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Shepherd Center Takes Steps To Start Long-Planned Housing Expansion

Former Ted's Montana Grill and Uncle Julio's Mexican restaurant in Buckhead that could soon become apartments for Shepherd Center patients and their families.

A renowned spinal and brain injury rehabilitation hospital is getting ready to transform a former retail strip into a complex for patient families.

The Shepherd Center received Atlanta approval to raze the former Ted's Montana Grill and Uncle Julio's Mexican Restaurant at the corner of Collier and Peachtree roads, next to Piedmont Hospital in Buckhead, to eventually replace it with a planned family housing tower. Both Ted's and Uncle Julio's shuttered in 2020.

Atlanta also approved a land disturbance permit for the hospital on the two contiguous sites at 1874 and 1860 Peachtree Road, a block from the Shepherd Center. The nonprofit hospital focuses on research and treatment for spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other neuromuscular conditions, according to its website.

The center first announced plans for the family housing tower when it purchased the site for $20M in 2018. It plans to develop a 16-story tower with 160 longer-term housing units for patients and their families, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.

Shepherd Center offers 30 days of housing for families of new patients if they live more than 60 miles from the Buckhead hospital.

The 152-bed hospital operates three housing facilities, including the on-campus Irene and George Woodruff Family Residence Center, totaling more than 120 units, according to the hospital's website. It treats more than 740 patients and more than 7,000 outpatients a year.

According to the permit, Shepherd Center plans to include ground-floor retail and a parking deck in the tower.

“We have not been able to grow our family housing at the same pace that our patients and families have needed it,” Jamie Shepherd, chief operating officer of Shepherd Center and the son of the late hospital co-founder James Shepherd Jr., told the ABC in December. “My father often talked about how having his family close by during his rehabilitation made all the difference in his recovery.”

CORRECTION, APRIL 14, 10:06 A.M. ET: A previous version of the story misstated Jamie Shepherd's relationship with James Shepherd Jr. The story has been updated.