New ownership, new outlook for Commander, St. Johns Village

New ownership, new outlook for Commander, St. Johns Village
The aging 16-story, 90-unit tower at 3946 St. Johns Ave. was sold to an Atlanta development firm last month for $5.8 million.

The Commander Tower Apartments and the St. Johns Village shopping center in Avondale have been sold to Chance Partners, an Atlanta real estate firm specializing in development and management of mixed-use communities.

The new owner, which paid $5.8 million for the 55-year-old apartment building and the 29-year-old shopping center, is evaluating the future use of the two-parcel, 5.86-acre property.

Judd Bobilin, president and CEO of Chance Partners, responded to questions through its public relations firm.

When asked about the reported plans “to spend many millions renovating the tower and adding more apartments,” Bobilin stated they will take some time evaluating several factors before deciding the next course of action.

“We have not determined an exact plan of action at this time,” said Bobilin. “We will spend the next several weeks evaluating the market, zoning information, plans, etc., and will be discussing with our team, land-use attorney and contractors the best course of action.

Bobilin said the company’s philosophy is to invest in great neighborhoods. “We certainly feel this fits that criteria perfectly,” he said.

In the meantime, a new management company, Pegasus Residential, has been contracted to take over management of the Commander Apartments. Chance Partners indicated they have met with each of the retail tenants in the shopping center, with another meeting scheduled in May to outline a potential plan of action going forward.

Three years ago local developer Michael Balanky, president and CEO of Chase Properties, began what would turn out to be an 18-month-long application process for the approval to develop a luxury residential and commercial development on the site of the Commander Tower Apartments and St. Johns Village shopping center.

After a series of community meetings, many sessions with Riverside Avondale Preservation and residents of the adjacent Arden neighborhood, Chase Properties won approval from City Council in January 2014 to proceed with a modified, but still very large, development.

Former property owners, Mary V. Kasser Mochary, of Montclair, New Jersey, and her son, Matthew Mochary, of Silicon Valley, California, backed out of the project a year ago. If Balanky’s project had gone through, the complex would have consisted of three buildings covering about 280,000 square feet, and comprise 260 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, plus about 10,000 square feet of commercial/retail spaces.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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