By John Schaffner
The Novare Group is seeking to sell off part of the large parcel of properties it owns south of the Streets of Buckhead development along Peachtree Road, and a deal for the southeast corner of Pharr and Peachtree roads may close in the next 30 days, according to the man seeking to purchase it.
Dion Meltzer, the president of Mainboard Equity, who recently purchased 2 acres on Pharr Road from Charles and Robin Loudermilk, told the Buckhead Reporter he is moving forward with his attempt to purchase the corner property from Novare. No asking or offering price was disclosed.
Meltzer said his present plan is to hold the property for some time — to see how Ben Carter fares with the Streets of Buckhead — then possibly develop it with a boutique hotel with retail on the street level.
He said the Aaron Art and framing business at the corner has a lease for three years or so, which would give him time to survey the success of other developments in the compact area in the heart of Buckhead.
According to Novare Chief Investment Officer John W. Long, Novare owns the property but has talked to a number of parties concerning the possible purchase of the Pharr-Peachtree parcel his company has assembled. He said he could not comment on any potential deal that may be pending.
Novare owns almost all of the properties along Pharr Road from Peachtree to the Atlanta Fish Market restaurant and along Peachtree from Pharr Road to Peachtree Avenue.
Long noted Novare does not own an apartment complex in that area off Peachtree or a small strip the Bradshaw family owns off Peachtree that includes the Fitness Resource building and the ABRA auto body shop. The Bradshaw family, which also owns the former Three Dollar Cafe property across Peachtree at the corner of Pharr, reportedly is asking $9 million for the Fitness Resources/ABRA property.
Novare continues to look at various options for developing the property and plans to be the master developer for the large parcel of land, Long said. But he added that Novare would prefer to sell the corner piece at Pharr and Peachtree roads.
“We continue to work on a plan, and as the market allows, we will begin development,” Long said.
Asked about a rumor that Isakson Barnhart had purchased the corner property with plans to develop a two-story retail center there, Long said Novare had talks with Isakson Barnhart, but those discussions ended without a deal.
The Isakson Barnhart Web site has a marketing brochure for the property, which it calls Buckhead Village South. The brochure includes plans for the development with the names of possible retail clients posted in store locations. Attempts to reach David Barnhart to discuss their involvement were unsuccessful.
Meltzer’s first approaches to Novare concerning the corner tract were in conjunction with longtime Atlanta real estate investor and developer Morris Habif. Habif Properties is now in Buckhead on Roswell Road.
Habif said he backed away from the deal, but he said Meltzer was still pursuing it on behalf of Mainboard Equity.
Mainboard Equity, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mainboard Equity (Pty) Ltd. of Johannesburg, South Africa. The U.S. subsidiary, which South African native Meltzer established in 1995, focuses primarily on investments in commercial real estate.
Asked about his plans for the 2-acre strip retail site he purchased farther east on Pharr Road, Meltzer said he just signed a five-year lease with Avis at the location. He does not plan any immediate transformation of the site, which contains active shops as well as some vacant spaces.v