just as long as it's not an empty lot.
anryms June 01, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Condos ok, Lofts or townhomes even better.I would like to see a residential component just not apartments so I am glad they were pulled last time around. As for retail I still hope we can get a Publix Greenwise as the anchor. A few others for the smaller spaces..Goldbergs, Dough in the Box, or just duplicate one of the unique resturants from VirgHighlands (this seems to have worked for AtkinsPark). I just hope we dont end up with the typical Subway, Dry Cleaners, Nail Salon combo like all the other boring strip malls.
JWB June 01, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Agree with anryms comments above. Would definitely prefer a more high-end tenant base. If Publix doesn't work, a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be great. If it gets going I have a business I'd be interested in putting there.
Mike June 01, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Having just visited Americana in Glendale this is what we should build. It was populated with people in the park, vendors busy, tons of stores and restaurants and it was live/work play. Here is a pic below. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kXRx5RKe3j8/ThN6nUQjoGI/AAAAAAAAA8c/-8GewKtg7dU/s1600/Glendale+Americana+at+Brand.jpg The initial plan was underground parking, live, work, play. We do not need to deviate from that plan. It should be a DESTINATION, somewhere for people to look forward to walk to who live in the area. West Village continues to build and do well so I am unsure how anyone can doubt the success of this location. I tire of the same developments in GA. Are we really going to welcome and be happy with ANOTHER Publix that will have a -UPS store -cleaners -chinese restaurant -nail salon WIth the sameness that will turn into abandonment in a few years? I would much rather something incredible and unique built where residents and us city taxpayers can say "well that was worth it" instead of just building another boring/bland development where we just say "oh well at least there is something".
Mike June 01, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Exactly!! We just built a new Kroger with the same strip mall mentality. Its nice and new but for how long? Do we need ANOTHER of the same development, right in the heart of the city?
Mark Wohlin June 02, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I agree with Mike. We do not need another standard strip mall. The West Village appears to be thriving and is an example that the model does work. I would prefer to see the underground parking, live, work, play.
Francie June 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Large health food store with juice bar, eat in/or take out organic meals stocked with loads of fresh supplies (similar to Life Grocery on Roswell Road).....
Merribel McKeever June 03, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I think a mixed use development is best, but I'd be okay with retail only. The biggest thing that would bother me is to see one long strip in the back and a sea of asphalt in the front. It seems Smyrna is trying to become a walking friendly city. I would encourage zero lot line retail at the street with parking around the side and back. I do live in Williams Park and being able to walk to the Market Village has been great. I would like to see more of that with Jonquil Village.
Ms. Massey June 03, 2012 at 07:58 AM
It would be great to have a Whole foods, healthy eating type of places, fitness center, ...agree with Francie's posting
R. Anderson June 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Why apartments, condos, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, health food stores, etc. when you have smoke shops, gas stations, convenience stores, pawn shops, adult novelty stores, title pawn, and payday advance stores.
Smyna Res June 03, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Mark, Branch did West Village which IS thriving. Everyone is complaining that they don't want to send a standard strip mall. It makes me want to beat my head against a wall. They DID submit a plan that would have been great but because of the high end apartment component a small group of Smyrna residents shot it down. Smyrna, you can't get exactly what you want. You will now get a strip development. Enjoy.
Anna Hughes June 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be great. It would also be nice to have a bakery, bagel and coffee shop. I miss Great Harvest Bread that closed - we loved walking there in the mornings and don't really have a good alternative right now.
Lissa K. June 05, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Maybe if Smyrna citizens became more involved with what the city was up to (or not) there would be more alternatives.
Janet Smyly June 05, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I love the idea of having a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I would definitely shop there. We already have 3 Publix Stores in the area...Cumberland Blvd., EW Connector and South Cobb near Pat Mell. Let's get something different for our area...that will make people want to drive to Smyrna and shop. I have to drive to Sandy Springs or Marietta, etc. to find something unique in the way of grocery shopping.
Brian June 13, 2012 at 04:30 AM
High end apartments are fine - but I want to see some condos and townhomes mixed in as well to create some permanent residents. I also want to see some apartments converted to condos as the economy improves (which seems to be happening now) I'd like to see residential more integrated into the development versus off to the side. You can keep the condos there, but how about some townhomes over some of the shops?
