ATLANTA - The owners of a popular midtown restaurant have filed a motion asking a judge to close the community center building in Piedmont Park because of a sinkhole. This all comes days before thousands are expected to head to the park for Music Midtown.
The owners of the Nook planned to open a restaurant inside the community center building in 2018 when they discovered the sinkhole. While they're not planning to build the restaurant there anymore, they're still concerned about the safety of people coming into the building.
"We can't just sit around and not talk about this. This is safety. We live in the community, we have business in the community, we care about the community," David Duley, Owner of Be Our Guest Investments, LLC and the Nook, explained.
Since the sinkhole was discovered, it's been filled with grout. But the Nook owners and their attorney say there was no engineering report to say that action fixed the hole. The city of Atlanta did test their water lines under the building and found the utilities were sound.
"If you don't know what caused the hole to form in the first place, you certainly can't know that the grout being put in the hole was sufficient to repair the problem," Attorney Simon Bloom said.
Willy's has now taken over the part of the building where the sinkhole stood. The manager there told FOX 5 another hole opened up in the parking lot area just last week.
The building is also right near the area where people will be picking up their tickets to Music Midtown this weekend.
In their motion filed Tuesday, the owners are asking a judge to stop anyone from entering or operating in the building until the sinkhole is fixed, and a qualified geotechnical engineer deems it's safe.
"This is not about the money. The money will be resolved in the litigation. We'll go to trial, and we'll deal with that. This is completely separate," Bloom explained.
Piedmont Park Conservancy sent FOX 5 the following statement in response to the allegations:
"Piedmont Park Conservancy is committed to providing a safe experience for visitors to Piedmont Park, while ensuring a clean, green and accessible park for all. Any claims of unresolved structural concerns to the Piedmont Park Community Center building are simply unfounded and untrue.
"The timing of the recent press conference by a lawyer representing a former tenant in a lawsuit against the Conservancy is clearly opportunistic in its effort to resurface concerns around a routine repair that took place nearly five years ago. Since the repair was successfully completed, not only has a prominent structural engineer deemed the repair proper and the structure sound, but two national restaurant brands with full knowledge of the situation have successfully and safely operated within the building. We look forward to sharing all information in upcoming litigation and are confident that Piedmont Park Conservancy will prevail in this landlord-tenant dispute.
Piedmont Park Conservancy would like to assure all Music Midtown attendees that these claims and concerns are inaccurate, and we look forward to hosting the iconic music festival again this weekend."