This morning at Design Review Committee, conceptual approval was given to a proposed renovation of the international-style modernist building (above), originally designed as First Federal Savings and Loan headquarters by architect Charles McCauley. The new owner (Synergy Real Estate, LLC) plans a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, including a large outdoor patio with a stage for music. A small corner patio is carved out of the front of the building as well. The owner must return with more detail, and must separately satisfy the Central City neighborhood that noise from any outdoor stage won’t affect nearby residents. The owner’s representative stated that while they have not inked a lease yet, they are in serious discussions with two potential restaurateurs. The Columbus, GA design firm of 2WR prepared the preliminary renderings. The building is at the NW corner of Richard Arrington Blvd. and First Avenue North.
Additionally, the Committee approved the Walgreens concept for their new Clairmont Avenue location, with conditions–meaning the developer must return with revised plans. Among the conditions:
1. Create a more animated facade along Clairmont, relieving the expanse of blank brick currently shown;
2. Provide a main pedestrian entrance on Clairmont, in addition to the side parking lot entrance currently shown;
3. Reconsider the size of signage;
4. Show street context, including the modernist jewel of Henry Sprott Long, which would be overshadowed by the much larger drugstore. The current plan has the drugstore coming to within just a few feet of the side property line, leaving a total of perhaps 6 feet between the two buildings.
Stay tuned for more on both of these projects.
UPDATE: the Walgreens developer Connolly Net Lease and the local architect Blackmon Rogers have sent us the current site plan and Clairmont Avenue renderings (note Henry Sprott Long is located about 6′ to the left, or west, of the drugstore and about halfway back).