Mixed-use development plans are percolating in the heart of Little Five Points that would infuse the quirky shopping district with attainable housing, discreet parking options, new greenspace, and an even greater sense of walkability, according to a redevelopment team.
But the changes will also spell the end for Atlanta nightlife and live music institution Star Community Bar—at least in its current incarnation—which has been rollicking on Moreland Avenue for three decades, the property's new owners have confirmed to Urbanize Atlanta.
Atlanta-based developers Third & Urban have partnered with a company of six local families operating under the name Point Center Partners to own and reimagine a 2.5-acre site where Moreland and Euclid avenues meet in Little Five Points.
Specific plans are still being formulated, but development heads say the overarching goal is to energize the corner with new and existing retail, eliminate its surface parking, preserve the largest building in the neighborhood, and promote the ability for people to live in L5P without a car. Two MARTA stations and multiple PATH routes to the BeltLine are located nearby.
The centerpiece of the property is the Point Center building, where businesses such as Abbadabba's, Bear and Honey Candle, and Native American Handcrafts Art Jewelry operate today.
According to Easements Atlanta, the Point Center building dates to 1925 on a former trolley line and remains the largest structure in the neighborhood, with offices located above retail at street level.
The development team plans to preserve that building and replace parking lots and smaller, underused spaces around it with a mix of housing, to include “attainably priced micro units and walk-up apartments that engage the street.” Shared parking for current and future tenants would be mostly hidden underground, and the cost of parking would be “unbundled from apartment rents so that residents have the option to live without the costs associated with car ownership,” according to an announcement provided to Urbanize Atlanta.
Just north of that, days are numbered for the building housing Star Bar, according to Third & Urban cofounder Hank Farmer.
That structure will be demolished to "make way for a new three-story building with two ground-floor restaurants, a purpose-built basement space that we’ve suggested for Star Bar, and community-oriented office space overhead," Farmer wrote via email. "Third & Urban is looking at creative ways to keep Star Bar here as part of the neighborhood, and we're continuing to have conversations with them about potential options. We would like for them to stay.”
Founded in 1991, Star Community Bar is synonymous with loud, live music, cheap drinks, and comedy showcases, with personality to match its L5P setting. It last closed in 2019 but reopened under new ownership in May last year.
Third & Urban, the development lead, is known for creatively reviving properties around the city by way of adaptive-reuse. Recent projects include Common Ground, home to New Realm Brewing Co. on the BeltLine, and the forthcoming Westside Paper.
“We love spending time in Little Five Points and recognize how meaningful this place is to the community,” said Farmer in a prepared statement. “We are exploring creative ways of keeping the best parts of the site intact.”
The property’s former owners will lease back a school onsite from Third & Urban and Point Center Partners in the short term, but will eventually uproot the International Montessori Academy to the Springdale Park Kindergarten campus on nearby Briarcliff Road, officials said.
“Little Five Points is an incredibly special part of Atlanta, and we see this project as a way to both preserve and improve a signature part of the community,” said Scott Pendergrast of Point Center Partners. “We are especially excited about the opportunity to create more daytime activity here in the form of new living and working spaces that increase safety, bring more feet to the street and maintain Little Five Points’ cultural and architectural integrity.”
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