The sterilization of Cheshire Bridge Road kicked up a notch as bulldozers have demolished their way to the front doors of several LGBT bars and businesses on the corridor known for its nightlife.
The redevelopment means Cheshire Bridge's stripper sexy is slowly giving way to apartment sexy – if you're into that sort of thing.
Construction crews tore down Doll House last week (top photo), the straight strip joint that once sat in front of Jungle and across the street from Heretic and BJ Roosters. Before that building came tumbling down, crews had already leveled the longtime Italian eatery Alfredo's and an adjoining service yard for the Georgia Department of Transportation just across Cheshire Bridge (bottom photo).
What's coming are two apartment developments from Westplan – the 198-unit Accent 2050 replaces Doll House and the 239-unit Accent Morningside takes over the Alfredo's parcel.
Westplan, with offices in Atlanta and the Netherlands, picked up the 7.5 acres that made up the Doll House as well parcels behind it that are home to Jungle and four other LGBT businesses – Gravity Fitness, New Covenant Church of Atlanta, Manifest 4U and Club Eros – last year. It quietly assembled and purchased the parcels across Cheshire Bridge in 2015 too.
Apartments at either complex won't come cheap. Via Tomorrow's News Today:
Documentation shows that the firm plans to offer the “Morningside” units, which will reportedly average 871 square feet in size, for an average monthly rent of $1538 per unit.
Units in the “2050” project will come in a little smaller at an average of 812 square feet and a little cheaper with an average monthly rent of $1474 per unit.
Move-ins are expected to start next July for both complexes, with completions in October for Accent 2050 and a month later for Accent Morningside.
Two years later, in mid-2019, Westplan intends to flip both properties, according to Tomorrow's News Today.
With the Doll House demolished, construction will soon start. Plans call for a parking deck at the rear of the property and directly in front of the dance club, as well as a leasing office along Faulkner Road where gay party-goers park and apartments to face Cheshire Bridge across from Heretic and BJ Roosters. Within weeks, construction crews will begin on a retaining wall at the back edge of the property that shares a parking lot with Jungle and other businesses there.
But the redevelopment of the property isn't a concern to owners of the LGBT businesses in the two warehouses. Westplan is renovating those buildings with plans for new roofs, windows and awnings, as well as the addition of sidewalks and improvements to the facades and parking lots. That work provided “a big sigh of relief” to the LGBT business owners, who plan to stay put.
The revitalization of Cheshire Bridge is a controversial topic that fueled an effort in 2013 to push sexually-oriented businesses off the strip. That failed but redevelopment is slowly doing what the city couldn't to the red light district.
But all of the new projects aren't all cookie-cutter apartments. Out of the Closet Thrift Store renovated a building that was once home to one of the first Harley-Davidson dealerships in the 1950s. The facility, at 1858 Cheshire Bridge, now houses a thrift store that also offers HIV tests and a pharmacy as it raises funds for the operations of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The controversial Los Angeles-based agency took over AID Atlanta in 2015 and operates the HIV organization as an affiliate.
Out of the Closet held its grand opening celebration in September.