Developers for a proposed office 16- to 20-story highrise in Perimeter Center presented their plans to the Dunwoody Homeowners Association at its June 6 meeting and some members questioned their plans to seek a tax abatement for the $130 million project.
Transwestern representatives outlined plans to build the highrise, named Nexus at Perimeter, on an unused corner of the Perimeter Mall parking lot adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway.
The developers presented their plans for the approximate 350,000 square-foot building first to the Dunwoody Development Authority on May 19 and told its members they would be seeking a 95 percent tax abatement over 10 years.
DHA Board Member Adrienne Duncan was direct with Trent Germano, senior managing director of development for Transwestern when he said the tax abatement would make the project viable and marketable.
“Nobody is dragging you in here kicking and screaming and you didn’t consider that cost and think, hey, those people who don’t get a 95 percent tax abatement might be a little pissed off by that?” she said.
Germano said Transwestern was thinking long-range for a piece of property that now sits empty.
Germano said the tax abatement would give the proposed development an “edge” and allow it to compete with existing developments as well as the development being constructed now in Brookhaven across I-285.
That development, the Perimeter Summit project, received a tax abatement from DeKalb County, Germano told Dunwoody Development Authority members in May.
Transwestern is seeking a special land use permit from the city to construct the building up to 20 stories; current zoning for the property only allows for two stories.
Renderings of the building by Cooper Carry architects show 16 stories. DHA President Robert Wittenstein said the drawings should accurately represent what the developers are seeking.
“It’s annoying … that you are asking for one thing and your visuals are showing another,” Wittenstein said.
Germano explained they are comfortable with the 16-story highrise but wanted the flexibility to build higher if a big-name company wanted to locate there.
The project includes a 5-story parking deck within the structure. Transwestern is also set to purchase the MARTA parking deck closest to the mall. No traffic study has been done, Germano said. Because the office building is located next to the MARTA station, it is expected many people would be using public transportation to access the building.
Architect Sean McClendon with Cooper Carry said his company’s tenant base is demanding to be located next to public transit.
The highrise would include a two-story lobby and a restaurant and some retail business on the main floor. A pedestrian bridge would connect the building directly to the MARTA station.
Transwestern is buying the property from General Growth Properties, owner of Perimeter Mall. As part of the deal, General Growth will buy MARTA out of its lease of the parking deck closest to the mall; that lease expires in 2017.
The planned office building will eliminate 119 parking spaces from the mall, but those spaces will be replaced by parking spaces inside the parking deck, Germano said. The MARTA parking deck has 600 spaces; 481 spaces will be gated off from replacement mall parking to be used by those in the new office building.
Plans are to break ground in early 2017 and open in late 2018.