By John Schaffner
editor@reporternewspapers.net

The former site of the Garden Hills Cinema and adjacent shops are facing redevelopment as the next mixed-use development along Peachtree Road after the parcels were recently purchased by Brand Properties LLC.

One thing likely is that the Fellini’s pizza restaurant on the corner of Peachtree and Rumson roads is likely to be the only building on the block that will remain essentially as it is today.

Brand Properties plans to develop a nearly 62,000-square-foot site, which would include the first intown branch for Brand Banking Co. However, the development could include a nearly 255,000-square-foot project if the new owners seek and are approved for a zoning change.

Brand Properties management would not speak to speculation that an office tower would be built on the property. The site of the first Atlanta location for a Brand Bank was confirmed, however. And the plan likely would include street-level retail.

Brand Bank has been a fixture in Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County for some 102 years.

Brand Properties management apparently plans to take their proposal before the residents of Buckhead by the end of the year and discuss the future for the property, which his company bought from The Warshaw Family Trust for an estimated $8 million.

According to Sally Silver, board member of Neighborhood Planning Unit-B and chair of the NPU’s Development and Transportation Committee, she anticipates some opposition from the residents of neighboring Garden Hills neighborhood to the amount of density she has heard rumored for the site. She said the property would have to be rezoned for anything more than what it is presently being used for.

Silver said the redevelopment of the theater and shops in the strip is not to affect the future of Fellini’s, except that it might affect the parking for the restaurant.

For at least two decades, the Garden Hills Cinema, which was owned by George Lefont, was the place in Buckhead to see foreign and art house films, which many old timers in Buckhead really related to.

Immediately south and across Rumson Road from Fellini’s is the new Gallery on Peachtree condominium. The 25-story tower will have 250 condos starting in the $400,000 range and going up to over $1 million.