A director with Hines, a privately owned real estate firm, proposed the vacated DeKalb County police precinct on Ashford-Dunwoody Road host a “fast casual” and “high-end quality” restaurant.
Alan Kennedy asked members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association at the Nov. 1 meeting what they thought of putting a Pollo Tropical restaurant in the triangular lot where Hines previously built a building for police. The address of the site is 4453 Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. The site would be across from Perimeter Mall and adjacent to a Starbucks coffee house.
The Caribbean-style restaurant would have both indoor seating for 90 and a drive-through window, Kennedy said. Visitors would also have an option to eat at an outdoor patio.
With service to table provided after placing a lunch or dinner order at the counter, Kennedy called Pollo Tropical “a higher point of reference than a Panera.”
Hines also designed the Starbucks along the same side of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and plans to create a natural wood and green colored facade.
“We liken it a lot to Starbucks in the architectural aspect,” Kennedy said.
Cars would park in front of the building in the current design and pedestrian access would exist from the Ravinia side as well as from Ashford-Dunwoody Road. While the intent, Kennedy said, is to create a “high-energy” mixed use, Bob Lundsten questioned the decision to park cars in front of the restaurant’s entrance.
Lundsten, who said he lives on Ashford-Dunwoody Road and walks it often, asked why the building couldn’t be rotated or otherwise redesigned to allow pedestrians to walk from the sidewalk into the building.
Kennedy said studies had shown the drive-through traffic would interfere with parking if the building were moved up closer to Ashford-Dunwoody.
Variances required for the current design include a change from office use to commercial use. Currently, the site is zoned to accommodate a restaurant, Kennedy said, but not with the drive-through design. A variance would also be needed to allow a shorter setback of 30-feet as opposed to the required 50 feet, Kennedy said, explaining this was also due to the triangular lot shape.