A major Perimeter Center project that would include a grocery store and restaurants is back on the table after decades-old zoning conditions nearly sunk the project earlier this year.
Branch Ashwood Associates, a division of Branch Properties, recently submitted plans to the city seeking to rezone approximately 10 acres at 4720 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, 1250 Meadow Lane Road and 500-700 Ashwood Parkway to make way for a new commercial development including an anchor grocery store, retail and restaurants. The grocery store is not named, but in documents filed with the city it is described as “a special prototype that will be new to the Atlanta area that will have groceries, but will also have a large selection of ‘grab and go’ offerings for lunch and dinner.”
The site is where P.F. Chang’s is currently located and where the now closed McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant and Brio Tuscan Grille restaurant were located. The site also includes a detention pond that fronts Ashford-Dunwoody Road. To build the proposed development, Branch needs to fill in the pond for a parking lot that would be located behind new retail buildings fronting Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Meadow Lane Road.
Branch originally filed plans for the same project in February and expected to only appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval. But city officials later found zoning documents from 1996 that prohibited filling in the detention pond and limited development on the property to only four restaurants.
Branch is now requesting the city modify the zoning conditions to eliminate the 1996 restrictions and stated in documents filed with the city it has received approval to fill in the pond from the state Environmental Protection Division. The city’s Planning Commission takes up the request at its April 9 meeting.
Branch’s plans include tearing down the restaurant buildings there now. The proposed project includes a 25,440 square foot anchor grocery store on the site. Besides the grocery store, the site plan includes a 2,800-square-foot bank building; a 5,411-square-foot convenience store and gas station with a total of eight gas pumps; and five new retail buildings ranging in size from 8,400 square feet to 6,000 square feet.
Branch is also seeking variances from the ZBA to reduce setbacks to allow the new retail buildings to be built close to the right-of-way along Ashford-Dunwoody and Meadow Lane roads to engage pedestrians and cyclists on sidewalks and to allow for the Perimeter Commuter Trail planned for Ashford-Dunwoody Road.