A plan of the Glenn West project, with the new housing and Mount Vernon Presbyterian School fields in the dark green area at the top. The existing school campus is in light green at the bottom. Glenridge Drive runs along the righthand side.

Developer Ashton Woods is stirring controversy for another plan to turn former Glenn family land on Sandy Springs’ Glenridge Drive into single- and multifamily housing paired with a major institution’s plan.

The “Glenn West” project at 6500 Glenridge Road, which puts 123 homes alongside new ball fields for Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, is right across the street from where Ashton Woods plans a variety of housing around the future Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters.

Neighbors already unhappy with density and traffic impacts of the Mercedes plan aren’t thrilled with 80 townhomes, 43 single-family homes and five new driveways coming to Glenridge Drive. About 60 residents expressed concerns at an Aug. 27 Community Developer Resolution Meeting at Sandy Springs City Hall.

The 36-acre site is largely wooded, with a forking stream running through it. The property is part of the former Glenn family estate that once covered nearly 500 acres. The pieces Ashton Woods and Mercedes are acquiring, on the east side of Glenridge, is being sold by family member Caroline Glenn Mayson, who also controversially demolished Glenridge Hall, the family mansion, earlier this year. The Glenn West parcel, on the west side, is being sold by Tom Glenn and his wife Lou, according to Dr. J. Brett Jacobson, the head of school at Mount Vernon Presbyterian.

At Glenn West, the school would take 10 acres for a new multi-sport field and softball diamond. In part, that clears room for a new high school building. School officials say that won’t boost the cap of 750 students allowed on that campus, but will increase the number who currently attend.

The project requires rezoning to allow the townhouses, and variances to let the school’s field encroach on a street setback and a stream buffer.

Neighbors questioned Ashton Woods’ density calculations—which include the ballfields—and traffic numbers. They generally opposed the multifamily component.

Mike Busher, a senior vice president of Ashton Woods, said demand is driving the multifamily part. “Certainly, I feel [the mood] from the room that one more [multifamily project] is too many,” he said, but added the market shows a “huge underserved need for Perimeter housing” of that type. In a later interview, he said Ashton Woods will continue to negotiate with neighbors.

The project will go before the city’s public Planning Commission on Sept. 17. For more details, see the project filing on the city’s website.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

2 replies on “Ashton Woods plans more housing across from Mercedes site”

  1. Ashton Woods is getting anything that it wants in the City of Sandy Springs. City officials provide little resistance to these outrageous plans to build more and more along a two lane road, manipulating the numbers to acheive their ends. What has happened to this city that allows these developments with no regard to its citizens?

  2. There are only about 13 detached single family homes on the almost 1000 units that just got approved on the North + South Mercedes parcel last week. There’s already a glut of attached multifamily housing at this intersection, far more than demand will fill.

    Frankly, there’s just not enough supply of *non-ancient* single family detached homes in Sandy Springs. Those 13 new detached homes on the north+south parcel will be sold before they can build them or even advertise them. With this Glenn West property added, it will be about 50 detached homes out of almost 1200 units (5%). Fact: *Far* more than 5% of America desires to live in a detached, non-apartment-style home. I’d say 60%+ does.

    Building just straight single family detached homes on the whole thing would be wildly supported by the community and likely just as profitable for the developer given the likely price points of $900K-$1.1m vs. half that for townhomes.

    Glad that the article notes at the bottom that the developer is negotiating with the neighbors…look forward to seeing what happens.

    -LM

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