After two decades of being ugly, Sprayberry Crossing is (finally) no more. It took some action by local residents to get the *wrecking* ball rolling. But now, the asbestos has been carefully removed, the rodents have been trapped and the old shopping center is flattened. This demolition makes way for a brand new mixed-use housing and shopping facility. The demo of the old Bruno’s Shopping Center on the northeast corner of East Piedmont Rd and Sandy Plains Rd. began on April 11, 2022. 

It was a long time coming. Back in 2016, concerned citizens in East Cobb decided they were tired of looking at the building. And for good reason… parts of it have been sitting vacant for nearly 20 years. Locals formed a Facebook Community Action group and began to put pressure on the property owners to take care of the eyesore. The group grew to more than 6,000 members and lots of them showed up to meetings and contacted Cobb County commissioners. They eventually convinced the county to penalize property owners by charging a “Blight Tax” for leaving the community eyesore. 

This was the first time the “Blight Tax” was used and it did the trick. After the property was rezoned in June 2021, remaining businesses were notified and moved out. Then the property was sold to a holding company for $13 million. Although the demolition began April 11, there have been a few pauses in deconstruction. The Cobb County police department used the parking lot for SWAT training in mid-April. 

Construction on a new development is slated to begin in August of this year. The *new* Sprayberry Crossing will have 102 townhomes, 132 senior apartments, plus retail and restaurant space. There was an original bid to build a Lidl grocery store there, but those plans have been scrapped because of potential traffic issues. 

No more ugly shopping center! I guess we don’t have to talk about Bruno’s anymore.