Athens theater fire may stall plans for parking project nearby

ATHENS, Ga. -- The fire that burned through the Georgia Theatre on Friday could scuttle or delay plans for a new parking deck next door.

Athens-Clarke officials had planned to work around the landmark club when the $17.5 million mixed-use deck is built early next year on a surface parking lot that occupies most of the downtown block between Clayton, Lumpkin, Washington and Hull streets.

"The design we're working with, it was all about incorporating the Georgia Theatre into it aesthetically," Commissioner Alice Kinman said. "It's bound to have an impact."

Officials will meet today to discuss how the fire will affect plans for the deck, said Don Martin, who manages sales tax projects for the county government. The deck's design and architecture, seen in rendering at left, were intended to complement the Georgia Theatre's art deco appearance, Martin said.

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