MARTA and its developers submitted July 1 a rezoning request to the city of Brookhaven this month to seek approval for a mixed-use development at the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe station on Peachtree Road.
MARTA is slated to hold a public meeting on July 25 at Oglethorpe University at 5:30 p.m. and the rezoning request is expected to go before the city’s Planning Commission on Sept. 7.
At a June 22 community meeting at Oglethorpe University, MARTA representatives and representatives from Brookhaven City Center Partners, developers for the proposed development at the city’s MARTA station, made their final pitch of the project to about 80 residents.
Resident Chad Boles angrily questioned why the proposed MARTA development was seeking tax incentives from the Brookhaven Development Authority.
“We are working with the Development Authority of Brookhaven,” said Art Lomenick, president of development for The Integral Group. Developers for the project, Brookhaven City Center Partners, is a joint venture of The Integral Group and Transwestern.
The incentives would be used to finance infrastructure, for example, for the project, said Amanda Rhein, senior director of transit oriented development and real estate at MARTA.
The specific tax incentives will not be discussed publicly, said Luke Anderson, chair of the Brookhaven Development Authority.
“The city’s transactions involving land acquisition are not subject to the Open Records Act. Thus, until an acquisition is disclosed at a public meeting, the Brookhaven Development Authority does not publicly discuss any such transactions,” he said in a statement.
MARTA’s property is located in four different base zoning classifications as well as the Brookhaven Overlay District: M-Industrial, C-2 General Commercial, RM-75 Multifamily and R-75 Single Family. Developers are seeking to have the property rezoned to PC-2 Pedestrian Community District to allow for the mixed-use development project.
City staff members are expected to review the rezoning request for up to 60 days and then present it to the Planning Commission in September. The City Council will have the final vote.
Depending on how the rezoning request goes, MARTA hopes to begin the development in late 2017 and finish Phase 1 in two years. Phase 1 includes a public park space that is the focal point of the project as well as the residential buildings on either side of the park that include retail businesses on ground floors.
Plans for the project – known as a transit-oriented development – first were made public over a year ago. The plans have been modified in response to community concerns, specifically about traffic.
Traffic analysts Kimley-Horn explained at the June 22 community meeting its proposed improvements to the main intersections at Peachtree Road and Dresden Drive, and Peachtree Road and North Druid Hills Road, where traffic congestion is notorious.
For the Peachtree Road and Dresden Drive intersection, the company’s proposals include adding a left-turn lane eastbound on Brookhaven Drive and adding two turn lanes from Dresden Drive to Peachtree Road.
At the Peachtree Road and North Druid Hills Road intersection, Kimley-Horn is proposing adding two southbound turn lanes from Peachtree Road turning onto North Druid Hills Road.
The proposed project at one time included only rental residential units. Now, in response to community demand, it includes 107 units for sale, according to MARTA officials. The project includes 100 senior affordable apartments and 340 market rate apartments.
Office space for the proposed project is maxed out at 200,000 square feet and retail space at 55,768 square feet. There is also a 125-room hotel planned.
A community green space also is planned at the center of the proposed development, where art festivals and community concerts could be held.
MARTA officials say they want to build a “vibrant village center” on the current station’s mostly empty parking lots.