As a major development project gears up near the Beltline, one business owner took to Facebook last week to express concerns about how the 2-year construction phase would hurt his business.
“Don’t let Camelis Pizza be the next victim of the new intown redevelopment/Beltline paradigm,” George Cameli said in a sponsored Facebook post.
The Kroger on Ponce – infamously known as “Murder Kroger”– is slated to close sometime in the next few weeks while a mixed-use office development known as 725 Ponce is built. No definite date for the closing has been set yet, Glynn Jenkins, public relations director for Kroger in Atlanta, said on Tuesday. The development project containing a new 60,000 square foot Kroger is expected to take two years.
What Now Atlanta reported last week the city of Atlanta has issued various permits necessary to begin demolition at the site.
In his Facebook post, Cameli said Kroger’s planned temporary closing and the redevelopment has already had serious negative effects on Camelis Pizza.
“When shopping center ‘anchors’ like Kroger close it can have dire consequences for the adjacent businesses within that shopping center,” Cameli wrote. “Camelis has been on Ponce for 20 years and I’m happy there is so much interest in the intown neighborhoods that I fell in love with 20 years ago…For me, it would be tragic irony to think that in some way our efforts to help improve our intown neighborhoods may ultimately lead to our demise.”
In a comment on his post, Cameli said he is also worried about an increase in rent once the development is finished.
Cameli said he plans to launch a campaign called ’20 More Years on Ponce’ to bring awareness to the issue. He also urged customers to continue frequenting his business and other businesses in the area while construction is in progress.
725 Ponce will have 360,000 square feet of loft office space that is designed to fit in with the neighboring historic buildings. Its includes roof terraces that will overlook the Historic Fourth Ward Park. The new space is scheduled to open in 2018.