New Developments This photo taken April 24 shows the green space that has temporarily replaced the abandoned Garden Hills Shopping Center property. Fellini's and La Fonda restaurants are at bottom left, Riumson Road at the bottom, Peachtree Road to the left, the Alhambra condominiums at top. Brand Properties plans to build a six-story office building and two story retail spaces on the site atop a parking deck.

Published on May 27th, 2015 |

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Office/retail mid-rise project planned for Garden Hills Center site

Brand Properties plans to build a six-story mid-rise office building above a podium of two-story retail and bank spaces on the Peachtree Road site of the former Garden Hills Shopping Center–recently torn down after a December 2013 fire and replaced by a park-like green space.

This photo taken Friday, April 24, shows the green space that has replaced the abandoned Garden Hills Shopping Center property. Fellini's and La Fonda restaurants are at bottom left, Riumson Road at the bottom, Peachtree Road to the left, the Alhambra condominiums at top. Brand Properties plans to build a six-story office building and two story retail spaces on the site atop a parking deck.

This photo taken April 24 shows the green space that has replaced the abandoned Garden Hills Shopping Center property. Fellini’s and La Fonda restaurants are at bottom left, Riumson Road at the bottom, Peachtree Road to the left, the Alhambra condominiums at top. Brand Properties plans to build a six-story office building and two story retail spaces on the site atop a parking deck.

The development plans call for 119,656 square feet of office space on six floors and a six-story parking deck with 425 spaces. The total retail space is 15,174 square feet on two stories, which includes the two-story bank.

The bank is built into the building, but functions like an out parcel. The bank and retail spaces are on the same levels as the top two floors of the six-story parking deck, four levels of which are below the Peachtree Road frontage. The total office and retail space is 134,830 square feet.

This site plan shows the 5th of 6 parking  deck levels in red with the retail and bank 1st floor levels in blue, the office lobby in yellow and the drive off of Peachtree Road , at left. Rumson Road is at the bottom and Fellini's and LaFonda restaurants would be at bottom left.

This site plan shows the 5th of 6 parking deck levels in red with the retail and bank 1st floor levels in blue, the office lobby in yellow and the drive off of Peachtree Road at left. Rumson Road is at the bottom and Fellini’s and LaFonda restaurants are at bottom left.

The main entrance into the development will be via a new driveway curb cut on Peachtree Road that will provide entrance and exit drives that circle around the bank facility to a parking deck entrance. The parking deck also has access on Rumson Road.

While there are no retail or bank tenants presently lined up for the spaces, Brand Properties has said it is working on pre-leasing the spaces, including talking to several banks. Brand Properties CEO Brand Morgan told BuckheadView, “We are definitely pursuing a nice restaurant, but nothing is finalized.”

The only tenant commitment that is finalized is that Brand Properties will be moving its headquarters offices into the office space.

The property at 2815-2839 Peachtree Road is next to the Fellini’s and La Fonda restaurants and just north of the intersection of Peachtree and Rumson roads. The new building will wrap around the back of the two existing restaurants.

BuckheadView became aware of the new development plans at the Tuesday night meeting of the Zoning Committee of Neighborhood Planning Unit-B.

R. Brand Morgan

R. Brand Morgan

Brand Properties is on the agenda to bring its plans for the new development before that committee next month.

Morgan confirmed to BuckheadView that the development is on the NPU-B Zoning agenda for June, but added, “We are not looking to move faster than the neighborhood feels comfortable with, so we may push that back a month if requested to do so.”

This graphic shows the 6th or top parking deck level in red, the 2nd stories of the reail and bank areas in blue and second floor of office lobby in yellow. This level of the parking deck covers pat of the drive off of Peachtree Road.

This graphic shows the 6th or top parking deck level in red, the 2nd stories of the retail and bank areas in blue and second floor of office lobby in yellow. This level of the parking deck covers part of the drive off of Peachtree Road.

BuckheadView was told that Brand Properties met with representatives of the Garden Hills neighborhood on Friday, May 22, and showed them the plans for the development.

Michael Isaacs, the Garden Hills representative on the NPU-B Zoning Committee told BuckheadView that the neighborhood was reviewing the plans, but it was too early to comment on any concerns about the development. He did indicate there is interest in seeing that the façade of the parking deck facing neighboring residential units is pleasant to look at.

This graphic shows one of the first four levels of the six floors of office space, with the elevators to the lovvy at top left.

This graphic shows one of the first four levels of the six floors of office space, with the elevators to the lobby at top left.

Asked if there is a target date to begin construction of the new development, Morgan told BuckheadView, “It is too early to start setting construction start dates.” He indicated the plan is to have much of the space pre-leased before construction begins.

Morgan said that Wakefield Beasley will be the architect on the project, but that no construction contractor has been identified. He also indicated that construction financing would not be through Brand Bank. “We do not use Brand Bank for construction loans,” he stated.

Brand Properties applied May 5 with the city of Atlanta to change the zoning on the property from the C-1-C (Community Business-Conditional District) to MRC-2 (Mixed Residential Commercial District), which was heard on first read by the City Council’s Zoning Committee on May 27.

