Demolition of the abandoned shopping center on Moores Mill Road could begin after the first of the year to make way for a new, $40-million center anchored by a Publix grocery store, City Councilwoman Felicia Moore said this month.

It’s been a big song and dance,” Moore told members of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods on Aug. 13, “but the project is going to happen.”

Moore, who has been working on the project for about a decade, said she believed that demolition of the center at the corner of Moores Mill and Bolton roads would be scheduled during the first quarter of 2016.

Edens, a South Carolina-based development company, is ready to move forward with the project, which would include a 45,000-square-foot Publix supermarket, retail shops and apartments, Moore said.

Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, committed $500,000 for a road extension that would create a signalized entrance to the mixed-use project. Moore said an additional $800,000 is needed to build the road extension that would connect Moores Mill to Marietta Boulevard.

Moore said she is awaiting word on possible funding from the Atlanta Regional Commission in September. She said if that didn’t work, she had other funding ideas including using money from the city’s recently approved infrastructure bond.

In June, Atlanta City Council voted to provide $800,000 to help complete the project because federal funds for the road extension had been held up in Congress.

Moore had ushered through an ordinance to use money from the city’s transportation impact fee fund before the developer walked away, but wound up voting against her own legislation when an amendment was added by Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms to allow council members to use the impact fee fund for projects in their districts.

Council members were warned that spreading the unallocated impact fee funding to all the districts was not allowed under current city guidelines and could face a legal challenge. The council ultimately repealed the legislation.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.