Thursday, October 16, 2014

Former Varsity Jr. To Be Demolished Soon For New Development

New business planned for Varsity Jr. property.

The vacant Varsity Jr. on Lindbergh Drive which closed in 2010 will soon be demolished.  The proposed replacement? A 100,000 square foot, mixed use self-storage facility and retail complex.  90,000 square feet of the complex would be dedicated to climate-controlled storage units with the remaining 10,000 designated for "retail." The "retail" portion would reportedly not be a restaurant as the proposed parking could not accommodate it.  If approved, the proposed four-story complex would have 750 storage units and about 40 parking spaces on 1.4 acres.  

Evelyn & Frank Gordy Family LP is listed as the owner of the property at 1085 Lindbergh Drive. (The late Frank Gordy opened in the first Varsity restaurant on North Avenue near Georgia Tech in 1928.)

According to a permit filed with the city of Atlanta, a "Commercial Quality Control Review" permit was filed with the city of Atlanta on October 6th to demolish the former restaurant.  

The proposal goes before the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) November 6th at noon.  Given the size of the facility, the parking requirement is 167 spaces.  The developer is seeking to reduce the required parking to just 37 spaces, given the bulk of the project is a self storage facility that should have limited parking needs.  

There is, of course, already a storage facility nearby, a Public Storage, on Briarcliff Road near Whole Foods Market.  

A few years back I got wind of a larger development planned for not only the Varsity property but a number of adjacent parcels behind and beside it.  That proposal would have reportedly included a Walgreens Pharmacy, Starbucks Coffee and Trader Joe's.  

Trader Joe's, Walgreens and Starbucks were being proposed at the intersection of Lindergh Drive and Cheshire Bridge Road. This land assemblage would have included the shuttered Varsity Jr. space along with the current BP gas station, Fresh 2 Def, Title Max, Precision Tune Auto Care, Sunny's Cleaners, and the former Bliss, a male strip club.

The redevelopment of the other parcels is reportedly on hold indefinitely.  

What are your thoughts on the former Varsity Jr. being replaced by a storage facility?  If not a storage facility, what would you like to see open there?  If the project does move forward, what would you like to see open in the 10,000 square foot retail portion? 

Please share your thoughts below.   

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

A storage facility is the worst thing I can think of for this corner. Is this a joke? It seems like a total waste of a great location.

Jenna S. said...

I totally agree! Huge disappointment. Just what the world needs...more storage facilities =(

Anonymous said...

Closing the JV was an Outrage, nothing should replace a landmark.

SB said...

How do we stop this from happening?

Anonymous said...

Depressing. I have so many good memories of eating at the Varsity, Jr. There are worse things than storage facilities, but this seems like an especially bad location for one given the mix of retail and housing nearby. Lindbergh and Cheshire Bridge need all of the help that they can get and that does not include storage facilities.

Anonymous said...

Depressing. I have so many good memories of eating at the Varsity, Jr. There are worse things than storage facilities, but this seems like an especially bad location for one given the mix of retail and housing nearby. Lindbergh and Cheshire Bridge need all of the help that they can get and that does not include storage facilities.

Anonymous said...

That would be a good spot for a dialysis clinic, along with an HR Block type of place.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see some sort of invit ing coffee shop or eatery, with outdoor seats. Something that makes the sight inviting and convenient for the neighborhood.
Nan

Anonymous said...

Truly a paucity of decent eating around - try weekend lunch when Little Bangkok and Taqueria del Sol are both closed. Lindbergh is dreadful except for Eclipse de Luna. So miss Cedars of Lebanon. Would have been nice to have a good eating spot.

Anonymous said...

Would be awful to see a storage facility in that space !!!

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace. An Atlanta icon being replace by a storage facility? Is this a dream? This is an epic fail on the part of the Kasim Reed administration. Pathetic that his admin couldn't come to an agreement with the Varsity because of the number of 'curb cuts'. Because of that, this building has been boarded up for 4 years now. And now we're getting a storage facility. This is the city of Atlanta government in action. How embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Seemed like a good spot for a new strip club!

Thendi said...

Storage building is a terrible idea! Ruins the neighborhood. Walgreens and Starbucks would be great!!

Dorothy Sussman said...

You can learn about this issue at the next Lindrudge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association meeting on Wednesday, November 5 at 7:15 pm. The meeting is at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Sheridan Road. Get involved! Come make your voice heard.

Anonymous said...

