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The Proposed Mixed-Use Development Across From Athens Regional Is Dead

A mixed-use development on Prince Avenue that actually excited the neighborhood will no longer be happening.

Piedmont Athens Regional spokesman Mike Pilcher confirmed an Athens Banner-Herald report last night that the developers behind the project—Bryan Austin, John Stamm and Trey Wallace—have abandoned it. The project was slated for six acres next to the “flying saucer” Rite-Aid that are owned by the hospital and are currently used as a parking lot.

“The developer was unable to find an anchor tenant,” Pilcher said.

That’s good news for Daily Groceries Co-op, which is planning to move into the upcoming 100 Prince development on the former St. Joseph Catholic Church property. Manager Lisa Merva had expressed concern about having a competitor so close by.

“I am certain that we’ll get some close competition within a few years, but so long as we can get in a new, larger space and get going before it comes, we should be able to weather the extra competition,” Merva said in an email today. “The first few years are tough with new businesses (not technically new, but this is a big change). I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.”

But it’s bad news for the neighbors who gave input for and supported the development, which would have included 48 two-bedroom apartments, a restaurant, several smaller retail spaces, greenspace and a pedestrian connection to Boulevard in addition to a grocery store. 

“It’s a dream scenario,” Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Melissa Link said when the project was proposed in November.

Pilcher has not responded to a question about future plans for the property.