By DAVID PENDERED http://www.ajc.com/
Construction has started on a site in Crabapple that has been under contract for more than a year with little sign of movement.
The lack of activity at the Crabapple Mercantile Exchange prompted gossip that it might be a casualty of the slow economy. But on Wednesday, workers were busy raising steel girders at the site near the corner of Birmingham Highway and Crabapple Road.
Developer John Adams said construction was delayed partly because he couldn't get construction loans until he had secured all permits from the city. He received those permits in December, after about a year of negotiating with Milton city officials about the architectural style of the development for the 52,000-square-foot project.
Crabapple Mercantile Exchange is designed to reflect 19th century buildings that Adams said will evoke Old World charm. It will have have brick and ornate details in wood and iron, and flickering street lights. A similar project by Adams is almost fully leased in Alpharetta: the Ellerd Mercantile Exchange.
About two-thirds of the Crabapple Mercantile Exchange is leased, Adams said. The mix of space includes about 23,000 square feet of retail, 22,500 square feet of office and almost 8,000 square feet of residential. The residential space will be built above the ground-floor office and retail space, he said.
Prospective tenants include:
Zest, a restaurant
Scoops, old-fashioned ice cream shop
Founders Cigar Club, a restaurant with a private club for cigars and Scotch whiskey
Faire La Belle, a salon
SP Casey Homes, an interior design store