Edged Out? Business Owners Accepting of What Comes With New Downtown
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David Darondi does not advertise his House of Oriental Rugs business. He says repeat customers and general traffic at the corner of Roswell Road and Mount Vernon Highway account for most of his business, since he opened in 1989.
Sooner or later, Darondi expects development in downtown Sandy Springs will cause him to close.
City master plans include a green space on a triangle at Mount Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road near Roswell Road. The plans are in a conceptual stage, said assistant city manager Bryant Poole, during a City Center open house, last week.
A formal recommendation of the downtown master plan is expected to be presented to City Council in December.
Although he plans to sign a new lease soon, an easygoing Darondi said, “I accept what comes,” adding that the proposed green space may be just the nudge he needs to retire.
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If not a city green space, what comes could be a mid-rise building. Business owners said their landlord Orkin and Associates has had an interest in putting a building on the triangle. Patch has left phone messages with Orkin and the company’s property manager.
“We’ve already been told that once our lease is up, we’ve got to go,” said Glen Banham, who owns Mr. Mattress Factory Outlet. He opened his business on the triangle 12 years ago.
Banham said he would move to another Sandy Springs location.
“I like Sandy Springs. This is a really good location, but it is what it is. If the city wants your property obviously they will take it,” said Barnham. He has two years left on his lease.
Eddie Mobley, has operated Eddie’s Automotive since 1971. Last week he told Patch that he expects any redevelopment to be five to seven years away. He was advised that if it happens sooner, the city may have to buy out his lease and possibly move him to a new location, he said.
Like Darondi, Mobley said he would likely be ready to retire if redevelopment comes in five to seven years.