The MRC District is designed to create districts that promote a mixture of residential and commercial uses. It was intended to be an alternative to the existing commercial districts. The rezoning requires going before the affected NPU, in this case NPU-B, for approval.

On March 16, BuckheadView reported that heavy equipment had begun tearing into the fire-damaged and abandoned Garden Hills Shopping Center, former home of the Garden Hills Cinema and Peachtree Bikes, along with other tenants.

On December 2013, a fire that started in the Peachtree Bikes store, ended up closing for good six stores in the building—at least at that location. Most have moved elsewhere but the building remained an eyesore for more than a year.

Now the building is totally gone and today the site is a grassy, park-like landscape. BuckheadView counted about 15-16 new trees that have been planted there, a very large amount of sod and a retention pond had been added to the site awaiting the redevelopment.

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    18 Responses to Office/retail mid-rise project planned for Garden Hills Center site

    1. Catherine M says:

      Question: will the ‘park-like’ greenspace ever be opened to the neighborhood for use? It’s currently fenced off; would be nice to allow use until the construction begins, which sounds like won’t be all that soon.

      • John Schaffner says:

        Don’t know for sure if it will ever be open for public use, but I doubt that will happen for insurance liability reasons. It is, after all, private property.

    2. Pingback: News Briefs: Twain's buys bowling alley; Garden Hills plans; Midtown dialogue - Atlanta INtown Paper

    3. Pingback: News Briefs: Twain’s buys bowling alley; Garden Hills plans; Midtown dialogue | Georgia News

    4. Janice says:

      Way to much parking and why do they need two entrances? We need to start making this area more pedestrian friendly not encourage more traffic.

    5. Drew says:

      That’s unfortunate…it seems like the entire lot is going to be a massive parking lot with two tiny buildings for commercial/retail. I was excited to see the old building come down in anticipation of some new retail spaces but not so much any more. Even if they try to make the parking deck facade pleasant to look at, it’s going to be hard to hide 6 stories of deck that butts up directly against Rumson. Fellini’s is going to look so out of place with this. Finally, it would be nice to use that green space in the meantime as a previous commenter mentioned but I agree, it’s private property and only comes with more liability for the owner.

    6. Michelle says:

      Not thrilled to see this will be lots of parking deck with other things thrown in for good measure. Going to be wonderful to look out every day to a parking garage! Why can’t they make it “visually appealing” and put it all underground?? And I agree that the neighborhood should stay (or become) more pedestrian friendly. Why does Brand Properties need its headquarters down here anyway? Are they the only ones they can find to rent the place?

    7. anon says:

      Not happy with this at all. This area needs to be pedestrian friendly. There is so much activity at this corner on Saturdays with the Farmer’s market. I was sad to lose the shopping center and theater, but the green space has actually been refreshing. An office building with parking is not what Garden Hills needs!!

      • haywood jawalk says:

        please voice what you would find acceptable. if you want it accepted by the land owner, it will have to be acceptable to them too.

    8. Leslie Wallace says:

      The graphic above indicates “Peachtree Parkway.” At that point on Georgia 141, the street is named Peachtree Road, not Peachtree Parkway.

    9. Rumson Rd Neighbor says:

      Mr. Morgan, it would be nice for you to meet with adjacent neighbors in the condos beside and behind this proposed project. We are the homeowners who live closest to your property. The majority of the Garden Hills “reps” don’t even live on this side of the neighborhood.

      imo, would be better to reverse the plan and have parking on the opposite side of the parcel.

      • haywood jawalk says:

        there is nothing stopping the condo owners from attending the meetings. it is incumbent upon the condo owners, not the developers, to stay apprised of neighborhood and zoning meetings.

    10. wf says:

      I hope the neighborhood can block this project. The neighborhood does not need a parking deck and office space; banks are very close by and one is just accross the street. What can work is small boutiques, ice cream shop, a small hardware store, a couple of high end fashion clothing boutique and that is needed there. A parking deck in addition to its ugly façade will bring crimes, cars breaking in, homeless hanging around and people who have no business to be in this neighborhood.
      I really hope the neighborhood can veto that development plan and reject it completely.

      • haywood jawalk says:

        neighborhood rights don’t trump property owner rights. the best neighborhoods can do is work with the developer to get something that is more acceptable to the neighborhood.

    11. Will says:

      What a shame. This plan is really just totally pathetic and tasteless. A 6-story parking deck, honestly? Are there any developers in Atlanta with any class who care about maintaining the integrity of neighborhoods? Brand Properties, take your traffic-congestion and sprawl-inducing office retail complex to Cobb County where it belongs. Stay out of Garden Hills, we don’t want it!

    12. haywood jawalk says:

      the design, especially the parking deck, is likely a red-herring that is intended to get the neighborhood focus on something the develop can easily give up to get what they really want. what they really want will likely show up after the initial inflexible vitriol of the nimbys is amelorated.

    13. Earl says:

      The PDC guys who inherited it gave us a head fake with the park. That way they could get it through zoning with scant opposition. Too much traffic at that corner, needs extensive review. Not Happy with the way the slithered this through.

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