The former Tom Jumper Chevrolet showroom site at 7200 Roswell Road has sat vacant for quite a while, but there has been a lot of interest in the site—primarily from small retailers who want just small pieces of the 11.38 acres, according to the people who are trying to sell it for $7.15 million.

“The property has a very high profile and we get lots of calls,” said Keven Markwordt, a managing director with Transwestern real estate company.

Markwordt said the owner of the property does not want to split it up into small parcels. That owner is the financial institution that took back the property that is in foreclosure and receivership.

Markwordt said there has been a great deal of interest in the property, because of its “great visibility” and location on Roswell Road. The property has 1,412 feet of frontage on Roswell Road and lies just south of Roswell Road’s intersection with Dalrymple Road.

The building, constructed in 1999, was the sales center for the Tom Jumper Chevrolet dealership. People from all over metro Atlanta came there to buy new and used cars.

At Roswell and Trowbridge roads, Tom Jumper built a large service center. The buildings on that parcel sold in 2010 to Classic Collision for a car repair center and to a synagogue.

“That is what is interesting about this market today,” Markwordt said. “You can get two clients such as an auto collision repair company and a synagogue to share a site. That is something new.”

The property at 7200 Roswell Road, which includes a 16,500-square-foot showroom building, remains vacant.

Markwordt said the most logical use of the property likely would be for a retail development. But that would require rezoning the property, which has special zoning for use only as an auto dealership. The problem he said is that there have not been a lot of new auto dealerships starting up lately.

Starbuck’s showed interest, but they certainly don’t need 11-plus acres. There was a nightclub that was interested, “but we discouraged that because we knew the city of Sandy Springs would not like that idea,” he said.

He said the greatest interest to date was for half the site or just for the building. “We could have cut this up and sold off pieces,” Markwordt said. “The problem is you have to go the city in that situation with a site plan for the entire development of the property. You need to have a developer and we have had individuals.”

However, he said there are some people who have talked about putting the Tom Jumper site together with the shopping center where Big Lots is located—at the corner of Roswell and Dalrymple roads—and creating a major upscale retail shopping center, which might include a big box store.

“There are not a lot of new big box stores being built these days,” he explained. “And, the site is not very deep and would not be deep enough for one of the big box stores.”

Asked about a recent mention of possibly opening a car museum at the location, Markwordt said the group discussing that has looked at several sites over the past year, including the Tom Jumper site. “Those talks have not gone anywhere so far,” he said.

[googleMap name=”Tom Jumper” width=”450″ height=”450″ directions_to=”false”]7200 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs GA[/googleMap]

John Schaffner

John Schaffner was founding editor of Reporter Newspapers.