Louis Pichulik, 2015

Louis Pichulik
The Georgia Cities Foundation has selected Louis Pichulik, a metropolitan Atlanta real estate owner and developer as the recipient of its 2015 Renaissance Award. Pichulik accepted the award during the Georgia Municipal Association’s Annual Convention in Savannah on Monday, June 29.

The Renaissance Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the revitalization of one or more of Georgia’s cities.

Pichulik has made significant investment in historic properties in several metropolitan Atlanta cities including Decatur, Atlanta, Avondale Estates and Chamblee, returning those buildings to their former glory.

“Louis loves historic downtowns,” said Decatur Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Lyn Menne, who nominated Pichulik. “He looks for older buildings in historic commercial centers that have potential and then carefully selects tenants who share his vision for bringing these buildings back to life. He sees beauty and opportunity where others see blight.”

Menne noted that there are many examples of Louis’ commitment to helping restaurants and retailers thrive in downtown Decatur and in other Atlanta commercial districts.

“Great restaurants are the lifeblood of urban commercial districts because they bring needed foot traffic that allow small, locally owned retailers to thrive,” she said.

Pichulik’s work can be seen prominently on Sycamore Street in Decatur where he has restored nearly a block of buildings that now house popular retail shops Sq/ft and Boutique Karma and restaurants Cakes and Ale, Raging Burrito, Iberian Pig and Mac MaGees. For many of the buildings, Pichulik had their 1970s-era facades removed to uncover original storefronts and hand-painted signs that were included in the redesign.

Pichulik has also restored buildings on Church Street and E. Ponce de Leon Ave. in Decatur. His many restoration projects include the sites of several well-known restaurants including Sotto Sotto on North Highland in Atlanta, Pallookaville in Avondale Estates and Southbound in Chamblee.

“In the city of Decatur, Pichulik and his daughters participated in downtown visioning meetings and they consistently seek advice from the Downtown Development Authority about the types of businesses needed in downtown Decatur,” Menne said. “Beyond his investment in buying and renovating historic buildings and supporting local entrepreneurs, Louis Pichulik understands the importance of creating great spaces and great experiences in order to bring back successful, historic commercial centers. To that end, he pays attention to details and invests his money in building out old alleyways and creating courtyards where dumpsters once ruled.”

Pichulik is an active partner with the Decatur Downtown Development Authority and the Decatur Business Association and worked closely with the city to pursue low interests loans and historic tax credits.

“Louis Pichulik’s love for historic downtowns shines through his work in Decatur and other cities,” said Georgia Cities Foundation President Mike Starr. “His unparalleled vision, substantial investment of time and resources and commitment to help create great places makes him a well deserving recipient of the 2015 Renaissance Award.”