Published on March 25th, 2015 |0
Wood Partners seeks to downsize Phipps area high-rise plan
The reduction in the number of floors, from what was originally planned by the previous owner of the property John Kusmiersky of The Brickstone Cos., also results in the reduction of the number of apartment units and the number of parking spaces, which means less cars.
The nearly 2-acre site is next to 750 Park Avenue, which Kusmiersky previously developed and is one of Buckhead’s tallest buildings. Wood Partners now has the 1000 Park Avenue site under contract.
Last summer Kusmiersky proposed essentially a carbon copy project to 750 Park Avenue, with 74 one-bedroom and 222 two-bedroom units in 40 stories. Wood Partners has reduced the height to 27 stories and number of units as well to 224. Less units, less cars, less traffic, right?
“The building is on the same location, just shorter and squatter,” explained attorney Sharon Gay. She also explained that the new building would be 317 feet tall, 415,000 square feet and that the parking spaces had now been reduced to 425 for the project.
While members of the Development Review Committee of SPI-12 (Special Public Interest district) seemed to embrace the concept of downsizing the project, they were not 100 percent sold on all aspects of the new Wood Partners plan during their March 4 meeting.
Architect Keith Vanderbilt explained that the new plans call for 23 stories of residential above the plaza level, which would have all of the
amenities as well as the entrance to the mostly underground parking garage.
He said they want to build on the same podium level as Phipps Plaza. The parking deck, where visible to the street, is covered and screened from the street, he said. But DRC members wanted to see even more screening of the parking deck from the street.
The committee also wanted the loading docks for the building shifted away from Phipps Boulevard, even though Phipps Boulevard is essentially at the rear of the building.
The committee also had a problem with the connection of the building to the public sidewalk. It was suggested that the sidewalk along the side of the building be continued across the drive area and front and down to Phipps Boulevard.
In the original plan for the two buildings (750 Park Avenue and 1000 Park Avenue) they were planned to connect—especially at the plaza level. That is not acceptable to the residents of 750 Park Avenue, so there now will be a separation wall between them.
Originally, there was an attempt to tie the two parking decks together to help attain the needed parking. That is physically possible but not now acceptable to the residents of 750 Park Avenue and Wood Partners.
Atlanta city planner Karl Smith-David, the planner assigned to the SPI-12 DRC, pointed out that there must be connectivity between the two properties if that previously was part of the plan.
He also pointed out there must be a pedestrian connection to the street (in this case along Wieuca Road) since it had previously been determined that Park Avenue is the primary street for the development, not Phipps Boulevard.
Smith-David also pointed out that parking is prohibited in any area where street activity—such as curb cuts for loading docks, on streets, private streets or drives.
Because of all the questions and suggestions the DRC members had related to the new plans, the applicant was instructed to return, likely in April, to address those issues.