A development group in East Point is backing away from plans nearly four years in the making that would have transformed a downtown block and incorporated the remains of a long-shuttered car dealership.

Developer John Anderson posted on Facebook this week his firm is listing for sale the blighted, former Cheely Motors Volkswagen building and the rest of the 2-acre site instead of moving forward with mixed-use redevelopment plans.

Anderson’s reasoning is that City of East Point officials were requiring Tri-Cities Building and Land development company to demolish the 16,000-square-foot dealership rather that adaptively reuse the structure, which functioned as a family-owned business between the early 1960s and 1980s.

The two-acre lot on Washington Avenue in East Point, surrounded by construction fencing last year. Google Maps

The developer’s vision for the West Washington Avenue site called for 30,000 square feet of commercial space, between the former VW business and the ground floors of several three-story, mixed-use structures that would have been built from the ground up.

Church and Park streets also border the block. East Point’s MARTA station is about three blocks away, and nearby streets are dotted with new businesses.

According to Anderson’s post, the firm has redesigned the site for a residential-heavy, 110-unit project with market-rate apartments and far less commercial space (5,700 square feet), in hopes another developer will purchase and take over.

The new site plan could be built across three or four phases, per Anderson.

The tentative site plan compiled in 2019 at 1734 Washington Avenue. Tri-Cities Building and Land

When redevelopment plans first surfaced in the spring of 2019, developers called the former dealership site prime for a brewery and café, along with a small business incubator and residential uses. The goal back then was to begin delivering finished buildings in mid-2020.

East Point news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)