The iconic Ponce De Leon Ave Krispy Kreme location in the city’s Old Fourth Ward and owned by none other than NBA basketball Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) is to be demolished after catching fire yet again earlier this month. The nearly 70 year-old donut shop was first gutted on February 10th, 2021 after a fire deemed to be arson tore through the building. After the first fire, Shaq reportedly told 11Alive “I hope no one was hurt and we will bounce back better than ever.”
The building had been closed and fenced off since the February incident but plans to renovate the structure seemed to be in the works until a second fire on July 8th, 2021 again tore through the building, this time damaging the roof, according to Atlanta Fire and Rescue. Authorities have yet to conclude whether the 2nd fire was also caused by arson. It would seem the latest blaze has damaged the structure beyond repair as it is now slated to be demolished, as per a demolition permit application filed on Friday, July 23rd 2021. The permit application expects the demolition to cost roughly $50,000.
It is unclear what the plans are for the site after the demolition, as no building plans have been filed with the City for a replacement. As reported by What Now Atlanta in 2016, Shaquille O’Neal bought the Iconic Krispy Kreme and became the brand’s “Global Spokesperson” to “help people find their happy place.” It is grimly ironic that this location, known for its “Hot Now” sign, met with such a demise. Georgia Arson Control is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification of the suspect in the February arson. People with information can call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.