If everyone who has such "good memories" of having eaten at the Varsity Jr. had actually eaten there more often, it wouldn't have closed, so don't complain. I ate there twice... the food was mediocre at best and the Junior had none of the charm of the downtown location. I haven't and won't miss it. That said, I agree that a storage facility is a bad idea, but so are another damned Walgreens/CVS/Rite Aid megapharmacy or Starbucks. What do I think would be perfect for that location? A new Family Dollar General. That would be perfect for the Lavista/Lindbergh/Cheshire Bridge neighborhood, and there's not one already there.

ELW

Anonymous said...

Freakin minimum parking requirements. Absurd. Real cities with hopes of urbanity have long abolished minimum parking requirements.

AtlantaScooterist said...

This is bullshit. We don't need another gd storage building, and definitely not on a valuable corner.

Theron Sapp said...

Have to correct ELW above. The Varsity Jr. had a steady stream of customers, but closed when the city foolishly wouldn't let the Gordys renovate a 50-year-old building with a modern drive thru. My daughter and I still miss it, and the wonderful folks who worked there.

This is Atlanta - replacing a beloved neighborhood icon with a soulless storage shed.

Kevin said...

This is a terrible idea. There is an extra space storage facility literally around the corner from this location.

Grant said...

A storage facility is a horrible idea and will be an eye sore. Where is Alex Wan during all this? I thought he wanted to improve Cheshire Bridge, not destroy it. It looks like Wan has let us down again.

Anonymous said...

There are actually two storage facilities very close to this location: Extra Space just up Cheshire Bridge and Public Storage around the corner from that on Chantilly. I hardly think there is need of yet another one.

Anonymous said...

A storage facility is a terrible idea for that location. When I was in the Poncey Highland NPU, they wanted to build a Jiffy Lube at the end of my residential street. The NPU voted it down and the city council listened. It's now a townhome community. Hopefully the city will listen to these residents also.

Anonymous said...

I'd like a place where I can get my nails done. And a hobby shop because I really like beads and shiny things. And I would like something that has soft things and things that smell good. Oh, and maybe it should have small animals also and hopefully cuddly ones that don't pee on me.

Anonymous said...

I think we definitely need another Starbucks. The one in the Target and the one at Lavista are more than a mile apart. I really need one in the middle so that I can be a pompous ass every half mile.

Anonymous said...

NO! We don't need it.

Anonymous said...

Terrible idea. Traffic already bad and Amazon would put a small bookstore chapter 11 in 6 months. A restaurant would be great.

Anonymous said...

Theron Sapp:

I stand corrected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varsity

ELW

The Anti-Gnostic said...

@Theron:

That's boring Old Atlanta. We need the New Atlanta! The newer the better!

Like the Georgia Dome--so old and tired! How did anybody expect to win a football game in that musty old thing? Can't wait for the new Arthur Blank Pleasuredome!

3882006a-562b-11e4-aef4-bfa272eba81d said...

I can't think of many options worse than a multi level self storage facility on a RESIDENTIAL neughborhood. There is a facility on Piedmont and one on Briarcliff. This is one of Atlanta's last treasured neighborhoods with mature greenspace and healthy old growth trees. To further commercialize any portion of it is reprehensible, and to consider a storage facility is damaging to the footprint and character of our lovely neghborhood.

Anonymous said...

LOL. If people would stop collecting so much crap they wouldn't need to store it in an eyesore of a building. People spend more money storing crap than the crap is worth...

Anonymous said...

@Atlantan99

Where are you sourcing the plans for a self-storage facility?

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: sourcing,

Information regarding proposed plans for the Varsity Jr. space was retrieved via a number of reputable / verified online sources. I'm sorry for being vague but I don't make a habit of revealing content sources.

Thanks for your comments and readership.

Anonymous said...

The 10,000 sf of retail is just retail to serve the storage facility. That is just window dressing to have it look like it's not 100% a storage facility.

Very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the 'retail' portion is just a UPS Store type of place, mostly selling cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and similar excitement.

Anonymous said...

I hope someone saved the mural with the food characters playing football!

Anonymous said...

VERY disappointing! I've lived in Martin Manor 17 years. Is there anything we can do to block this development?

Anonymous said...

There sure is - buy the property!

Anonymous said...

The Lindbergh corridor has struggled to become a desirable intown area. Finally Martin Manor and Lindridge are seeing the appreciation and desirability they deserve. A storage building is not an attraction or a destination. This should not have a positive impact on this area. Storage facilities belong in industrial areas, not residential.

Anonymous said...

so the Opus stays?

DAN LYNN said...

Blame the city of Atlanta that denied the family's plans to renovate. So the family closed the doors

Anonymous said...

I live close by. Having a tough time mustering up my outrage boner and instincts to boss others around. ¯\_(")_/¯