By Gerhard Schneibel

The Sandy Springs City Council recently approved the construction of a 10-story, 170-unit senior apartment building at 305 Carpenter Drive after two years, two deferrals and two withdrawals. Developer Masoud Zahedi of Farsi Properties had become a fixture at City Council meetings.

Meanwhile, developers of another planned senior center are in the approval process. Dallas-based Greenbrier Development is seeking a use permit and zoning modification to develop 479 senior apartments in two 30-story towers in the Corporate Campus development on Hammond Drive.

Both complexes address the growing need for senior housing as the population ages.

Zahedi said he first proposed a 20-story glass skyscraper with 300 units, but the City Council did not approve it. Over time, he scaled his plans back and eventually came to his current design for a “stucco building with a traditional look.” It was approved Sept. 16.

The building is the “right project for this exact location,” he said. “I think they know the need for such a location in such an area. This is a very unique place since it’s in walking distance to so many restaurants and it’s close to the highway and it’s close to hospitals.”

No more than 80 of the units in the building will be 850 square feet, at least 30 will be 1,000 square feet, and at least 60 will be 1,200 square feet.

Dist. 2 Councilwoman Dianne Fries had expressed concern that 850-square-foot units are too small.

“We’ve got several facilities like this, and we lose folks time and time again to other cities” with larger senior apartments, she said. “A lot of people don’t realize just how small 850 square feet is.”

Keith Poimboeuf, Zahedi’s business partner, said the majority of those units have a bedroom and a study. “It will effectually have two bedrooms, but one will be used as a study,” he said.

Zahedi said he limits his development projects to Sandy Springs because he feels comfortable with the council and staff.

As an early step in the process of building its own senior living project, Greenbrier Development displayed its plans at a public community zoning information meeting Sept. 23.

Greenbrier plans to redirect a stream from the Corporate Campus property to the southern side of Hammond Drive through an underground pipe.

Sandy Springs senior planner Julie Eldridge said she would prefer to see the stream incorporated into the landscaping, but that would mean it would have to be rerouted.

The two towers were included in Sandy Springs-based Ackerman & Co.’s original rezoning application for the redevelopment of Corporate Campus, which it has renamed Perimeter Town Center. That rezoning was approved April 15.

Greenbrier Development’s use permit application will go before the Planning Commission Nov. 20 and City Council Dec. 16.