As tens of thousands prepare to flock to Piedmont Park for Music Midtown this weekend, a local restaurant group alleges a sinkhole that formed under a park building five years ago was never properly fixed, putting festival-goers and diners in potential danger.
The owners of The Nook on Piedmont Park planned to open two new restaurants at 1071 Piedmont Ave. NE before a large void emerged below the building in 2018. The sinkhole derailed their plans and sparked a lengthy legal battle with the building’s owner, the powerful Piedmont Park Conservancy, which said in a statement concerns about the building “are simply unfounded and untrue.”
The structure currently houses popular fast casual chains and the Piedmont Park Community Center, which will act as Music Midtown’s box office.
On Tuesday, the Nook owners filed an emergency petition asking a judge to shutter the building until the conservancy hires an expert to inspect the structure and deem it safe.
Simon Bloom, an attorney representing the Nook’s owner, Be Our Guest Investments, said the conservancy ignored proper remediation efforts to resolve the 10-foot by six-foot hole, which was filled with grout by the city before its cause was determined. He said emergency measures must be taken by the court to force the conservancy to ensure the building is structurally sound.
“The public has no way of knowing with any level of certainty that that building is safe,” Bloom said. He added that a crack was spotted in the floor of one of the building’s current tenants Monday — feet away from where the sinkhole emerged.
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