The long-vacant Cheesecake Factory building on Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead Village may be demolished after all following recommendations by the Development Review Committee of the Special Public Interest District 9 zoning area.

During a Sept. 2 virtual meeting, the DRC recommended the building be demolished to the slab, the patio removed, and a  fence and landscaping be installed until property owner Peter Blum decides to sell or redevelop the site at 3024 Peachtree.

Blum had indicated he didn’t plan to demolish the building, but his representative, Norman Koplon, said during the meeting that he would take the DRC’s recommendations back to the property owner. A main concern of Koplon and the committee was keeping homeless people from camping on the site. Blum has accused police of ignoring crime and trespassers on the site, which the Atlanta Police Department has denied.

The DRC recommended that once the building is demolished and the patio removed, the fence would go up and leave a buffer area for trees, bushes and ground-cover fronting Peachtree. It was recommended that prickly holly bushes be strategically placed to prevent the homeless from camping in the landscaped area. A continuation of the 8-foot fence with no access from Peachtree was also part of the recommendation.

The restaurant structure was built in 1993 and vacated by the Cheesecake Factory in 2014, when it moved to the Lenox Square mall. In an earlier request to erect a fence, Blum said the vacant property was “out of control” with homeless trespassers and its interior was “destroyed.”

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.