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Iconic Atlanta ‘Flying Saucer’ Building Could be Replaced by Self-Storage Development

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An iconic building in Atlanta’s Midtown area, often referred to as the “flying saucer” or “round restaurant,” could be in danger of being torn down in favor of a five-story self-storage structure proposed by local real estate developer Travis Pruitt & Associates (TPA). The company intends to build an 85,890-square-foot facility that would include retail on the ground floor and 28 parking spaces, according to a source.

The mid-century modern building at 2160 Monroe Drive N.E. was designed by Atlanta architect Henri Jova in 1965 as a branch for Trust Company Bank. Noted for its futuristic look, it has since served as several restaurants and is currently home to Cirque Daiquiri Bar & Grill. Its unusual design has made it a local landmark.

“The structure is especially important not only for its historical context but also aesthetically from a design standpoint,” Jova’s former partner, David Rinehart, told a source. “There are so few of these examples in Atlanta. To destroy it for a generic storage facility without further investigation as to a viable adaptive reuse seems very shortsighted.”

Those in opposition to the building’s demolition could mount a defense against the TPA project since another local developer, RRB Development, has two self-storage proposals under consideration in the vicinity. One of the projects would be across the street from the Jova building, a source reported.

Jova designed several buildings in Atlanta including the Carter Center, Carter Library and Colony Square, a mixed-use project at 14th and Peachtree Streets that helped make the area an important intersection in the city, according to a source. He died in 2014 at the age of 94.

Founded in 1972, TPA is a full-service civil-engineering, land-design and land-surveying firm. Its portfolio includes commercial, education, health-care, master-planned and residential projects, including self-storage.

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