Two more major projects aim to join a senior housing boom in the area, one on Howell Mill Road and another in Brookhaven’s Lenox Park.

Meanwhile, a massive expansion of an existing senior community, Canterbury Court, is headed for the city’s Zoning Review Board with an approval from NPU-B after a hastily arranged compromise with neighbors concerned about traffic, water runoff and new towers looming over back yards.

They join such projects as the Peachtree Hills Place luxury senior housing along Peachtree Hills Avenue and an upcoming expansion of the Lenbrook senior community on Peachtree Road.

An illustration of the Village Park Senior Housing project planned for Howell Mill Road. (Special)

Village Park Senior Living

Village Park Senior Living aims to build a 600-unit, $300 million luxury housing project to the former West Paces Medical Center site at 3200 Howell Mill Road.

A first phase of the project, dubbed Village Park Paces, is expected to open by fall 2020, according to a press release from financing company SunTrust Banks. Village Park did not respond to questions.

The 9-acre project would include independent living, assisted living and memory care – a so called continuum of care that is a popular model for seniors to age in the same community. According to the press release, it “will feature French inspired architecture, groomed courtyards, a movie theater, flower shop, library, wine bar, sports bar and other unique amenities.”

“I’m excited to launch the most premier senior living community in the underserved Paces market just north of Atlanta and Midtown,” said Village Park Senior Living CEO Tim Gary in the press release. “The Atlanta population is booming. Many professionals are moving to the city and bringing their parents along with them. This community will deliver on the highest quality of service and care for our residents while protecting their dignity and lifestyle.”

The first phase will include a total of 204 units: 82 independent living, 75 assisted living and 26 memory care. That phase will create more than 350 permanent jobs, the press release says.

Dyana Bagby
The approximately 5-acre park area in Lenox Park could soon have a five-story senior living apartment building on its site if plans are approved by the city of Brookhaven. (Dyana Bagby)

Lenox Park

A five-story multifamily residential development with 199 senior housing units is proposed to be built on an approximately 5-acre undeveloped site in Lenox Park.

The proposed project is described as a “senior living community” for people 55 and older. It is also the first project to meet Brookhaven’s new zoning code that requires 10 percent workforce housing.

The property at 1035, 1045, 1055 and 1065 Lenox Blvd. is owned by Bellsouth Telecommunications. The developer, Atlanta-based Greystar GP, is set to go before the Brookhaven Planning Commission on Feb. 6 to seek approval to remove the current site plans for the property.

The vacant property is currently zoned for two office buildings with six and eight stories, according to plans filed with the city. A community development plan for the office park does not include approval for apartments.

The proposed development would include 199 apartments for seniors age 55 and older, according to a letter of intent on file with the city of Brookhaven. The development would be “an active adult residential community,” the document states.

In 2017, a developer proposed to build a six-story apartment complex with 273 units on the same undeveloped site. The developer withdrew plans following backlash from residents living in the area who complained of traffic and density.

The five-building Lenox Park office complex, located near the Buckhead border, was bought in August by a real estate firm.

The 32-acre office park along Lenox Park Boulevard has long been occupied by AT&T offices. Bridge Investment Group, the new owner, says it will renovate 1277 Lenox Park Boulevard, a seven-story tower that AT&T recently vacated. The renovation is for speculative office space geared for any type of potential tenant, a spokesperson said.

Canterbury Court

Canterbury Court, at 3750 Peachtree Road near the Brookhaven border, dates to 1965 and opened its current nine-to-10-story towers in 1991 and 2005. It says it needs to modernize medical uses, such as a clinic, and wants to add about 136 residential units to the current 188. That involves three new buildings ranging from roughly three to 10 stories.

The project has had rough going with many neighbors. It gained approval at the Jan. 8 NPU-B meeting after a zoning condition agreement was hammered out moments before the vote, so fresh it was not available in finalized form.

Tensions were high, with neighborhood representative Cathy Boston saying agreed-upon mitigations had been “gutted,” leaving residents “at wit’s end.” Chuck Konas of the development team said the neighbors were changing demands and creating “death by a thousand cuts.”

Well-known community advocate Sally Silver was deputized to broker a deal among both sides in a 20-minute discussion in a lobby outside the meeting room at the Cathedral of St. Philip.

“They’re getting trees. They’re getting walls. Everybody’s happy,” she announced as compromise was reached.
Boston and project attorney Carl Westmoreland confirmed the deal appeared to be fine. The project was expected to head to the ZRB this month.

However, not all neighbors are happy. Maggie Patton, a Club Drive resident, said she felt residents were “railroaded” at the meeting and that buffer issues are still a problem.

“The fate of our homes and family investments was left to a chaotic scramble,” she said.

–John Ruch and Dyana Bagby

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.