Brookhaven City Hall would be demolished as part of a redevelopment plan for several Peachtree Road properties recently filed with the city.
The project would replace the current City Hall building with a new six-story office and retail building.
Delta Life Insurance Co. owns the just over 6 acres of properties at 4362-4400 Peachtree Road and filed for several zoning variances on April 4. The variances include adding two curb cuts on Peachtree Road and one curb cut on Hermance Drive as part of the redevelopment.
An existing five-story building next to City Hall would remain and a new four-story office/retail or hotel building would be constructed at the corner of Hermance Drive and Peachtree Road, where an urgent care office is now located.
The property currently has five office buildings with 200,000 square feet, ranging in height from one to five stories as well as a parking garage and surface parking lots. Those existing buildings were built in the 1970s and are occupied by a variety of office tenants, including the city of Brookhaven and Delta Life, said Andrew M. Taylor, president of Taylor & Mathis, a commercial real estate company that applied for the variance on behalf of Delta Life.
“The owner is exploring opportunities to redevelop portions of the property to create an integrated and modernized mixed-use project that offers the amenities, connectivity and vibrancy that today’s companies seek in office environments,” Taylor said in an email.
“Based on preliminary plans, the project could encompass mid-rise office and hotel uses, street-level retail and restaurant space, an exterior renovation of the existing five-story building, and open plaza space along Peachtree with extensive landscaping, sidewalks and outdoor dining areas,” he added.
There is no timetable for the project at this point, as it is still in the conceptual planning stages, Taylor said.
The primary purpose of the variance application is to allow consolidated curb cuts, he explained.
“The property currently has four curb cuts on Peachtree Road. The preliminary redevelopment plan has only two two curb cuts on Peachtree – so, we would be eliminating two, which is a obviously a good thing,” he said. “However, the recently adopted Peachtree Road Overlay District regulations would allow only one curb cut if the property is redeveloped.”
In January 2017, City Manager Christian Sigman informed the mayor and City Council that Delta Life Insurance was considering redevelopment of the site. Last April, the city was able to renew its lease for five years, until 2024.
The lease agreement includes a provision that either party can get out of the lease with a nine-month notice.
No notice of breaking the lease has yet been given to city officials.
“We would get nine months from Delta Life, if they decide to terminate the lease,” Communications Director Burke Brennan said.
Delta Life Insurance also ticked the box in its zoning variance application saying it would be seeking tax incentives from the city for the proposed redevelopment. Brennan said the city has not received any information on what the owners may want.
The city’s lease payment for City Hall was $294,175.01 in 2017.
The city moved into its current City Hall, a former Georgia State University building, in 2014. After the city was incorporated in December 2012, the city used an office building in Dunwoody for its very first City Hall.
Finding a place to put City Hall was a challenge for city officials even before Brookhaven officially incorporated. The Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven, a body appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to help set up the city before the mayor and council members were elected, was tasked with securing a temporary City Hall. That body settled on the Dunwoody location because it was so difficult to find a suitable space in Brookhaven.
Sigman said last year the administration before Mayor John Ernst took office had commissioned a consultant to conduct a 30-year facilities plan. That plan, however, got dropped somehow, and when Sigman came on board the company called him asking if the study was still needed.
That plan has been rebooted, Sigman said, but no timeline was given when it will be completed.
Talk of where to find a permanent location for City Hall has been tossed about since the city was founded. In recent years, MARTA made a new City Hall part of a plan for a massive transit-oriented development at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station. But that project was ultimately dropped amid controversy over traffic and other issues.
This story has been updated with comments from Andrew M. Taylor, representing the property’s owner.