With just a skeleton of steel called “the erector set” by residents, Avondale ended its six-year development agreement with Florida-based Century Retail for the planned 375,000-square-foot mixed-use development in downtown Avondale Estates. A victim of the economy, Century Retail filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on its development agreement owing Avondale a completed project and $37,500. The city now waits for the bankruptcy and ownership of the property to be resolved.
“Yes, we want to be proactive,” [Avondale City Commissioner David Milliron] said. “We want to facilitate conversations [with developers]. We really want to get going on some project. But we can’t do anything until we know who the next landowner is.”
Green Street Properties inked a deal to purchase Atlanta’s City Hall East (the old Sears building) for $27 million. The Atlanta City Council must still approve the sale.
Green Street Properties proposed redevelopment plans include 20% small and mid-box retail space, 40% residential and 40% office space.
Green Street Properties is “a national green consulting and development firm focused on creating sustainable urban properties. Green Street is a subsidiary of Jamestown, an international real estate investment and management firm that has acquired over $8 billion in US real estate.” It is best known in Atlanta for Glenwood Park.
In a 4-2 vote, the Doraville City Commission rezoned the 160-acre former GM Plant site from a manufacturing to a commercial district clearing the way for its envisioned Atlantic Station-style mixed-used development.
The rezoning ordinance included a restriction against an indoor recreation facility slamming the door on a relocated Atlanta Falcons stadium.
The Commission also rezoned 12 acres adjacent to the GM Plant site to attract education and science-based institutions.
The DeKalb County Commissioners again deferred a decision on whether it will sue Dunwoody. It was the eighth time in eight months that the Commissioners delayed making a decision about the lawsuit.
“I feel this is a positive step,” [Commissioner Elaine Boyer] said of the ongoing negotiations. “We have asked to continue mediation with the city of Dunwoody.”
The County and Dunwoody are in current negotiations over the transfer of county-owned property, including the multi-million-dollar Brook Run Park facility on North Peachtree Road.
The County also deferred a decision on changes to its liquor license proposed by Commissioner Kathie Gannon that would allow restaurants in mixed-use developments to serve alcohol despite their proximity to schools or churches.
The Commissioners will tackle both again next month.
Jacoby Development Inc., the developer that turned an old steel mill into Atlantic Station — a live-work-play mini-city in Midtown — recently completed the initial demolition and site remediation of the 128-acre site of old Ford Motor Company plant in Hapeville along I-75. By fall, the development will enter Phase I – construction of light industrial and parking.
The $1.5 billion development will be called Aerotropolis Atlanta because of its close proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The 10-year development proposes office space, hotels, retail, restaurants, a light industrial business park and a 4,000-space airport parking facility.
More than 90 million passengers passed through Hartsfield last year, the world’s busiest airport. Aerotropolis Atlanta will be “a direct connection” to the international terminal under construction, Condra said. The terminal will be located just across Loop Road from the Jacoby property. Plans call for shuttle service to be offered on Loop Road, so travelers can eat and shop during layovers.
“I really think the reason this project is doing well when others aren’t is our proximity to the airport,” he said. “The location is a big, big selling point.”
Hapeville Mayor Alan Hallman says while the economy might slow the completion date, the project is moving ahead.
Sembler asked DeKalb County for $52 million in tax incentives to finish its 54-acre mixed-use development near the Brookhaven MARTA station.
A couple of buildings are up, but last week, [Sembler President Jeff] Fuqua said nothing else will rise on the site unless taxpayers subsidize the project. He showed officials an aerial photograph of the site. They saw two mid-rise residential towers surrounded by dirt.
The tax incentive proposal will meet with skeptical politicans and again face neighborhood opposition.
DeKalb’s top elected official, Burrell Ellis, is worried about the precedent of giving such a generous handout. At the same time, he fears getting stuck with a raw construction site.
“I think there is some benefit to the county of seeing this project completed,” said Ellis, DeKalb’s chief executive officer. But, he said, other developers are in trouble, so a tax break like this “could have broader implications than this one project.”
Bill Draper, a longtime critic of Sembler, said neighbors would like to see the project completed so they could shop in the stores and dine at the restaurants.
“We want to see it finished, but we don’t want to have to pay to see it finished,” said Draper, who is a board member of the Brookhaven-Peachtree Community Alliance.
The developers of the mixed-use development The Prado and the hotel Grand Bohemian Atlanta are asking the City of Sandy Springs to recalculate the impact fees it adopted on Feb. 19, 2008 to fund capital improvements in parks and recreation, public safety, and transportation.
Impact fees are charged at the time of issuance of any building permit. The ordinance also allows developers to deduct credits from those fees for system improvements they made.
Sembler Co. is redeveloping The Pradoat 5600 Roswell Road. The City assessed $471,000 in impact fees for the development. Sembler Co. claims it should only have to pay a net impact fee of $227,000.
Kessler Enterprises is developing the Grand Bohemian Atlanta hotel at 115 Abernathy Road. The City assessed $119,000 in impact fees for the development. Kessler Enterprises claims it should only have to pay a net impact fee of $45,000.
Sembler Co. and Kessler Enterprises both appealed the City’s assessments. By a vote of 6-0 the City Council voted to defer a decision on the appeals and the recalculation of the impact fees until April 21.
Attorney Ted Sandlerof Vinings-based law firm Hartman, Simons, Spielman and Wood represents Sembler Co. in its appeal from the impact fee assessment. Attorney Joseph Foltzof Alpharetta-based Foltz Martin LLC represents Kessler Enterprises in its appeal.