COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Business, Man

  • Grub Notes: The Lil' Ice Cream Dude Is Getting His Own Store

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    Photo Credit: file

    Beau Shell in 2014.

    Unlike most kids, who tend to be interested in something for about five minutes after you've paid for it, Beau Shell (aka the Lil' Ice Cream Dude) has spent the past five-and-a-half years building his small business.

    He started off with a little cart, out of which he sold popsicles and frozen novelties at events around town, eventually becoming the youngest member of the Athens Chamber of Commerce. More recently, he upgraded to a heavy-duty food-truck-style trailer after a successful crowd-funding campaign. He works nearly every weekend in the hot months and fairly frequently even in the cold ones. He's also only 13 years old.

    On Small Business Saturday, he'll open Cool World, a proper brick-and-mortar store, in the Shops of Ansonborough, on Gaines School Road on the Eastside.

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  • In the Loop: Commission Considers Deal to Sell Parking Lot to Hotel Indigo

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    The Athens-Clarke County Commission will vote tonight on a deal to sell Strong Street and a city-owned parking lot between Strong and Dougherty Street to Hotel Indigo for a development that will include hotel rooms and office space.

    The deal calls for ACC to sell the property to Athens Hospitality Holdings LLC, the company that owns Hotel Indigo, for $3 million. Athens Hospitality Holdings would then build a new five-story development on the property that would include 45 hotel rooms; office space for the ACC Economic Development Department; 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space; 7,000 square feet of coworking space where entrepreneurs and startups could rent desks, offices and conference rooms; a street-level restaurant; a rooftop bar and 60 underground parking spots. Strong Street would be closed and converted into a courtyard.

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  • In the Loop: 8,000-Seat Amphitheater Proposed in Athens

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    A local developer has filed plans for an 8,000 amphitheater off Commerce Road just north of the Loop.

    The plans call for "a large front plaza, terraced turf seating, box seating, covered pavilion seating, concessions, stage, sky suites, office, lodging for performers and service area for performers and vendors," as well as 1,803 parking spaces, according to the Athens-Clarke County Planning Department.

    It will host "mid-range bands" that are too big to play the Classic Center but too small for an Atlanta stadium, said James Warnes, the zoning lawyer for the project.

    The developer is Clint Larkin, a former University of Georgia football player who lives in nearby Carlton and is also involved in the Hyatt Regency under construction next door to the Classic Center, Warnes said.

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  • In the Loop: Hobby Lobby Will Move to Epps Bridge

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Oconee County has issued a building permit for Hobby Lobby in Epps Bridge Centre II, signaling that another big box retailer is leaving the Atlanta Highway commercial corridor for Oconee County.

    The permit is for a 54,947-square-foot building and is the first issued by the county for Epps Bridge Centre II, which is across the Oconee Connector from the existing shopping center at the newly opened Plaza Parkway.

    Hobby Lobby now shares a 87,543-square-foot building on Atlanta Highway at Epps Bridge Parkway with 2nd & Charles and Athens Pool Spa.

    Oconee County also has issued a building permit for a second restaurant in Falls of Oconee, the commercial complex on old Macon Highway opposite Athens Ridge, a student housing complex.

    The county has received plans for construction of a branch office of Robins Financial Credit Union on Mars Hill Road opposite the Oconee Primary School and Oconee Elementary School, just west of the Burger King now under construction.

    Initial plans had called for two fast food restaurants on the property, both with drive through operations. The submitted plans show a drive through for the credit union.

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  • In the Loop: The Eastside Is Finally Getting an Aldi

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    This is what an Aldi looks like.

    German discount grocery store chain Aldi is opening a second Athens location, this one in a shopping center on Gaines School Road near the Cedar Shoals Drive intersection.

    The company filed plans with Athens-Clarke County last week to renovate the 21,000 square-foot space, formerly occupied by Omni Club.

    "At this point, we are working through the process of obtaining permits and hope to begin construction in the next couple months," said Aldi Jefferson Division Vice President Thom Behtz.

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  • In the Loop: Two Story Coffee Loses Its Lease

     

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    Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson

    After years at its location on South Lumpkin Street near the Five Points intersection, Two Story Coffee is moving.

    When renewing their lease, the property manager, Parker and Associates, reportedly decided to go with another bid.

    "It caught us off-guard," said Daniel Luft, Two Story's general manager. The popular studying spot for UGA students now has until the end of the month to pack up and move out.

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  • In the Loop: Potential Costco in Oconee County Put on Hold

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    The future site of Epps Bridge Centre Phase II at the intersection of Plaza Parkway and the Oconee Connector.

    The developers of the expanded Epps Bridge Centre have postponed until some unspecified time in the future construction of the part of the project that was expected to include a Costco membership-only warehouse store.

    In revised preliminary site plans submitted to the Oconee County Planning and Code Enforcement Department on July 31, Oconee 316 Associates LLC of Atlanta split development of Epps Bridge Centre II into two parts, labeled Phase 1 and 2.

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  • In the Loop: Morris Publishing Will Sell the Athens Banner-Herald

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued/file

    The News Building, a tiny portion of which is home to the Athens Banner-Herald.

    Augusta-based Morris Publishing Group has reached an agreement to sell the Athens Banner-Herald to GateHouse Media, the company announced this morning.

    The sale also includes Morris' two other Georgia newspapers, the flagship Augusta Chronicle and the Savannah Morning News, as well as the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and seven other papers.

    GateHouse owns more than 500 small papers, mainly in the Midwest.

    Morris did not disclose the terms of the sale, which is expected to close in October.

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  • In the Loop: Daily Groceries Won't Move Into Larger 100 Prince Space After All

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    Photo Credit: Smith Planning Group

    Daily Groceries Co-op had plans to move into the ground-floor retail space at the 100 Prince development slated for the former St. Joseph Catholic Church property.

    Cobbham co-op Daily Groceries has abandoned plans to move into a much larger 14,000 square-foot space in the upcoming 100 Prince mixed-use development and become a full-service grocery store, its board of directors recently informed owner/members.

    According to an email sent out over the weekend:

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