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A rendering of the proposed Dresden Village mixed-use development from Dresden Drive looking east. Click to enlarge.

Developers hope Brookhaven city officials will approve a rezoning request for slightly more than 3 acres of property on Dresden Drive and Caldwell Drive to allow for the construction of a mixed-use development including apartments, retail space and a parking deck.

But some people living in nearby residential neighborhoods say the area has enough apartments and are concerned about added traffic to an already congested Dresden Drive.

Connolly Investment and Development and Fairfield Residential are seeking to rezone property at 1336-1370 Dresden Drive and 2544-2562 Caldwell Drive in order to build a 20,000 square-foot retail space, a 6-level parking deck and 206 apartments. The apartments along Dresden Drive would be three stories and located over a one-story retail floor, while the apartments on Caldwell Drive would be four stories. The project is named Dresden Village.  Developers are holding a public meeting Monday, April 26, at 6 p.m. at Briarwood Park & Recreation Center, 2235 Briarwood Way, Atlanta, Georgia 30319.

An aerial view of the site where the proposed Dresden Village would be located. Click to enlarge.

What the developers are asking for and what is approved for the site currently are not much different, said JR Connolly, president and CEO of Connolly Investment & Development.

 For example, the current zoning of the property allows for 155 multi-family units – this project calls for 206 units, he said.

The property is also currently zoned for 35,000 square-feet of commercial square footage; Connolly is seeking 19,890 square-feet for a retail and restaurants.

Sonja Greeley lives in a neighborhood near Appalacchee Drive. She said the area already has a great deal of apartments, with the complex at 1377 across the street  from this proposed development. And with the transit oriented development proposed at the nearby Brookhaven MARTA station that includes some 600 residential units, it’s time to dial back the density, she said.

“I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 18 years and we’ve been happy with most of the development up to this point,” Greeley said. “We have reached the tipping point and enough is enough.

Dresden Drive’s recent influx of housing and commercial development is appreciated, she said, but the traffic on the road is already too much. Adding more density means more traffic and Greeley said she has “reached her capacity for tolerance.”

Traffic is a known problem along Dresden Drive, particularly where the DeKalb County Tag Office is. Connolloy said the development’s traffic study shows minimal impact on the area, but excludes the congestion created by those trying to get in and out of the small office lot because that is an “existing issue.”

Connolly said the proposed development includes, on Dresden Drive, a 10-foot sidewalk with 5-foot landscaping, parallel parking and a 5-foot wide bike lane to encourage other modes of transportation. A selling point is also the walkability to Brookhaven’s MARTA station.

Greeley said she appreciates being able to walk to restaurants on Dresden Drive from her home, but it is time to halt more development.

“I enjoy being able to walk to restaurants near my house and understand the need for more than just residents in single-family homes and the need for apartments,” she said. “It seems the city is bordering on being more focused on business growth.  I’m frustrated that every developer who asks for rezoning seems to get it. Stick with what you got.”

Connolly said he understands residents concerns and that developers have met with those living in the area several times in advance of the April 25 meeting.

“We’ve really tried to be very sensitive to the neighborhood and also to the residential homes behind the project,” he said.

A rendering of the proposed Dresden Village from Caldwell Drive looking west. Click to enlarge.

For example, the outer design of the apartments along Caldwell Drive will look similar to high-end townhomes, to better blend with the single-family homes in the nearby neighborhoods, he said.

Plans are to build a 6 level paid parking deck with some 200 spaces available to the public who want to shop and eat in the area, Connolly said, to try to alleviate a known parking crunch on Dresden Drive.

“We are providing added parking spaces beyond code – we know there is an existing problem there,” he said.

Residents of the development will have 250 parking spaces available to them on higher levels of the deck and those will be gated, Connolly said.

Connolly is also hoping local restaurants will want to lease space in the proposed development.

“Our goals are to get two or three restaurants with patios,” he said. “We’d like more local restaurants to complement the area. Dresden Drive has a nice village character we’d like to continue,” he said.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.

4 replies on “Apartments, restaurants, parking deck part of ‘Dresden Village’ proposed Brookhaven development”

  1. Each developer comes in and tries to keep the converstation from including the other developments slated for approval. Sure, this one development wants an addition 51 apartments and is basing that density on the mistake Dekalb made on approval of @1377 and Rosewood. They don’t want to bring up the fact that there is a plan to have another 122 less than a block away on Dresden or that there are 700+ planned for the Marta station development or that JBL is in litigation for their 300+ apartments across Peachtree. They don’t want to talk about the fact that these all are suggesting large retail and or office space when we have vacancies in the existing mixed use in the area. They want us to not consider the fact that there is a plan to make Apple Valley/Cauldwell north of Dresden more commercial. We are done with the games. Keep at what is currently zoned or come up with a request that is LESS in a PC-2 configuration or go away.

  2. The above article is fully disingenuous. The traffic study that they did shows multiple points of at capacity — or over capacity — already. Then the analysis shows more points of failure even if no development gets done (due to natural growth in the area). Finally, with the development there are additional areas either at capacity or over capacity (e.g., Dresden and Peachtree which is already over capacity).

    Developers think in isolation and are not thinking of the other developments (e.g, the 122 unit one next to Haven or the huge MARTA development which is forthcoming). And they make and take their money and do not care to live in the impacted area.

    Virtually no effort nor consideration has been made to consider the residents in the surrounding area. They should do considerably more community outreach and if they did so they would realize one of the major points of failure – diverting traffic through Caldwell, Sunland, etc. These roads was never designed for more than basic residential traffic. Any logical person can foresee traffic issues getting worse on Dresden and manifesting new from Caldwell North.

    And that traffic study? It did not even consider the impact on Caldwell Road and the residential roads further North.

    This is a hidesously bad idea.

    I also heard that one of the City Commissioners took a large donation from the developer so any City Commissioner who ultimately supports this should have disclose in a very public way (e.g., in multiple meetings on this subject which surely must occur) if this donation did occur and why it is not a conflict of interest.

  3. This is a very bad Idea. Why is the city of brookhaven trying to shove this down our throat. This is not the image of a village, this is an image of a highly dense urban city. And nobody has yet to present a plan of how they are going to take care of traffic in this area. I say that if the city council will not listen to us, we need to vote them out of office. It is after-all our community.

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