A Texas-based real estate developer seeks zoning that would allow it to build 500 new apartment units in Sandy Springs and a 50-story office building critics say would become the tallest building outside Atlanta’s Perimeter highway.
John Heagy, senior managing director of Hines, the development company, says “the fact is, this is not just one building. It’s a village of buildings that we’re seeking final approval on.”
Hines goes before Sandy Springs City Council on July 15 for a zoning change for its Northpark 100 development. The company wants to rezone the area at Peachtree Dunwoody and Abernathy roads from office to mixed use. That action would clear the way to add apartments to a development with an office tower and hotel and retail space.
While city staff has given its blessing for the project with some conditions, some neighbors worry the project will bring too much density and generate too many car trips in the area.
“This exception to traditional zoning would be 16 stories taller than the King and Queen buildings, and would become the tallest suburban skyscraper in America at an intersection that already struggles mightily with traffic,” resident Brian Eufinger said in a letter to the Reporter Newspapers editor.
“If approved, these buildings would bring 15,000 more cars down Mount Vernon, Peachtree Dunwoody, Barfield and other roads every day. Plus, the addition of 500 more apartments could severely impact local school capacity.”
The zoning would also establish a precedent for taller buildings at a time when other properties in the Perimeter area also may seek rezoning, he said.
But Heagy says residents shouldn’t focus only on traffic, and that the site will eventually become a major hub for the area. “Don’t just focus on traffic counts,” Heagy said. “Think how it will be used five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now.”
Heagy said while no major tenants have been nailed down, he’s optimistic. “I do think as the market continues to tighten up, alternatives for bigger companies become fewer and fewer and fewer,” he said.
As Hines seeks to add apartments to Northpark 100, other apartment projects are rising across the city.
One new complex is being built on Allen Road off of Roswell Road and just north of I-285. Demolition of an early 1970s complex is under way at 180 Allen Road to make room for The Cliftwood, a 248-unit project with two, five-story buildings on either side of a parking deck.
The joint venture between ECI Group and Arris Realty Partners will be available for occupancy next spring. Sidewalks will connect the complex to neighborhoods, parks, restaurants and entertainment, the developers say.
“This corridor is a vital gateway to downtown Sandy Springs,” said Steven Cadranel, president of Arris Realty Partners. “My partner, Jim Woodcox and I, are natives and residents of this community, and for years I have driven by the former office park and imagined how much more it could be.”
What developers Kaplan Residential and George Morgan describe as a “203-unit luxury mid-rise, mixed use” community is coming to the empty lot at the corner of Roswell Road and Hammond Drive, with ground to be broken this summer. In addition to the apartments, the “One City Walk” development will include 8,000 square feet of retail space, and planners say it will complement Sandy Springs’ future city center.
Further south on Roswell Road at Windsor, demolition of old apartments is complete for JLB’s gateway project, which will bring a mixed-use development consisting of 630 upscale apartments, along with office and retail space.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that plans are under way to redevelop an old apartment complex on Roswell Road just south of I-285. The Providence Group and The Worthing Cos. filed plans with the state for the project, which will include 173 townhomes and 368 apartments.
See also- Letters to the Editor: Development could overwhelm Mount Vernon, Peachtree Dunwoody, Abernathy intersection