By Philippe J. Pellerin
Only six months ago, three of Grant Park’s historic buildings looked very different. What were once abandoned and dilapidated buildings at 760 Confederate Ave, 464 Boulevard SE and 330 Ormond St are now charging back to life. This resurgence is due to a growing demand for retail business to service nearby residents. This demand is heightened by a regional paradigm shift towards intown living where walkability mixed with a sense of community are paramount.
The building at 760 Confederate previously served as administrative offices for Bright Beginnings, a former halfway house, and was a retail center that served the immediate neighborhood dating back to the original days of the Atlanta Street Car. After years of disinterest and decay, the building needed a developer with strong ties to the area and a vested interest in seeing it succeed.
The proprietors of Lark and Sparrow, Linda Ercin and Jody Hill-Joiner, had a vision and invited Pellerin Real Estate to the conversation to figure out if the building could be saved. After a lengthy series of investigations, design, permitting and hand wringing, Pellerin Real Estate closed on the building in May 2014 and started construction soon after. Seventeen trees growing out of the back wall needed to be carefully removed, and structural issues needed to be remediated, all while maintaining the charm of the 1920s structure.
During this construction, many potential tenants were interested in opening community-focused businesses in the building. Of course, this is now home to Lark and Sparrow, a natural nail salon and gift boutique. Joining the visionary duo of Lark and Sparrow is Balance Fit Life, a personal training fitness facility committed to the mind, body and health of its clients in a safe, fun and energizing atmosphere; and Ingera, an Ethiopian café from the owners of the popular Grant Park Coffeehouse.
After a nine year struggle to acquire this property, Pellerin Real Estate acquired 330 Ormond Street on April 16. Ormond is a JV partnership with Brandon Ashkouti. In May, construction begins at this 1920s building which once served the immediate neighborhood but fell into a state of decay over the last 23 years. Construction is slotted to take seven months, which will get the quaint retail building across the street from the Ormond-Grant Park back to its former glory and ready for tenant build-out. The property will be made up of four individual suites on the ground level and up to two residential or retail suites on the second level. Anyone with leasing interest for this project may contact Marie Smith at (404) 904-3880 or visit www.pellerinrealestate.com for more information.
In August 2014, the property at 464 Boulevard SE, next door to the BP Gas Station just south of I-20, changed hands. The home, built in 1893, became a commercial building in the 1950s, serving as the offices for the Atlanta Alarm Bell Company. The building appears to have sat mostly vacant from the 1970’s until 2014. Thankfully, much of the original turn of the century Victorian architectural charm remained intact. A rear building constructed in the 1950s is also part of the property. After a lengthy renovation to bring both structures back on-line, the property is now home to Razzle Dazzle Girls, a girl’s party center and salon, and Pellerin Real Estate’s office.
Retail Resurgence in Grant Park
By Philippe J. Pellerin