Wednesday, July 9, 2014

More Apartments and Largest Suburban Skyscraper in USA Planned for Sandy Springs Perimeter

Lots of action next door in Sandy Springs - the city with a short memory when it comes to apartments.  Never a Government to turn down more revenue, even with first-hand knowledge that today's shiny apartments are tomorrow's drain on police resources, Sandy Springs is set to approve yet another 500 apartments.  The 500 new apartments are part of a new project dubbed 'Hines High Rise'. The 500 apartments will be in the Woodland Elementary school attendance zone.

See the Project Details HERE.

Where is 'Hines Highrise' and will it affect Dunwoody?  Do we really care what is done by Big Sis Sandy Springs?

This new project is at the corner of Peachtree Dunwoody/Abernathy/Mt Vernon.  For a visual, think of the storage facility beside Home Depot and Costco.  Looking out the front door of the storage place (the lower level you'll find hairdressers leasing space) the property is across the street.  If headed south on Peachtree Dunwoody, it is the wooded lot on your right as you cross Abernathy.  Nice piece of land, for sure.
The developer wants to build a 'mixed-use' project. For those of you new to the blog and not familiar with the term 'mixed use', it is defined as apartments first, with the hope that retail follows.  If there is one thing to know about mixed use, know that the apartments WiLL BE BUILT immediately.  If there is money remaining and the apartments get rented for anywhere close to the numbers the developer feeds city council, then some retail shops will be added.  One good thing about this project is that MARTA is not involved and it is not a TOD (Transit Oriented Development).  The MARTA TOD's are the last thing you want in your city.  We've written about MARTA and the TOD before

Aside from 500 apartments (35 units per acre), the new project calls for 250-room hotel, 150,000 sq feet retail, and most importantly 1.5 million sq feet of office space.  I know what you are thinking - how are they getting 1.5 million of office space on 14 acres?  For the answer, look to the sky. 

The applicant for this project seeks to build a 35-story hotel (makes that budget hotel going into the Spruill Center property by Walmart look like a Little Tykes playhouse), 25-story apartment building, six-story parking deck, 25-story office building, and the PCID's tallest structure, a 50-story skyscraper for offices.
Building on right 16 stories higher

There is no rule stating that a city must grow.  Nothing wrong with Dunwoody staying at 50,000 residents and Sandy Springs staying at 100,000 residents.  But we know Government loves to grow.  Interesting that Sandy Springs has double the population but a much larger budget.  The 2015 budget in Sandy Springs is $90 million compared to under $25 million for Dunwoody.  Of course businesses and homeowners pay more taxes in Sandy Springs, and the HOST/LOST funds and tax collection system differs between the two cities.

Traffic in the area will increase.  For those of us in Dunwoody (and Sandy Springs), jumping on GA 400 at Abernathy to head to a Cobb Braves game or to go enjoy a bone-in rib eye at Hal's will become more frustrating.  Traffic on Spalding and Mt Vernon, the two east-west commuter routes in Dunwoody, will increase.  

Home values will may increase as well as new office space means more workers in the area.  More workers puts a demand on single family housing. 

500 new apartments will translate to lower rents in older apartments in the Perimeter area.  How much lower can the rent go at the apartments behind Wal-Mart?  Will demand continue to increase with supply for apartments?  

The 250-room hotel is interesting.  In perspective, the crown Plaza has 495 rooms. the Le Meridien has 275 rooms, the Courtyard on P-tree Dunwoody has 147 rooms.  At 250 rooms the hotel will most likely be a full-service hotel (bar, restaurant, etc.).  Just a couple of months ago Dunwoody approved a 124-room Residence Inn for the Spruill Gallery property.  For those of you travel rookies, a Residence Inn hotel is not a full service hotel, but is a nice place to stay.  At the community council hearing for this hotel I asked why a Residence in and why not a full-service hotel?  The developer said the area could not support another full-service hotel.  We think full-service hotels are better as they attract conventions and more tax revenue. 

Brookhaven just welcomed a new Hyatt, looks like a new full-service hotel for Sandy Springs, and Dunwoody welcomes a Residence Inn.  The CVB folks are foaming at the mouth.

Have an opinion on the new Sandy Springs project and its impact?  Now is the time to be heard.  The Sandy Springs council is set to approve this development  in a few days.  Usually a council member has their mind made on the vote prior to the meeting.  Now is the time to your city council member

Here at DunwoodyTalk we usually stay out of Sandy Springs issues as Funwoody Dunwoody has enough topics to keep us entertained, but this project affects Dunwoody residents just as much, if not more, than those living in Sandy Springs.