Old Town Lilburn just isn't the same with the closed Blue Rooster Café & Bakery languisihing on Main Street.
For a year and a half now, it's sat empty -- a literal shell of what it used to be.
Mayor Johnny Crist has said he'd like to see a top-notch restaurant come to the location. It could be a virtual beacon for other changes to come, and make the area a destination, he said.
However, there are improvements that would have to be made, he added.
Property records show the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) purchased the building for $160,000 in October 2011. That was half the initial $320,000 asking price from the seller, a bank.
The DDA had hopes of quickly leasing it to a restaurant operator. There have been interested parties, but, to date, the facility has not been rented.
There's growing support for just knocking the whole thing down and constructing a replica building -- "something new that looks and feels old," said Doug Stacks, director of planning and development for Lilburn.
"The thought is that redeveloping the site would help start a pattern of development that would be followed throughout Old Town," he said in an email response. "However, no official decision has been made or funding secured to do that."
The DDA also is willing to sell the building for $200,000, which could help decide things, Stacks added. According to property records, the site is currently valued at $208,000.
So, we're asking, with no sealed deal 20 months after closing and the economy still in a quandary, what should the Downtown Development Authority do about the former Blue Rooster location?
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