Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dunwoody Planning Commision Says YES to Another Driveway on Ashford Dunwoody Road

UPDATE:

The main reason for the developer wanting the curb cut is NOT for the hotel, but to increase value of the Ashford Dunwoody Rd frontage.  It has been revealed the #1 goal is to secure the new driveway then divide the land into at least four new parcels then sell these parcels.  The driveway WILL NOT stop the hotel.  The driveway is wanted to increase the value of the land to add four or more new businesses to the front of the property.

We have no issue with increasing the value of a property and making some nice profits, but how about being up front with everyone on the real issue for wanting the driveway?

Planning Commission Votes 4-3 in Favor of Developer

For purposes of maintaining readers, please note we will use the human term of 'driveway' instead of the transportation geek term 'curb cut' today.

Last night the Planning Commission approved two applications for rezoning a property on Ashford Dunwoody Road.  The property is known as Sterling Point and is across from California Pizza Kitchen (not related to Mellow Mushroom Pizza, home to cold Hoegaarden on draft and freshly made hot pizza).

As was the case with one person on the Community Council and the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, everyone likes the plan except the new driveway to the property.  Some people oppose this new driveway.  In the end, the driveway plan gets approved 4-3.  It was touch and go during the meeting, and in the end some board members see shiny new buildings and alleged fancy restaurants as a reason to approve the new driveway.  There is no doubt the driveway makes the property more valuable.  But does adding yet another driveway on Ashford Dunwoody Road make sense?  The property has traffic lights on each side of it, making side access quite easy.

This project has been promoted by the developer as a hotel site, and a few retail features added in.  The developer's spokesman said it is a $28 million project and will bring in tens of millions of $$$ over the next couple of decades.

But this project is more than a hotel.  The rendering will show a Hampton Inn, two restaurants, and two retail stores, all developed jointly in harmony.  But this project will not be developed in that manner.

Yes, the hotel will be built first.  The golden rule of any type of mixed use is to build the beds first.  In this case, beds = hotel.  At the numerous failed mixed use (live, work, play) projects around the country beds = apartments.

Hampton Inn is a nice brand.  Sure beats an extended-stay homeless / Section 8 shelter hotel.  Hampton Inn has many different designs. They have the basic cookie-cutter Interstate Exit model and an in-town version.  I'm sure the hotel will be nice.

But that's where the facts end.  What about the four spaces up front on Ashford Dunwoody Road?  We've heard of a white table cloth restaurant.  Not sure what that could be.  Perhaps a Ruth Chris (the Sandy Springs Ruth Chris is a bad location)?

Here's what will most likely happen - the developer, once it secures the driveway off Ashford Dunwoody, will seek to create four separate lots and sell each lot.  This will not be one big project with one owner.

Back to that driveway.  The property owner says it has a legal right to a driveway, via a 1980 agreement.



"Said curb cuts are to be made at locations in the discretion of the owner"

Did the property owner from 1980 agree to use both curb cuts some point(s) north of Perimeter Center North?





Above are images important to this case.  One is a drawing of a plat of Land Lot 350 with text stating the property owner is permitted two driveways onto Ashford Dunwoody Road for the property on Land Lot 350. Land Lot 350 is no longer owned by one person, so when/if a property is subdivided, to whom goes the alleged driveway access?


driveway (curb cut x 2) on Ashford Dunwoody Road on Land Lot 350
UPDATE
Above is a photo of two curb cuts on Land Lot 350.  The land owner in 1980 was promised two curb cuts, and here they are!



I doubt we will see a white tablecloth restaurant at this site, not in front of a Hampton Inn.  Look for a Panera Bread and either a Waffle House or an IHOP. The retail shops?  Maybe a Verizon phone center and a Walgreen's.  Once those lots are sold (expect four new parcels to be created) and with new zoning in place, who knows what will be built.

The issue here is not the legality of a driveway.  The issue is: Did the property owner knowingly give up the right to the driveway back in 2008 to get the property rezoned?  Is the property owner asking for a second bite at the apple?


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

School stuff, you have my attention.
Commercial real estate, not so much.

The anti curb-cut 'mouthpieces' are missing the main point: This is CURRENTLY a PARKING LOT, producing NO revenue, NO jobs, NO hotel, and NO retail.

In your 'analysis' you are grasping at what-ifs, relying on the fear that this one curb-cut is going to hose traffic on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Fear, or any other emotion should not drive real estate decisions.

This will be a good addition, and the adverse impacts are grossly overstated by some, for whatever reasons they have.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:16 PM,

Is it okay for them to subdivide the frontage and have three or four curb cuts? I agree the project brings jobs, but we need to follow best practices.

Anonymous said...

Brook Run is empty and produces no revenue and no jobs - lets charge an entry fee.

Brent M said...

Curb cut aside, If they model this project after the Charlotte Hampton Inn and the adjacent Palm Restaurant, it should be a nice development.

Brent M said...

Curb cut aside,if the project is similar to the Charlotte (Phillips) property, we could have a Hampton Inn and Palm Restaurant.
https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=charlotte+nc+the+palm+restaurant&fb=1&gl=us&hq=the+palm+restaurant&hnear=0x88541fc4fc381a81:0x884650e6bf43d164,Charlotte,+NC&cid=0,0,13307272859041407967&ei=eD55UZfAI4Si9QTKoYGAAw&ved=0CLcBEPwSMAA

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

"UPDATE:

The main reason for the developer wanting the curb cut is NOT for the hotel, but to increase value of the Ashford Dunwoody Rd frontage. It has been revealed the #1 goal is to secure the new driveway then divide the land into at least four new parcels then sell these parcels. The driveway WILL NOT stop the hotel. The driveway is wanted to increase the value of the land to add four or more new businesses to the front of the property.

We have no issue with increasing the value of a property and making some nice profits, but how about being up front with everyone on the real issue for wanting the driveway? "

Rick, this sounds pretty important, but do you have any proof or documentation to back it up? I'm getting more and more worried that decisions are getting influenced (at DHA and elsewhere) by rumor and "say so" rather than facts. Where did you get this?

Anonymous said...

SDOC,

At the Planning Commission meeting the developer's representative did mention sub-dividing a couple of times. He said that is an option for the property owner. He also said the curb cut is a $1 million asset to the property.