A developer is considering building an assisted living facility at the former location of the Coronet Club/Doll House, a Roswell Road strip club that was forced to shut down after a long legal battle with the city of Sandy Springs. Nearby residents are concerned about the use and potential increased traffic the development could bring, they said at a Dec. 20 community meeting.
Stephen Pistorius, the developer, said at the required preliminary meeting held at the Church of Scientology that he is under contract for the 2-acre front lot, which was the location of the Coronet Club/Doll House at 5275 Roswell Road, and was in discussions with a different landowner to buy larger 4-acre lot behind it.
If he is able to use the back lot, the assisted living facility could be 150 units, he said. If the back lot is used, Pistorius hopes to bring a restaurant to the ground floor and a medical building to the front lot. Without the back lot, a medical building would not be built and there would be around 100 units, he said.
But Pistorius said the development use could still change.
To build a multi-unit residences the developer needs a zoning change to a character area that allows that use. The change wouldn’t be major since an adult business was already a commercial use, Pistorius said.
The property’s character area was changed from commercial to “neighborhood village,” which allows for office uses, during the city’s development code update. Pistorius said he believes that change was meant to target the strip club, which closed in September after losing a legal battle to stay open.
“The use was commercial,” he said. “I know it wasn’t everyone’s favorite use, but it was commercial.”
Some residents at the meeting worried a large residential building could bring more traffic than an office building. Pistorius disagrees and said he would do a traffic study.
Pistorius said he is willing to adjust the proposal to accommodate residents concerns. But some of them won’t be able to be completely resolved, including traffic.
“You’re basically arguing for it to be nothing,” Pistorius responded to one resident’s concerns that new developments could bring more congestion.
But one resident thought an assisted living facility could be especially bad for traffic.
“You’re going to have medical staff, lunch staff, dinner staff, visitors and residents,” the resident said.
Some residents threw out other ideas, like building a “boutique hotel” or having the city use the land as a park. Another joked another strip club should could come, saying it was a good use because it brought traffic limited to evening hours when congestion is lower.
“Could we get another strip club?” the resident said. “At least they were good neighbors and didn’t take left turns during the day.”
Pistorius said he is planning to talk to the city about going through the zoning process in a way that ties the development plan to the zoning use so that residents know what they will be getting if the character area is changed.
“I know its a sensitive subject for anyone who lives here, but somebody’s going to redevelop it,” he said.
The developer is required to host a second community meeting, which has not been set yet, before appearing at the Planning Commission in March. For more information, click here.
This article has been updated with additional information.