By Ann Marie Quill
Crews have begun tearing down apartments near the intersection of Roswell Road and Windsor Parkway to make way for a mixed-use development coming to Sandy Springs by late 2015.
Known as the Gateway Project, zoning was approved in July 2013 for JLB Partners to construct the development that will include 630 new apartment units as well as office and retail space.
Progress on the development, which is expected to be complete by late 2015, first requires the destruction of the site’s dilapidated apartments, Chastain and Versailles.
“We are currently cleaning out the units, getting the trash out and have started demolishing some units, said Jeff Lehman, JLB’s project manager for the site.
The new apartments will be targeted at tenants able to afford higher rental rates.
In February, the Sandy Springs Development Authority voted to allow an attorney to initiate drafting a $100 million revenue bond for the development, with the process expected to take about eight weeks.
Hand-in-hand with the property development will be heavy roadwork at the intersection. The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority ruled that the city would need to realign the Roswell and Windsor intersection to accommodate the project, saying that due to the development’s size it would have regional impact.
When the council approved the development in July, it also had to vote to spend $3.7 million on the intersection improvement, with money coming from impact fees the developer will pay, funds moved from other projects and potential bonding.
Buckhead residents have expressed concern about traffic the development will bring to the Atlanta community just south of the Sandy Springs city line. While improvements are coming to the Roswell and Windsor intersection, upgrades to the nearby intersections of Roswell and Wieuca and West Wieuca would have to come from the city of Atlanta.
“I’m concerned because the traffic on Roswell and Wieuca will be a challenge,” Yolanda Adrean, Atlanta’s District 8 city council member representing Buckhead, said. “There’s no room for a dedicated turn lane” in the area, she said, adding that the city of Atlanta can’t provide specific funding for this issue.
On the Sandy Springs side, Sharon Kraun, spokeswoman for the city, said that the public works department is finalizing design options for the Roswell and Windsor intersection work now.
Sandy Springs’ mayor said the project will have a positive impact on his city, and the city center plans are attracting more developers like JLP Partners.
“With positive movement in the economy, and the city’s activity moving the city center project forward, we’ve seen an increase in activity by developers throughout the city,” Mayor Rusty Paul said. “The JLB project reflects the research we received in developing our master plan. People want a more integrated lifestyle – one where they can work, live, eat out and shop all within close proximity of one another. It is an exciting project for the southern sector of our city.”