A Yankee In Smyrna August 25, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Shopping plazas with grocery stores are not really the greatest walking venues because of the space they take up and the amount of car traffic they create. I don't hold my hopes too high with Jonquil, although I will be ecstatic to have a new grocery nearby. I think Smyrna will truly thrive when Jonquil has it's grocery store and a few shops, the guys who own Smyrna Village lower their egos and rents, so shop owners can actually open something, and Belmont Hills is built with the shops I think everyone is looking for in the above comments. When those two shopping plazas and the new school open this area will really begin taking off. Smyrna is great, can't wait for the next wave of exciting growth.
Amy H August 25, 2012 at 04:40 AM
considering the strength of the rental market, the proximity of two good universities and the shift of highly educated millennials away from home ownership for the foreseeable future, the fight against higher-end rental housing was literally the most shortsighted effort the surrounding neighbourhood could have made, and practically guarantees depressed home values in the area for years to come. (have worked in CRE for more than a decade...i promise you this is true.) apparently williams park residents like looking at a concrete and dirt hole in the ground? i don't really get it, myself. besides, attracting young educated professionals with a toehold into the area via quality rental properties gives them a chance to learn more about and become emotionally invested in the community, which increases the likelihood they'll consider purchasing a home and staying in the area. saturating the market with owner-only housing...it's simple supply-and-demand economics, kids. how did you not know this? it's truly baffling. aside from that, i would love to see a trader joe's or fresh market in the area. trader joe's has been looking for opportunities in the NW suburbs for years, but hasn't found the right one yet. whole foods is far too expensive for the income demographic in this neighbourhood, and wouldnt be successful.
Smyrnan October 23, 2012 at 01:06 PM
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2012/10/22/new-retail-center-proposed-for-decatur.html I bet when that retail center is finished Jonquil Village will still be a vacant lot.
30080 January 26, 2013 at 04:18 PM
The city is selling the 1 acre lot on the corner. Asking price is $1.1M. No gateway park to the city? What happened with Publix?
anryms January 28, 2013 at 03:50 PM
30080 can you be more specific about which 1 acre lot? also word is they are now trying to put a Walmart Grocery Store at the old Jonquil Village. Can anyone shed any light on that?
MS January 29, 2013 at 01:06 AM
http://smyrna.patch.com/articles/jonquil-village-still-on-course ROFLMAO.
MS January 29, 2013 at 01:15 AM
There is a For Sale sign at the corner. Your city leaders should be publicly answering those questions.
Skiime January 29, 2013 at 04:27 PM
It's interesting how we haven't heard a peep about this in months. Remember when the Smyrna Patch actually posted updates about the community instead of rehashing lame articles on how to bake gingerbread cookies on a rainy day? How about some investigative reporting on what's going on with Jonquil Village and Belmont Hills?
Brian February 16, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Like :-)
Brian February 16, 2013 at 09:21 AM
MS, it's free market. Considering we overwhelmingly denied them apartments and overwhelmingly said it has to be mixed-use and won't let them zone their way out of it, then it's a question of whether Branch was really the right match. However, with the real estate market rebounding, I'd expect some activity soon unless Branch Properties are waiting out Belmont Hills to see how that goes. This is a big-ticket development, in the top 10% of these types of developments nation-wide, and things just don't move that fast if we're not midtown Atlanta, L.A., the miracle mile, Miami Beach, Las Vegas strip or Manhatten. This is Smyrna, a small city, on the edge of the high-end part of the metro. So you have to be patient and realistic.
Brian July 24, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Apparently, Branch has committed to retail-only focus recently from a corporate perspective, so it probably isn't only to do with Jonquil Village. With the residential market sizzling in Smyrna, perhaps Jonquil should partner with a 3rd party, like Cortland Partners, to get the residential portion done for them.
Smyrnan July 25, 2013 at 09:34 AM
"With the residential market sizzling in Smyrna" You got that right. And it's only Smyrna. The rest of the Atlanta area is thriving and Smyrna is dying on the vine.
Skiime August 01, 2013 at 11:26 AM
So looks like there's a new rezoning sign in front of the Jonquil Village site. Anyone have any news on this? Would be great if the Patch could find out something.

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