Published on October 28th, 2015 |13
Brand Properties’ redesign of Garden Hills office/retail project gains favor
After months of negotiations with neighborhood groups, making concessions and changing the design of the project, Brand Properties CEO Brand Morgan told BuckheadView Wednesday (Oct.
28) that he believes everything now is settled to the point of going before the Neighborhood Planning Unit-B Zoning Committee in November for approval.
That sentiment was somewhat confirmed by Michael Isaacs, the Garden Hills Civic Association’s representative on the NPU-B Zoning Committee, Tuesday night. Isaacs said that with the new design of the 8-story office building there seems to be a neighborhood approval in sight.
According to Isaacs, Morgan this week presented to Garden Hills representatives a new design for the structure, which incorporates brick and has apparently met with the approval of many in the neighborhood.
Morgan also reportedly agreed to reduce the height of the building by 10 feet and place more of the parking deck below the Peachtree Road grade level by digging out some of the back part of the property.
Morgan agreed Wednesday to email BuckheadView the new design for the building, along with elevation drawings and graphics. (Those are
presented with this story.) The architects Brand Properties are working with on the project are Wakefield Beasley Associates and ASD Design.
Isaacs told BuckheadView the only remaining discussions revolve around a couple of traffic issues involving Rumson Road, the side street where there will be an access point to the development’s parking deck. Some of that involves rearrangement of islands in the roadway.
The GHCA is supposed to vote on it Nov. 17, a week before the next meeting of the NPU-B Zoning Committee meeting on Nov. 24.
BuckheadView understands that Ben Howard, president of the Buckhead Condo Alliance who lives in the Alhambra condo building adjacent to the proposed development, still want to remove all curb cuts to the development on the Peachtree Road frontage.
Morgan has already conceded to not have a drive-thru for the proposed bank office at the development and has agreed to reduce the Peachtree Road curb cuts from two to one. But Howard and
some of the condo buildings across the street still object to the one curb cut.
Howard and a couple of representatives of the 2828 Peachtree condo building across Peachtree from the development site were seen huddling with Garden Hills long-time zoning representative Bill Bozarth at the end of the Tuesday night meeting and presumably talking about the Peachtree Road curb cut issue.
“I am done with discussing that issue,” Morgan told BuckheadView on Wednesday. He had previously told BuckheadView, “Without a curb cut on Peachtree Road, there is no development.”
Explaining that he had made about all the concessions he could to the planned project, Morgan told BuckheadView over last weekend, “We got asked to defer. I am ready, but Garden Hills wants the Garden Hills Civic Association to vote first and we are waiting on them,” Morgan said.
That marked at least the third month this application to rezone from C-1C to MRC-2 for the development of a mixed-use project has been deferred.
Morgan told BuckheadView Wednesday, “I am very sure we will be presenting to the NPU Zoning Committee next month.” That meeting will be Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. at The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road.
Ironically, the Zoning Committee meeting will be held right across Peachtree Road from the development site and almost two years following a nighttime fire that destroyed the former shopping center and Garden Hills Cinema in early December of 2013.