By John Ruch
Another year, another development plan within the Palisades Office Park.
Just 14 months ago, Sandy Springs City Council approved a dense multi-use development—including a 200-room hotel—on the grounds of the prominent property at 5901 Peachtree Dunwoody Road. On June 16, a new developer received the council’s zoning-modification approval for a smaller retail and multifamily housing project after announcing it would eliminate the proposed hotel.
Pollack Shores Real Estate Group proposes building 10,000 square feet of retail space and 430 housing units. That’s down from 50,000 square feet and 645 units in the previously approved plan.
The project still includes a partial build-out of the long-desired “East West Connector” road between Peachtree Dunwoody and Perimeter Center Parkway, as well as adding extra lanes to the intersection. However, one traffic mitigation proposal included in the previous plan — new dual left-turn lanes on Peachtree Dunwoody southbound into Palisades — was deleted.
Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, said she is not pleased with that “giveback” on traffic mitigation.
Tyler Gaines of Pollack Shores said that with the hotel gone from the plan, those lanes—and the related tree-cutting and streetlight-moving necessary to make room for them—were no longer needed.
Councilman Tibby DeJulio noted that developers rarely seek to make projects less dense and questioned why Gaines was doing so.
Gaines’ answer: Killing the hotel meant the expensive road-lane project wasn’t needed, and not having the expensive road-lane project meant that higher-density development wasn’t needed to subsidize it. He also suggested that the previous owners got a high-density project approved with the intention of selling the plan rather than developing it themselves.