The Newnan Times-Herald


Developer seeks to revamp Caldwell Tanks in downtown

  • By Clay Neely
  • |
  • May. 08, 2019 - 10:10 AM

Developer seeks to revamp Caldwell Tanks in downtown

Studio Architects, Inc. / The Residential Group

The plan calls for the renovations and reuse of the 1800’s office building and attached three-story warehouse. Three hundred and forty apartment homes would be organized around a new street between East Broad Street and Salbide Ave, along with a proposed 408-space parking deck.

An Atlanta-based developer is hoping to create 340 luxury apartment homes and an accompanying parking deck in downtown Newnan.

The Residential Group recently submitted an application for the rezoning of more than 6 acres located on East Broad Street for the purposes of renovating the Caldwell Tanks Site.

The developer is seeking to rezone the property from CBD (Central Business District) to MXD (Mixed Use Development District) for the purpose of developing a mixture of commercial businesses, offices, and apartments.

The plan calls for the renovation and reuse of the 1800s-era office building and attached three-story warehouse for a development called “The Village.”

Three hundred and forty apartment homes would be organized around a new street between East Broad Street and Salbide Avenue, along with a proposed 408-space parking deck.

The plan proposes commercial building frontage on East Broad Street to close the gap between existing businesses to the east of the property and the Caldwell Office building.

For the 348 residential units, the plan calls for 50 percent one-bedroom apartments, 38 percent two-bedroom apartments and 12 percent studio apartments, for a total of 410,153 square feet.

For the commercial aspect, developers would utilize 5,700 square feet of the R.D. Cole building and 20,100 square feet of the warehouse.

Initially, the 5.5-acre site was the home of the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company, which began operations at the site in 1854 and closed in the early 1970s. Graver Tank owned the facility for about a year, then Brown Steel purchased it.

Brown Steel was sold to Matrix Services of Tulsa, Okla., in the mid-1990s, though Brown Steel continued to operate fairly independently through the ‘90s. Caldwell Tanks Alliance LLC bought the facility from Matrix in 1999.

In 2013, Caldwell Tanks shut down the facility in Newnan and moved shop operations to its headquarters in Louisville, Ky.

According to tax records, the property is owned by Broad Street Forum Inc.

The idea of redeveloping Caldwell Tanks has been the subject of several redevelopment plans conducted by the city. In the 2016 Comprehensive Use Plan, in which public input was solicited, a desire was mentioned for developing higher density housing on the property.

The study indicated a mixed-used development program would benefit the downtown area by “providing new goods and services for existing residents and workers, adding more 24-hour life and spending power, creating more of a critical mass of new residents in close proximity. “

Respondents in the same study cited a desire to see a “Ponce City Market” type of development as a possibility for Caldwell Tanks.

In the city’s 2014 Livable Centers Initiative plan, participants recognized the property as an important development asset. Although suggested future uses ranged from a sports arena to parking, the consensus indicted the best use would be mixed-use and/or commercial.

The Downtown Development Authority recognized the development of Caldwell Tanks as a top priority for their 2018 strategic plan – indicating the possibility of utilizing the property for housing opportunities.

The Newnan City Council heard an “information only” rezoning request during Tuesday’s meeting, and no action was taken. A public hearing is scheduled for May 13 at the Historic Train Depot, located at 60 E. Broad St., and will start at 6 p.m.

The Planning Commission will hear the rezoning request at their June 11th meeting.  It will be at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.