Published on June 29th, 2016 |0
Fellini’s new plans get NPU unit OK, depending on Garden Hills letter
Fellini’s seeks to rezone the property from C-1 to MRC-2 to build an approximately 4,500-square-foot Fellini’s restaurant with covered and surface parking for 24 cars and a new dining plaza on the site that is less than an acre.
Fellini’s owner Clay Harper had appeared before the same zoning committee at the end of May to just informally present the plans for the new restaurant but had not met with the Garden Hills zoning committee at that time, a requirement before formally presenting to the NPU.
Harper and his longtime architect Ron Stang presented the plans for the new restaurant at a meeting earlier this month, which, according to reports, consisted not only of the zoning committee but also members of the Garden Hills Civic Association’s executive committee.
Harper was out of town Tuesday night and was represented by Stang at the NPU’s zoning committee meeting. Stang told the committee he and Harper had agreed to all the conditions the Garden Hills group wanted attached to the application and believed it had been approved.
Stang said the draft agreement that had been worked out with Garden Hills is very similar to the one Garden Hills has with Brand Properties for its redevelopment of the 5 acres that wraps around the Fellini’s parcel. Brand also changed the zoning of its parcel from C-1 to MRC-2.
NPU-B development committee chair Jason Kendall told the zoning committee members that the Garden Hills zoning committee had reached agreement with Fellini’s but that it still had to be approved by the civic association’s board, which presumably could happen before the full NPU-B board meeting July 5.
It was interesting that no one from the Garden Hills organization attended the NPU’s zoning committee meeting Tuesday, not even the chair of its zoning committee Michael Issacs, who is a member of the NPU’s zoning committee.
Therefore, all communications to the NPU’s zoning committee about what Garden Hills had decided was second-hand. There was no letter from Garden Hills, which forces the Fellini’s group to attend the full NPU board meeting July 5, hopefully with a letter of approval in hand.
Stang said they would like to get the zoning change through the city by the end of August and would like to begin the redevelopment—initially with total demolition of the two restaurants presently on the site—in November. The development work could take six months.
Stang, who has been working with Fellini’s since 1983, showed the committee renderings for the proposed new Fellini’s restaurant and explained it would have a total of 250 seats, with 106 inside and 144 outside on the dining plaza. The restaurant presently has 306 seats total.
He said the new zoning would require them to have 20 parking spaces and they will be providing 24 onsite and are in discussions with both the Cathedral of St. Philip and Brand Properties about providing additional spaces for customers. Brand plans to build a mixed-use retail/office mid-rise development that will have a multi-level parking deck.
Stang explained that the entrance and exist from the covered parking level will be off Rumson Road, using the same driveway curb cut that the restaurants presently use. He said they are working with Brand regarding changes that might be made to the islands on Rumson Road.
Stang also said that plans for the new Fellini’s calls for improving the sidewalk along Rumson Road—widening it to 10 feet—and providing screening from the parking level and the dining plaza with plantings. (For earlier story on Fellini’s development plans, click here.)
Prior to the Tuesday night meeting, BuckheadView conferred with Brand Properties CEO Brand Morgan via email and Morgan said he and the Fellini’s people have been talking regularly and that he liked the Fellini’s plans. He felt it would work well with the plans for his building.
As for his mixed-use project, Morgan said he still hopes to break ground in the fall on the development and the that he expects the Special Administrative Permit for the building to be approved without problems in the next few months.
Although he said his representatives have been in negotiations with several restaurant organizations for spaces in his building, Morgan told BuckheadView, “but not ready to announce anything just yet.”