The city of Sandy Springs will pay an auto shop’s $73,600 cost to move from the Johnson Ferry Road/Mount Vernon Highway triangle to make way for roundabouts and a new park. Meanwhile, the city is in the midst of a legal effort to take the triangle land by condemnation.

The relocation “settlement” with Magic Mike’s Automotive—which maintains the city’s police car fleet, among other work—was approved by the City Council Dec. 20 following a discussion in executive session.

Magic Mike's Automotive at 260 Mount Vernon Highway. (File Photo John Ruch)
Magic Mike’s Automotive at 260 Mount Vernon Highway. (File Photo John Ruch)

Magic Mike’s is the successor to the former Eddie’s Automotive, which first opened in the 260 Mount Vernon Highway spot in 1972. According to employee John Pavlosky, Magic Mike’s is moving to a former Midas shop location at 6560B Roswell Road, with an opening scheduled for Jan. 2. The Mount Vernon Highway location remains in business until then, he said.

Pavlosky said the council’s decision to pay for the relocation is good news. He said moving an auto shop is a complex job and joked about the “parts and tools and bears, oh my!”

A few other businesses located on the triangle already closed. The city wants the land for two projects. One is a park planned for the Roswell Road side of the triangle, facing the new City Springs town center. The other is a reconstruction of the Johnson Ferry/Mount Vernon intersection into dual roundabouts.

The building housing Magic Mike’s became a sticking point in those plans. It dates to the 1960s and was considered historic by the state preservation office in a review required as part of the roundabouts project’s federal funding. That put the roundabouts on hold while the city had to address ways to preserve or mitigate its planned demolition of the building.

The city is now avoiding the historic designation issue by dropping the federal funding and instead paying for the project itself via a recently approved transportation special local option sales tax.

Now the city needs to acquire triangle—consisting of four parcels—and has filed a condemnation order in court to take it, according to City Attorney Wendell Willard. The properties are owned by W.B. Holdings Triangle LLC, according to Fulton County records, and Willard identified its principal as Adam Orkin. A hearing with a court-appointed “special master” on the condemnation attempt is scheduled for late January, Willard said.

Orkin is also the registered agent of the LLC that owns another property the city is attempting to take by eminent domain nearby at 170 Hilderbrand Drive.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

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