Published on March 10th, 2016 |1
Holdout property disrupts Loudermilk side-by-side office projects
The first design, presented at the Feb. 3 meeting, had the 371 East Paces Ferry building abutting Loudermilk’s planned new office building at 359 East Paces Ferry, with a bridge connecting the top levels of each building’s parking to gain more options for the medical building.
At that time, Loudermilk believed it had under contract a narrow but deep, almost shotgun style medical building on a small piece of property between the two sites.
But when Loudermilk went to the two doctors who own the building to get them to sign off on the deal, it was discovered that the two doctors are involved in a legal action between themselves and it was unsure who would end up owning the building.
Loudermilk Co. CEO Robin Loudermilk also told BuckheadView that, with all of the activity going on in Buckhead and especially the Village area, the two doctors were seeing an opportunity to hold out for a higher price for their property. Chances are the value will not increase now.
So, Loudermilk’s team went back to work on a new design, leaving the small medical building’s site out of their new development plans for 371 East Paces. Thus, the second visit to DRC, with a new set of plans in hand, was necessary on March 2.
The building on the new design was moved over 45 feet and was reduced from six to five levels.
Loudermilk’s Vice President, Development Brian Lu told the DRC members that the tenants they are working with could not wait any longer for the building to start. He said if Loudermilk can buy the two doctors’ building at a later date, that sliver of property may become a bioswale.
But for now, the biggest change from the plans shown to the DRC in February is that the two Loudermilk buildings will not butt up to each other and there will be no bridge between the parking decks of the two buildings.
Another change is that the ratio of parking spaces to square footage of 371 East Paces went from 5/1000 square feet to 4.5/1000 square feet, which solved a problem the DRC
members had with the variance request attached to the first building plan.
The committee noted in February that medical office use is not directly addressed in the parking requirements for the code and has more demand than regular office classifications. The request was to increase maximum parking requirements from 2.5/1000 to 5/1000 spaces to support the parking demand for the medical office use.
But DRC members balked at going to 5/1000 and requested in February that Loudermilk hold it to no more than 4.5/1000. The committee also noted a similar development in Midtown that recently had been allowed to exceed parking maximums for the same use to about 4.5/1000.
At the time of the February meeting, the committee noted the proposed development is physically connected to the adjacent 359 East Paces Ferry at the top level of the parking and that building has 343 parking spaces and the intention was to have the parking for the two buildings work in concert.
Therefore, the committee supported an increase of the parking ratio commensurate with the Midtown development, not to exceed a maximum of 4.5/1000. In addition, the committee recommended the applicant develop a formal shared parking arrangement with the adjacent 359 East Paces Ferry development to satisfy code requirements.
During the February meeting, Loudermilk had requested a variation to reduce fenestration requirements from 65 percent to approximately 19 percent along the Buckhead Avenue back of the building.
The committee recommended reconfiguring the parking deck access from Buckhead Avenue to bring it straight out to the street—a change that would open up space that can be activated on the
street frontage reducing the severity of the variation.
With the new building design presented to the DRC in March, the fenestration along Buckhead Avenue was actually increased from 19 percent in the former design to 24 percent. And, the recommended reconfiguration of the parking deck access straight to the street also was worked out as proposed by the committee.
Additionally, the committee recommended the building’s curb cuts be aligned with the Hanover apartment development across the street.