New Developments

Published on February 6th, 2016 |


Disco Kroger center to be transformed to live, work, play mixed-use

“Owning the tallest building in town is nice, but owning the ‘hole in the donut’ is even better,” states Equity One Inc. regarding its Piedmont Crossing shopping center in Buckhead. The center–home to the Disco Kroger—is to be transformed into a 21st Century live, work, play mixed-use development.

Above is one of the several renderings of a proposed makeover of the Piedmont shopping center where the Disco Kroger is located that were released without any project details.

Above is one of the several renderings of a proposed makeover of the Piedmont shopping center where the Disco Kroger is located.

“We’re using our redevelopment expertise to transform an aging property in a fantastic community into a vibrant and sustainably designed neighborhood expansion project,” Equity One’s website explains about its plans for the aging center on Piedmont Road just north of Peachtree Road.

Although it may take a few years for all the present leases to expire, Equity One plans to turn Piedmont Crossing into a “combination of upscale and necessity-driven retail, state-of-the-art office space and high-end residences for Buckhead’s increasingly metropolitan population.”

Equity One paints the project as attracting “locals and destination seekers alike, leveraging Buckhead’s reputation as ‘The Beverly Hills of the Southeast.'” It is unclear what stage the plans are in and whether there is financing for the project.

In what has been described as an unusual action, the developer apparently released a set of renderings of the Piedmont Crossings redesign. They were picked up and posted Friday on the websites of Bisnow real estate news service and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The release of the renderings was unusual because no details of the redevelopment plans were released along with the renderings. “That is unusual,” Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling told BuckheadView. “It is almost like someone leaked the drawings.”

Starling heads up the Development Review Committee for SPI-9 (Special Public Interest district), which would have to review the development plans Disco Kroger makeover 4before they could proceed through the city of Atlanta for building permits. She told BuckheadView Equity One has not scheduled a date with the DRC for any such review meeting.

While the release of the renderings without specifics for the project is somewhat unusual, redevelopment of the shopping center does not come as a total surprise. There have been rumors floating around Buckhead for months about the transformation of the center.

More attention became focused on the Piedmont Crossings property when Coro Realty Advisors filed plans last September for a major multi-use development on its Piedmont Road property adjacent to the Equity One property. Those plans include almost 40,000 square feet of retail/restaurant/office space, a 186-room hotel and 190 apartments.

Named Buckhead Place, the present 150,000-square-foot Coro shopping center is anchored by LA Fitness, Marshalls, apartment building 05 Buckhead and a Hyatt Place hotel. The two retail

Proposed Equity One development as seen from looking west across Piedmont Road with the Terminus complex at the left.

Proposed Equity One development looking west across Piedmont Road with the Terminus complex at the left.

components of the new development front on Piedmont Road. The hotel and apartment lobbies will front on the private access road that runs from Piedmont Road to Maple Drive.

The south portion of the Coro development consists of approximately 5,500 square feet of retail/restaurant space on the first floor and a 186-room hotel. Coro is partnering with McKibbon Hotel Group on the new hotel, according to plans.
The north side of the development has approximately 33,000 square feet of retail/restaurant/office space on two levels that is along Piedmont Road and wraps down the private drive and into an internal courtyard.

On the north side of the drive there will be 190 apartment units planned with a 7-story deck plus underground parking. The amenity deck is the top level of the parking. The plan is to operate this as Phase II of the apartments from 05. The new units are planned as smaller, and complement the existing units of O5, which was previously developed by Coro.

BuckheadView reported at the time of that announcement that Coro hoped to begin construction of the new phase of the shopping center in the first quarter of 2016. However, that timetable may be delayed because of current discussions regarding the widening of Piedmont Road between Peachtree and Lenox Roads.

The 2008 Piedmont Area Transportation Study recommended that the section of Piedmont Road from Peachtree to Lenox Road (the Buckhead Loop) be widened to accommodate a dedicated left-turn lane to improve traffic throughput, especially during rush hours.

The Buckhead CID is working with GDOT and the City of Atlanta to determine if the roadway can be widened without moving the high-tension utility poles and also if the corridor can accommodate a wide sidewalk or multi-use path.

The above is a rendering shown last September of the proposed Coro Realty development next to the Equity One property where the Disco Kroger is located.

The rendering shown last September of the proposed Coro Realty development next to the Equity One property where the Disco Kroger is located.

Both the Equity One and Coro properties are across Piedmont Road from the Terminus mixed-use development that combines office, residential and retail at the primary crossroads of the Buckhead commercial district, the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads.

The Terminus buildings are located right up against the sidewalk along the east side of Piedmont Road, which means any extra land needed for the widening of Piedmont would have to come from the west side, impacting both the Coro and Equity One properties.

Coro President John Lundeen, who is vice chairman of the BCID, told BuckheadView after the CID’s meeting last August that the road project could affect his company’s development if property has to be taken on the west side of Piedmont to facilitate the widening project.

According to a document submitted to the SPI-9 DRC, Coro has agreed to dedicate 10 feet of property along Piedmont Road to accommodate the widening of Piedmont. “Coro has provided for this 10 feet and the opportunity for an additional 9 feet to allow for the future widening of Piedmont Road in accordance with the Buckhead CID’s 2008 Piedmont Area Transportation Study,” the document states.

(To read the earlier story about the planned Coro development, click here.)

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    3 Responses to Disco Kroger center to be transformed to live, work, play mixed-use

    1. Buckhead Betty says:

      Dear Equity One, I’m not sure that Buckhead even wants the reputation as “The Beverly Hills of the Southeast.” I’m curious as to what other locals think?

    2. Will says:

      Regarding concerns about traffic and congestion: The only thing that will help congestion is having people in Buckhead accept higher levels of density. Mixed use developments, while sometimes tasteless and contrived, are a necessary part of the solution that will allow people to walk around to most things they need without getting in a car: grocery store, shops, stores, bars, restaurants, entertainment, et al. the goal is to mitigate the need to drive everywhere to do everything.

      The real problem with traffic in buckhead is that it’s caused by OTP commuters, who – for some bizarre reason – believe they’re entitled to tens of billions in federal government handouts for roads and highways from their suburban sprawl communities that provide for free flowing traffic capacity into the city of atlanta at the expense of the quality of life of people who live here.

      The real solution would be to institute congestion taxes on these commuters so they reflect their true cost to the city with all of the negative financial, health, safety and environmental externalities to driving and commuting each day….there are only about 85k people living in buckhead and they shouldn’t have to suffer from all these boorish OTP commuters.

      widening roads and lanes just induces demand for more traffic and congestion, and doesn’t solve the fundamental problem, which is that the principal cause to congestion is congestion. it’d be like loosening your belt if you’re too fat. the problem isn’t that your belt is too tight, it’s that you’re too fat. i know that’s certainly the case for most OTP commuters.

      i like this project; it’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    3. Jake says:

      To the above, I pretty much agree. And if the OTP people hate their traffic so much they should stop voting against expanding MARTA outside the perimeter. Also, yes, if we have more high density living space in Buckhead hopefully people who might otherwise consider commuting would instead opt to live in the city. Especially if Buckhead were a more walkable space with cool restaurants and bars. Midtown still has such high appeal to most young people moving to the city since it’s so walkable. I think if projects like this went through and that park over 400 happened Buckhead would start becoming highly attractive to young professionals.

      As for this space specifically, I just hope they favor local restaurants over chains. If they do that it should be a great space.

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