Argosy team seeks brewing license for former brewpub space, plan for old UMCH campus up for vote

Decatur City Hall.

Decatur City Commissioners will have a busy agenda on Monday, Dec. 3.

In addition to other business, commissioners will consider approving an alcohol license for a new brewpub and signing off on a master plan for the former United Methodist Children’s Home property.

The regular meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.

At the beginning of the year, the Shumacher Group, a real estate broker, announced the closing of a deal to sell the Oak Brewpub to the team behind Argosy gastropub in East Atlanta Village. The property is located in Oakhurst Village at 630 East Lake Dr, Decatur, GA 30030, near the Oakhurst Market.

Work on the new restaurant has gone on quietly for most of the year, but an item on Monday’s agenda indicates the company is already serving food and has picked a name. The applicant, Donald Durant, said the license is for Booming Beers LLC doing business as Sceptre Brewing Arts.

“Build out of this space is complete and they are currently open for food service,” the memo attached to the City Commission agenda says.

The company has applied for “an alcoholic beverage license for the retail sale for consumption on premise of beer and wine and for the manufacturing of beer and malt beverages.”

Commissioners will also consider approving a master plan for reusing the old United Methodist Children’s Home property, which will be renamed Legacy Park.

The Children’s Home has been in Decatur since 1873 and was established to care for children orphaned during the Civil War. The city purchased the 77-acre campus in 2017 for $40 million. The city made the purchase using its newly created Public Facilities Authority, which borrowed most of the money for the deal. The city also received a low interest $11.5 million loan through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. The loan paid for the purchase of 22 acres out of the total 77 acre campus on South Columbia Drive. The city won’t be able to develop this property as part of the loan agreement.

As part of the agreement, UMCH retained ownership of the Moore Chapel on campus, and the city has agreed to preserve the grave of UMCH founder Jesse Boring.

The planning process for the use of the property began earlier this year. A consulting firm for the city unveiled the plan for the property in June. The plan was based on community input.

The plan will make the following recommendations:

• Nominate the site to the National Register of Historic Places and install interpretive markers throughout the site to tell the story of the property.

• Find new uses that can adaptively reuse existing historic buildings.

• Preserve present green spaces, such as the front lawn, tree grove, and south meadow, in addition to the 22 acres subject to the conservation easement.

• In partnership with housing organizations, develop housing villages on the north and south ends of the property to provide affordable housing.

• In partnership with art organizations, develop an artist village, studio space, art programming, and opportunities for installation of public art on the property.

• With local institutional and non-profit partners, develop recreational uses that include cross country trails, inclusive playgrounds, a competition track and field, sand volleyball courts, and a refurbished gymnasium.

• Build infrastructure that supports the various uses through improved circulation, pathways, and additional parking.

Source: City of Decatur

The time frame for each recommendation is flexible and depends on funding sources.

To read the full plan, click here.

To see the full Dec. 3 meeting agenda, click here.

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