Representatives of Sutherland Capital LLC, an Atlanta-based corporation, have filed a rezoning and special use permit applications with the Rome-Floyd County Planning office for the redevelopment of property at 1301 Martha Berry Boulevard which has housed Sumo Japanese Steak House for years.

The owners, of the restaurant are listed on records filed with the city as Kyi Mun Kim and Kyung Soon Kim.

Kyung Soon Kim said that they have not actually sold the property yet and are still in the process of negotiating with Sutherland Capital.

Sutherland Capital is proposing a senior, 55-plus residential building which would include 64 units in a four-story residential structure on the lower side of the property and three stories on the higher side. A note to the application indicates the complex could grow up to as many as 80 units.

Brice Wood in the Rome-Floyd County Planning office said developers are seeking tax credits for the project. That means the developers would be competing against at least two other projects in the Rome area for financial assistance.

The Northwest Georgia Housing Authority is seeking tax credits for the demolition and reconstruction of housing at the John Graham Homes complex in East Rome. Laurel Street Development and the South Rome Redevelopment Corp. are also seeking tax credits for a large housing development on Pollock Street in South Rome.

The proposed development on the Sumo site would maintain the existing right-in, right-out access from Martha Berry Boulevard and construction of new full access from both Iron Street and Avenue D.

The property currently has split zoning with a portion designated C-C, Community Commercial, and another section D-R, Duplex Residential. Sutherland Capital is seeking to have the entire 7-acre site designated Community Commercial, which would require the Special Use Permit for senior housing apartments.

The parcel was home to the Rome Elks Lodge for at least five decades before it was sold to Wada-Shin and converted into a restaurant in 1990. Wada-Shin was an outgrowth of the Japanese-owned Wada Metals to build a plant in Rome in the late 1980s.

Wada-Shin sold to the current owners in September of 2000.

The Rome-Floyd Planning Commission will consider the rezoning issue when it meets Thursday, July 2, at 2:30 p.m.

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