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Zoning cases reflect Sandy Springs economy
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
ncochran@neighbornewspapers.com
August 28, 2012 08:37 PM | 1631 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two cases entering the Sandy Springs zoning pipeline in the Perimeter Mall and Ga. 400 area may be indicators of the local economy.

McLean, Va.-based Hilton Worldwide wants to add a 130-room Homewood Suites location to 915 Crestline Pkwy. at Mount Vernon Highway within the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts zoning overlay and near an existing Hyatt Place property.

The four-story, 75,000-square-foot structure on 1.25 acres east of Ga. 400 may break ground as early as the first quarter of 2013, with a 12-month construction cycle according to Pete Patel of Smyrna-based developer Perimeter Atlanta Hotel Group.

At the community zoning information meeting Tuesday at City Hall, he said the project will help companies provide living space for employees relocating temporarily from other offices.

“It’s geared toward business clientele who come in for an assignment or training,” Patel said about the extended-stay design. “It’s a perfect fit for the property.”

Neighborhood concerns include the proximity of the hotel’s driveway to the 48-home subdivision Dunwoody Row.

However, under the previous developer, Roswell-based Wingate Perimeter, the Sandy Springs City Council okayed a site plan in March 2008 with the same traffic lanes as the 2012 plan.

Patel said his company is asking for three variances related to landscaping strips and an underground parking deck, but otherwise observes the 2008 conditions.

“If it was in there before, we’re sticking to it,” he said.

The applicant’s next public hearing will be at the Sandy Springs City Council meeting Oct. 16.

Business generated by the 29 million square feet of office space in the overlay is driving a 300-unit luxury apartment development on the west side of Ga. 400 at 6401 and 6403 Barfield Road, near Mount Vernon Highway.

Chris Eachus of Boca Raton, Fla.-based developer and owner Crocker Partners said the demand for high-end rental property is high.

“The greater neighborhood here has a lot of Fortune 1000 companies,” he said. “So there’s a lot of growing population at on the companies that are renters, between that 25- to 35-year-old demographic that’s upper-income and not ready to buy a house yet.”

Eachus said ground may be broken in the first quarter of 2013 and the project completed by the second quarter of 2014.

Neighborhood concerns include sound levels, construction materials and the five-story project’s footprint on the property’s 3.7 acres.

The project’s next public hearing will be at a community developer resolution meeting Sept. 27.

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