Plans for a $90 million expansion of the Concourse Center are going back to the drawing boards, apparently due to a city warning that an apartment component of the mixed-use proposal might not get City Council approval.
“We are withdrawing our Concourse application and are revising the site plan,” said Sheldon Taylor, chief financial officer of Regent Partners, adding the developers expect to return for city Planning Commission review “in the near term.”
Taylor did not say why Regent is withdrawing the mixed-use plan, revealed in March, for its Perimeter Center property known for its landmark “King” and “Queen” skyscrapers. The plan, focused on the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road frontage of the site, included up to 280 apartments, a hotel with up to 150 rooms, and about 25,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in three buildings.
Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, which met privately with Regent officials and supported their plan, said she understands the developers are withdrawing due to the apartment component. She said she is “disappointed” by the withdrawal.
“It seemed like a good plan … It seemed like a decent mix,” Thompson said. “But the City Council has been wary of apartments in rezonings.”
City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said that city planning staff have not issued official recommendations about the proposal because it had not yet been reviewed by the Planning Commission. But, Kraun added, some time ago, Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert “did advise the developer that it was not a good time to apply for such a request” due to the apartment component.
The mixed-use plan was a big change to Concourse. Built between 1984 and 1991, the complex already features more than 2 million square feet of office space and a large Westin hotel. The area proposed for development, located around the corner of Peachtree-Dunwoody and Hammond Drive, is currently zoned for a four-story office building. Besides a mix of uses, the proposal included interior pedestrian connections and a tie-in to the future extension of the PATH400 multi-use trail through the area. The plan requires a rezoning to allow for mixed use.
The mixed-use and housing in particular is what drew support from the Council of Neighborhoods. At a March community meeting, Thompson said that such projects could reduce traffic congestion by allowing people to live closer to Perimeter Center jobs. The last tweak to the Concourse plan, in May, was bumping up the potential density of the hotel and the apartments.
The Concourse plan was filed around the same time as another major mixed-use redevelopment proposed for Peachtree-Dunwoody, the Pavilion office park in the Pill Hill Medical Center area, which will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on Nov. 17.