Could a possible conference center and/or performing arts center be in the works at the proposed Dunwoody Crown Towers development?

Zoning attorney Doug Dillard, left, and developer Charlie Brown presented their proposal for Dunwoody Crown Towers at a recent Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting.

The idea was hinted at during the Feb. 15 Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting when veteran Realtor Charlie Brown and zoning attorney Doug Dillard presented a plan for development that includes two 24-floor office buildings, a 28-story hotel and a small retail center. In comparison, the King and Queen towers in Sandy Springs are 34-story office towers.

Rob Svedberg of Tvsdesign, an Atlanta-based architecture firm also working on the Dunwoody Crown Towers project, gave a brief slide-show presentation to DHA members and noted briefly that a conference center could be in the works.

“This is new,” said DHA Board Member Greg Crnkovich of the brief mention of a conference center or performing arts center. “This idea of a conference center or performing arts center is a hot button item for me.”

Svedberg explained the development was made in accordance with the city’s comprehensive plan that includes preserving neighborhoods, creating and protecting green space and also focusing on the arts.

The possible conference center, or performing arts center, could be included as a standalone venue or as part of the hotel, he said, and could handle community events and conferences.

Crnkovich said he liked the idea because he wants the development at Perimeter Center to include things that would keep people in the area past work hours and to create something like a 24-hour community.

Brown, representing property owners Crown Holdings Group, owner of the property seeking to develop the land, said that also bringing in residential development into the area will help create that 24-hour community.

“Location, location, location,” Brown said. “This is a fantastic location.”

“We want to put something here that creates value for this community, not only for  us,” he added.

Dunwoody has a good built-in market for those wanting to buy luxury highrise residential property, he added. The 380 residential units in the proposed new highrises are expected to be in the $500,000 price point range.

Dillard told DHA members this was “a significant project, not just for Atlanta, but for the Southeastern United States.”

“You have an opportunity to show how to convert a traditional suburban community of retail and office space to a true urban node … and have a mix of residential,” Dillard said.

Dillard said the proposed hotel could attract a Four Seasons or St. Regis to the city. There is also about 2 million feet of office space that could be developed, he added.

“This is a critical, critical piece of property. It’s 15 acres that nobody really notices. What Charlie and Crown Holdings are trying to do is create an urban setting,” he said.

Conflict with I-285/GA 400 project?

DHA President Robert Wittenstein asked about Georgia Department of Transportation’s planned work to be done at the I-285/Ga.400 interchange and if that project would encroach on the Crown Holdings development.

GDOT is now acquiring property for the project between Glenridge Drive and the MARTA overpass and will complete acquisition by Dec. 31, according to the GDOT website.

Brown said there is room for two towers at the current site. Dillard added that is a reason why it is important to get the rezoning done now.

Dunwoody Crown Towers is proposed to go in the old Gold Kist site.

A potential “westside connector” was not discussed at the DHA meeting. Brown said that the road had nothing to do with the rezoning request being made.

“We’ve got plenty of traffic out there. We can’t talk about that. The city, under the leadership of [former] mayor [Mike] Davis adopted a resolution supporting it and now the city is working with GDOT …” and local agencies, he said. “Our contribution is the right of way. It has nothing to do with zoning.”

Crown Holdings Group, the owner of the 15-acre piece of property, is currently seeking to have nearly 5-acres of the land rezoned to allow for two additional residential towers not to exceed 40 stories at the eastern end of the project. The site for the development is located on the old Gold Kist property off Ashford-Dunwoody Road and next to the Dunwoody MARTA station.

The zoning request is expected to be considered by the Dunwoody Planning Commission at its March 8 meeting.

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