The restaurant Antico Pizza Napoletana is no longer coming to Sandy Springs, at least for now, with the developer blaming city permit delays and the owner saying the company’s budget can’t handle it.
“The Antico restaurant…is officially dead,” said Gerard Gunthert of Sandy Springs-based Cornerpoint Partners, the developer of the project that was intended to house the restaurant.
Antico owner Giovanni Di Palma said he is disappointed to see the location not come to fruition.
“We loved the location and we were very excited to be in Sandy Springs, based on the feedback from the city and its residents,” Di Palma said. “So it is disappointing.”
Last year’s announcement of a Sandy Springs location for the prominent Atlanta-based restaurant chain drew local excitement. Antico was set to start construction in June and open at 336 Hammond Drive later this year. But Gunthert says due to the city’s permit process, it was impossible to meet the financial obligations and the delivery date to the restaurant.
“As the owner of the land, we were disappointed at the length of time and complexity of the permit process with the city,” Gunthert said.
Gunthert says the development was approved in September 2018 for the site plan, but as of Sept. 23, he still did not have a permit to develop the site. He said the length of time, costs imposed by Sandy Springs codes and high construction costs caused the deal to be killed.
“Unfortunately, time kills deals,” Gunthert said.
The city did not immediately respond to comment requests.
Di Palma said that because another Antico location at the Battery at SunTrust Park in Cobb County opened quicker than anticipated, the Sandy Springs project no longer fit the company’s budget and timeline. But, he said, he is keeping options open for future development.
“The door is certainly not closed on Sandy Springs and we are keeping options open for the right opportunity,” Di Palma said.
Gunthert said he does not yet have a new development planned for the property, but he is excited about the potential.
“We are still excited about the site and continue to work with the city…to finalize another deal that maximizes this unusual but excellent piece of real estate,” Gunthert said.
Gunthert said a city intersection reconstruction project planned for Hammond Drive and Boylston Drive, the intersection where the restaurant was to go, remains unaffected by the change.