Developer looks to rezone vacant Mid City building for restaurant use

The owner of the vacant building at 2978 Government St. that for years was home to Southern Camera and Video hopes the property can be rezoned, a move that would make it easier for a restaurant to move into the space.

Real estate developer Geordy Waters, who is marketing the property for longtime owner, Joyce Mcintire, filed an application today with the Planning Commission to rezone the property from C1, or commercial, to CAB-1, which would allow for a full-service restaurant. Mcintire also owns two vacant parcels behind the storefront that could accommodate as many as 30 parking spaces, and Waters says with the Model Block under construction directly across the street the location is ideal for a hip, new eatery.

“We think a restaurant would be the highest and best use for the property,” says Waters. “It would be a real boon for the area based on everything else that is about to happen there.”

The 2900 block of Government, which is located between Arlington Street and Kenmore Avenue, is undergoing a complete makeover on the north side of the street as part of the Model Block urban redevelopment project. Plans for that side of the street include the refurbishing of the Darensbourg Building by Ritter Maher Architects, as well as the opening of several new retailers and food vendors. Read a recent Business Report feature on the Model Block initiative.

Architects have drawn a preliminary plan for Mcintire’s building, which has been vacant since Southern Camera closed several years ago. It includes a patio in the front with outdoor seating as well as the rear parking lot, elements that Waters says dovetail with new design guidelines for the neighborhood.

“It’s a shell right now, and it’s going to take some money to make it happen,” Waters says. “We really need a financially strong group to come in there and we don’t want to nickel and dime our way and put somebody in there who might fail, so we are going to hold out for the right person we know is going to make it big.” —Stephanie Riegel

Originally posted by the Business Report