August 28, 2010
“Our success is possible because we have always stressed excellent service, great food and affordable prices for families.” David Holt, shown with son Anthony, opened the first daVido’s $3.75 Pizza in 1994.
Convention center for Stonecrest? STONECREST,
could invest a fraction of what they were going to at the GM site and realize more benefits quicker at Stonecrest.” Stokes, who said that Stonecrest did come up in discussions for the stimulus funds but that the money has restrictions placed on it that excludes the area. The commission at the end of the South DeKalb county is definitely a candidate for “spurred” development and has the potential to generate the 9,000 jobs extolled so pasPizza lovers will have another location to order daVido’s $3.75 sionately by Ellis, Stokes, and pizza with the Aug. 28 and 29 grand opening of its newest store, Commissioner Kathie Gannon, at 4834 Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur. whose District 6 includes por- Commissioner Lee May is working on a proposal for a convention center that could Customers who take part in the festivities will have a shot at go on vacant land between the hotels at Stonecrest and Mall Parkway. tions of area. winning a flat-screen television. The first 100 customers to visit What does the South have going for it besides lots of body agrees the concept will work. on Aug. 28 will receive a free 10-inch cheese pizza. He is looking to have his proposal ready for Dec. 31, ready-to-develop land? DaVido’s, which serves hot wings, Philly cheesesteak sandwichthe final deadline for access stimulus funds. n It’s served by two interstates – I-20 and I-285. es, salads and soft drinks in addition to pizza, also is celebrating He has discussed it wit h the mall’s owners, Cadillac n Location – Stonecrest is regional, attracting shoppers the reopening of its Snellville location at 4017 Annistown Road from Rockdale, Newton, Gwinnett and Henry coun- Fairview and said they are excited about it. this month. Bieler said a convention center is a viable option for ties. The new Flat Shoals eatery will be operated by managing partStonecrest. n Transit is coming – Many people are pushing to get ners Tonia Fleming and Tiffany Godbolt, both former employees. “It would bring more visitors MARTA rail out to Stonecrest within our lifetime. The Snellville site will be operated by Carlos and Lana Frye, also and more opportunities for high n The Stonecrest trade area includes more than 970,000 former employees. rise hotels for visitors,” he said. people. Over the next few months, the locations will create 15 to 20 May points to the expansion n Land there is competitively priced. jobs. of the Stonecrest Overlay District May is working on a proposal for a convention cenDavid Holt developed the restaurant concept in 1994 and and said he and District 3 Commister that could go on acres of vacant land at Stonecrest opened the first daVido’s $3.75 Pizza on Covington Highway in sioner Larry Johnson are pushing between the hotels and Mall Parkway. Lithonia. for the development of a Stonecrest He says he is after the SMERF market – Social, After 16 years, two best-pizza awards, and thousands of free CID. Military, Education, Religion and Faternal – and is not Donald Bieler pizzas to A and B honor roll students, Holt has seen daVido’s He also see transit in the area’s looking to compete with the Georgia World Congress grow from a popular neighborhood restaurant to a well-known future. Center. community business that exceeded its highest sales records during MARTA rail will get to Stonecrest,” he said. “It’s a top “We are looking at a 100,000- to 150,000-square-foot the country’s economic crisis last year. center with exhibition hall, meeting conference rooms priority for us, for Congressman Hank Johnson and for “Our success is possible because we have always focused on Dr. Beverly Hall, [MARTA’s CEO]. We have been talking and a banquet hall seating 1,500 to 2,500.” excellent service, great food and affordable prices for families,” South DeKalb has plenty of weddings, family re- to US House Transportation Committee chairman James Holt said. “We also work closely with local schools, churches and unions, graduations, church events and fraternity events Oberstar for years and when he was here last week. He youth sports leagues. One of our most popular programs provides that have to travel away because there is no place large gets it.” a free pizza to students who have earned all A’s and B’s on their May admitted Thursday that when they bring equity enough to accommodate them. report cards.” partners and real estate developers to the Stonecrest area, Plus with a large enough center, the area can also For more information, visit www.davidos375pizza.com. attract some business from it has to show well. “Tall grass speaks volume about what’s going on,” he neighboring counties. ATTENTION South DeKalb Residents: This May Shock You! May’s proposal has not yet said. “If we are going to do this, we need to put our best been presented to Board of foot forward and make sure it shows well. When people Commissioners but that every- come it needs to look like our gem.”
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GM land was too pricey GM PLANT,
But it wasn’t enough, Commissioners Jeff Rader, Elaine Boyer, Lee May, Larry Johnson and Sharon Barnes Sutton voted against the project. Only Districts 7 and 6 Commissioners Connie Stokes and Kathie Gannon supported it. Rader said it was an agonizing decision. He said that GM priced the land too high in this economy to support a robust re-development of the site. “This is a unique location but unless we are able to make this a deal a relocator cannot refuse, the probability remains speculative,” he said. Rader said the price was negotiated before the real estate fallout. “Perhaps if it is renegotiated in the near future, the price will be lower.,” he said. “GM as a majority-owned subsidiary of the US government, ought to take the public interest into consideration in the disposal of this property. They ought to price in the bailout they have been given into this and they ought to be helping DeKalb to re-redevelop the site.” May who represents District 5 said he had to oppose the project because of a number of challenges that could not be over come, including not using all of the $35 million in stimulus funds for a single project of this nature. He said the GM property is one of the most attractive in the southeast.
“If it is that attractive, there will be a developer who will develop this property,” he said. “We need to use this money to spur development where it would not happen without. When you talk about spurring economic development I would love to see this money used for a project that would literally have tremendous problems, in terms of development, with occurring had we not provided an incentive such as this.” May said that when he looks at his district which, has 60 percent of the county’s remaining undeveloped land, its the only place that is experiencing brand new development – not re-development. “Around the Stonecrest Mall area, you hear people say we would do a project but the numbers don’t work. What they are saying its that they are not willing to put the amount of capital forward to make sure that a project that would be successful, if it was developed, to make it happen. That is spurring development.” Stokes and Gannon said that the project was in the best interest of the county. “I think it would have a major impact on the entire county,” Stokes said. “It’s great for economic development.” She said the jobs would have been immediate. “I just think this is such a tremendous opportunity to get some people back to work,” she said. “At the end of the day, this is an opportunity to create jobs in DeKalb County.”
CrossRoadsNews, August 28, 2010