Published on March 17th, 2016 |5
Dan Martin Flowers, York Furs not being replaced by high-rise yet
The plans presented in early December by Wood Partners for 21 stories of apartments over retail on Peachtree Road, and dropping to 13 stories around the corner along East Shadowlawn Drive, actually may never happen because of zoning conditions on the hair salon property at 3150 East Shadowlawn.
A source close to the city’s zoning operations told BuckheadView that conditions were placed on that East Shadowlawn property when Trader Joe’s got approval for a driveway onto Shadowlawn. The source added that there is not much interest in backing away from those conditions now.
An underlying conditioning of the zoning variance for Trader Joe’s was that the property at 3150 East Shadowlawn would remain essentially the same as it was—a single-level structure. When Special Public Interest District 9 regulations were put in place, all underlying zoning conditions were retained with the properties, which was not the case with SPI-12 north of Piedmont Road.
Without being able to get a zoning change on that property, any development would be restricted to only the two properties where Dan Martin Flowers has been for 38 years and where York Furs is located. According to BuckheadView’s City Hall source, that is not likely to be economically feasible.
BuckheadView decided to check on the status of the Wood Partners project after receiving a call earlier in the week from Elizabeth Stephens, one of the two owners of Dan Martin Flowers. She reported that her business had fallen off dramatically since the announcement in December of the potential Wood Partners project.
Stephens said it really hit her what the problem was when she went to a store in Peachtree Battle Shopping Center and the owner there told Stephens she had removed Dan Martin Flowers from
her phone “because she thought we were going out of business.”
She told BuckheadView that it also did not help when York Furs held a “going out of business” sale recently, with a large banner draped across the front its building next door to the flower shop.
Stephens and her partner Vani Ramachandran took over the business about five years ago when Dan Martin died. She said Martin had sold the building about nine years ago and the two women lease it to continue the flower shop where Elizabeth has worked for 38 years.
Stephens said her landlord also recently told her that the Wood Partners project is on hold for the time being, but suggested there may be some announcement in October.
Stephens said she had been looking to move the flower business elsewhere, but that the landlord was allowing her to stay at the 3205 Peachtree Road location and relocating would involve a lot of additional expenses.
The announced Wood Partners development was to bump right up against the Trader Joe’s grocery store property. It would include more than 220 apartments and about 5,700 square feet of retail space on Peachtree Road wrapping around onto East Shadowlawn.
The modern building design would have a largely glass exterior that the architects said is meant to be compatible with the nearby Terminus buildings at Peachtree and Piedmont roads. The
Reese Vanderbilt architectural firm designed the structure.
Keith Vanderbilt presented the building plans to the Development Review Committee of SPI-9 (Special Public Interest district) in early December. He explained that the step-down of the building from 21 stories and 225 feet on Peachtree to 13 stories at the back along Shadowlawn is to conform to the height plane requirements due to neighboring residential properties.
The residential units of the building would be above six levels of parking deck, which will be accessed only off of Shadowlawn. There will be no Peachtree Road curb cut for a driveway into the development. The parking deck will accommodate 415 cars, 15-20 of which will be for retail customer parking.
“I can’t comprehend how they could get approval to have their driveway to the parking deck on Shadowlawn. There is no way that many cars could go down Shadowlawn,” Stephens told BuckheadView. “It is almost impossible now to drive down that street with cars parked on both sides of the road.”
BuckheadView’s source at City Hall said, “There is virtually no empathy with developers right now who would want to rezone property to build apartment complexes. There are enough new apartment developers going up on sites that don’t require rezoning to even think of rezoning a parcel for another apartment development.”
Without getting the rezoning of the property at 3150 East Shadowlawn, the Wood Partners project would have to be downsized dramatically and all of the parking would have to placed under the apartments and retail with an entrance on Peachtree Road.