Business News

Published on March 17th, 2016 |


Dan Martin Flowers, York Furs not being replaced by high-rise yet

For those who expected Dan Martin Flowers and York Furs to close up shop any day now and be replaced by a 21-story building, the news of the demise of these two Buckhead Village institutions appears far too premature.

Above is a rendering of the Wood Partners proposed apartments/retail mixed-use development.

A rendering of the Wood Partners proposed apartments/retail mixed-use development.

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

The Dan Martin Flowers business is still alive and well at 3205 Peachtree Road.

The Dan Martin Flowers business is still alive and well at 3205 Peachtree Road.

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

Elizabeth Stephens

Elizabeth Stephens

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.

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    5 Responses to Dan Martin Flowers, York Furs not being replaced by high-rise yet

    1. Buckhead Betty says:

      I am happy to read that the source at City Hall appears to be reasonable and in touch with what is going on in the neighborhood. A 21-story building on a tiny side street like East Shadowlawn would be irresponsible on the part of city zoning. If a deal was made to keep 3150 East Shadowlawn a single story structure in order to get the variance for the Trader Joe’s parcel built, there is absolutely no way 3150 should EVER be rezoned. Commercial creep into neighborhoods must be stopped.

    2. Jake says:

      This is ridiculous. Restricted to one story in the middle of what should be a densely populated urban area? Is the area between the financial center and Shops Buckhead going to be stuck in the past forever?

      I can’t believe there’s so much complaining about this. I drive by E Shadowlawn every day and there is never any traffic on there and any cars are parked far away from Peachtree.

      And really Trader Joe’s? I thought you were supposed to be a green organization, but you’re forcing horizontal instead of vertical expansion – not very ecoconscious of you.

    3. Buckhead Betty says:

      Ah, Jake. Check the zoning. East Shadowlawn is not zoned for 21-story buildings. Peachtree Road perhaps, not back into neighborhoods that don’t have infrastructure to support 21-stories of traffic. You have only driven by it, try living in it. East Shadowlawn is a game of chicken trying to get through. The intersection of Peachtree and Shadowlawn is sheer gridlock at many times of the day not allowing any cars egress onto Peachtree off of Shadowlawn. 400+ cars from a parking deck wouldn’t help. Developers can’t just build without thinking of the consequences.

    4. Soboo says:

      I live in condo behind Trader Joe’s. We received Notice of Pubic Hearing advising of the public hearing before the Zoning Review Board in regards to this property (3150 E Shadowlawn Ave). I live, drive, work, shop, and play in this neighborhood. We don’t need or want this monstrosity or the traffic it would bring. Just stop the insanity.

      ZONING REVIEW MEETING: Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 6:00pm
      Second Floor, 55 Trinity Avenue, SW, City Hall, ATL 30303
      Case#: Z-16-14

    5. Jeanene Weiner says:

      WE HAVE TO STOP THIS INSANITY! I have a business on E. Shadowlawn and it is nearly impossible for customers to drive down E. Shadowlawn because of the cars parked on both sides of the street. I watch daily as employees from Sports Authority and PetsMart park on E. Shadowlawn and walk to their jobs leaving their cars parked all day. Residents from the apartments on E. Paces Ferry park on E. Shadowlawn overnight and many of the vehicles remain on the street for days at a time without ever moving. UPS, Fed X and the mail service have great difficulty navigating the street and often we hear car horns from frustrated drivers. It is not unusual to have delivery trucks from Trader Joe’s up and down E. Shadowlawn even though they are not allowed – I can’t count how many times our phone line has been torn down from the tall trucks. I have complained to Trader Joe’s and nothing is ever done. E. Shadowlawn is a favorite parking area for the local bar scene. I spend several mornings with my trash bag in hand picking up liquor bottles, fast food restaurant trash and other nasty things that drunk people leave behind. I am appalled that the City of Atlanta has allowed the “Massage/Spa” to open on our quaint street. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the landlord rented to them – after all, the last tenant ran a “Pill Mill/Pain Clinic” from the location. What is happening to our neighborhood?

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