An office building and a five-deck parking garage on Lake Hearn Drive in Sandy Springs soon will be demolished for the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project, and the state is moving quickly to tear down one and acquire the other.

The former Morrison Healthcare headquarters building at Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Lake Hearn Drive. (Photo John Ruch)

The construction contract for the highway project was officially approved by the state April 8. North Perimeter Contractors is creating the final design now, according to the state Department of Transportation, and construction will start by early next year and last into 2020.

GDOT recently bought a two-story office building at Lake Hearn and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, and “the building is being staked and flagged for demolition in the next couple of weeks,” according to GDOT spokesperson Anna-lysce Baker. She could not give a specific demolition schedule.

For 15 years, the building was the headquarters of Morrison Healthcare, a national food and nutrition services company serving hospitals, including Pill Hill’s Northside and Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite. Last month, the company moved out of the building and into a new headquarters at 400 Northridge Road in Sandy Springs, according to Tom Hughes, Morrison’s vice president of communications.

The parking garage in the Pavilion at Lake Hearn office park at 1150 Lake Hearn Drive. (Photo John Ruch)

Baker would not say what GDOT paid for the building, but Hughes said the company was satisfied with the sale.

Meanwhile, GDOT is in negotiations to purchase the large parking deck within the Pavilion at Lake Hearn office park at 1150 Lake Hearn Drive.

GDOT aims to acquire the garage by the end of this year, Baker said, but she would not say who GDOT is negotiating with and would not comment on the state of negotiations. Property records show the owner as Caram Properties LLC, whose registered agent with the state is the law firm Cohen, Pollock, Merlin & Small. The law firm did not respond to questions about the negotiations.

The office building and the parking garage are the only two privately owned structures slated to be demolished for the I-285/Ga. 400 project, Baker said.

One state-owned structure appears to be in the project’s path on the official right of way map: a GDOT salt barn in the southeast corner of the I-285 and Roswell Road interchange in Sandy Springs.

“GDOT constructed [salt barns] in strategic places in order to have readily available salt and gravel during winter weather events,” Baker said. “If the salt barn is impacted by the project, an alternate site will be identified.”

John Ruch

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