While a proposal to redevelop the Park 225 apartments on Roswell Road at Franklin Road has drawn opposition from an adjacent neighborhood, it has the backing of the larger High Point Civic Association.
“In the nine years that Sandy Springs has been a city, the Park 225 proposal is only the second request to redevelop old apartments that sit on Roswell Road,” said Bill Gannon, who serves on the HPCA zoning board. “If the city and the developers cannot come together so that this project is approved, it will likely be a long, long time before we will ever see a third request.”
But some residents of the smaller Westfield Park neighborhood publicly have opposed the development in the past.
An application to rezone the property to allow construction of 325 apartments and 162 townhomes is slated to go before the Sandy Springs City Council Nov. 18. The request was deferred for 60 days during the council’s Sept. 16 meeting.
The deferral was to allow The Providence Group to continue working with neighbors to address their concerns that the project is too dense and would bring too much traffic to the area.
“The Westfield Park neighbors are rightfully concerned about the increase in traffic, as we all are,” stated a letter to the mayor and City Council from Bill Leffler, HPCA president. “The developer has agreed to concessions in that regard. More to the point, the neighborhood and the developer respectively have agreed to many requests of the other party, and we believe that this is as close as the two sides are going to get.”
Westfield Park is part of the High Point Civic Association.
The planning commission recommended deferral at its Oct. 16 meeting, stating that the developers needed to continue to work with the community on height and density limits on the project.
However, the High Point Civic Association says it’s time to make a decision.
“If Park 225 does not get redeveloped with this current offer, we are concerned it will not get redeveloped for many years, perhaps a decade or more,” Leffler said in the letter. “Park 225 might remain as is, a 40-year-old property that isn’t getting any younger.”
The HPCA also stated that the redevelopment would bring more homeowners to the community as opposed to renters, and that with a price range of $400,000, incomes in the area will rise. “Additionally, the property tax revenue of new class A apartments and the townhomes will be four or five times what it is now,” the letter stated.
The HPCA also says the development should be capped at 162 townhomes and 325 apartments, should have only two curb cuts on Franklin Road, and building heights should be limited to four stories on Roswell and Franklin roads.
Also slated for the Nov. 18 council agenda is real estate developer Hines’ Northpark 100 mixed-use development. Deferred various times to allow city staffers and council members to get a handle on what bringing a 50-story office tower to the area would mean, the latest 30-day deferral happened Oct. 21 due to inadequate notice for a public hearing not being given.
On Sept. 16, the developers proposed bringing the height down to 42 stories and the number of apartments to 325 from 500.
Hines, a Texas-based company, had requested a zoning change for 14.3 acres of land at Peachtree-Dunwoody, Abernathy and Mount Vernon roads from office to mixed use, which would allow for the apartments, as well as a use permit for the office tower to exceed maximum height requirements.