Friday, June 9, 2017

Planned Perimeter Exchange Project to Cash in on Former Bank Property

Click photo to enlarge 
Large mixed use development planned for Dunwoody.

Atlanta-based Branch Properties has revived their plan to develop a prime piece of real estate in Dunwoody.  The vacant bank branch at 84 Perimeter Center East occupies nearly three acres across from Perimeter Mall and has been vacant for about a decade.  

The last bank I recall operating from the site was the National Bank of Commerce but sources indicate the bank was originally a First Atlanta branch.  NBC closed shortly after its 2004 acquisition by SunTrust.  

Last year the bank reopened, albeit briefly, as Perimeter Trust, a faux bank used as a filming location for the upcoming feature film "Baby Driver."  The film, which is due to be released June 28th, stars Kevin Spacey, Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonz├ílez and involves, you guessed it: a bank robbery!

The bank as "Perimeter Trust" - Photo courtesy of Jennifer Brett of the AJC
Branch first proposed a redevelopment of the property in 2008.  Back then, before the City of Dunwoody was formed, the Dunwoody Homeowners Association (DHA) gave their endorsement for the planned project to DeKalb county.  DHA President Robert Wittenstein indicates that the developers were subsequently granted the commercial rezoning needed by the county.

The approximately 200 room, twelve story hotel concept remains largely unchanged, but rather than a 70,000 square foot fitness center as was previously proposed, Branch now plans to build a mixed-use development with about 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space divided between two, two-story buildings. 

Perimeter Exchange, as the property is marketed, would have about 300 parking spaces, most of which would be located in a two story parking deck below the hotel.  

While Branch is not yet at a point where it is ready to announce either its hotel partner or any would-be tenants, Jack Haylett, senior vice president of Branch Properties, told Reporter Newspapers that "his company has received a great deal of interest from hotels wanting to locate at the site including hotels not currently in the area."

While I would personally love to see an Andaz, an upscale boutique offering from Hyatt Hotels, open in the area, more likely candidates include Renaissance, AC by Marriott or perhaps a property from the recently launched Marriott brand Moxy Hotels.  Another possibility is a new hotel from InterContinental Hotels Group given their North American headquarters is essentially a stone's throw from the property.  
The site plan for the project indicates that there will be 3,765, 5,750 and 9,000 square foot restaurant suites on the first floor.  The first floor will also include 4,350 and 4,825 square foot retail spaces joined by a second 4,825 retail space on the second floor.  A large 22,335 square foot space that can be subdivided, is also listed for the second story.

Atlanta-based The Shopping Center Group is handling the retail and restaurant leasing for the project.  The firm's marketing materials refer to the area as "Atlanta’s #1 office market with over 29 million SF of office space & over 136,000 employees within a 3-mile radius."

The Reporter Newspaper article indicates that entrances to the project would be off Perimeter Center East.  Additionally, no applications for the proposed development have been submitted to the city, but rezoning will be needed for the proposed restaurant/retail space.  

The article also states that there are plans to conduct a study to address concerns about traffic on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.  This would seem to be essential, considering that traffic around Perimeter Mall has only worsened since the project was first proposed so many years ago.  

It's also worth noting that since the project was first proposed, a new freestanding Starbucks with a drive-thru opened adjacent to the project in late 2012, as did multiple new apartment communities behind the project, adding hundreds of new units.  

The DHA did, however, vote against the planned redevelopment of the former DeKalb county police precinct into a Pollo Tropical restaurant in late 2015.   Hines Atlanta Associates, the firm who had planned to build the restaurant, withdrew its rezoning request to build the drive-thru restaurant in February of the following year.  It's perhaps a good thing that the Pollo Tropical never materialized, as the chain has closed four of its 17 metro locations since last fall with additional closures likely.  

Atlanta based Hotel Equities built a new 132 room Hampton Inn hotel at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Center North that opened last May.  The firm is also building a 127 room Residence Inn by Marriott adjacent to the Walmart Supercenter anchored Perimeter Village shopping center.  The Residence Inn has had a few construction related delays, but is currently on track for a late summer opening, according to a source familiar with the project.  

Branch Properties also owns nearby Ashford Restaurant Park, home to Brio, McCormick & Schmick and P.F. Chang's, among other properties it owns in metro Atlanta.

What are your thoughts on this significant redevelopment? What, if anything, can the City of Dunwoody do to ease traffic congestion around Perimeter Mall, and especially on Ashford-Dunwoody Road?  What types of retail or restaurant tenants would you like to see open in Perimeter Exchange?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Pedestrian overpasses are needed all thru the Perimeter area.
Must be able to cross without waiting for traffic lights and
without risk to cars beating the light and striking walkers.

Anonymous said...

As a Dunwoody resident, I'm having a hard time coming up with restaurant concepts that we don't already have nearby. The only thing I can think of is a chicken place. There's no friend chicken to be had in the 'Wood. I haven't tried it yet, but how about a Gus's?

Anonymous said...

How about Fazoli's? Yum!

ImAndy said...

I think the fried chicken was meant to be a joke because there are more chicken places to count. Any type of chicken, wings, bbq, fried, biscuits, sandwiches, plates.

They have already approved the cooridor traffic study. Essentially they are reducing lanes to 10 feet instead of 12 adding double left turn lanes. No meaningful pedestrian improvements.

Suggestions for consolidating corporate shuttle operators and redeveloping the Best Buy Rooms to Go property to create a Westside Connector coming off I-285 west and going underneath Ashford-Dunwoody Road to connect to perimeter center parkway.

Anonymous said...

Gus's Fried Chicken is overrated and meh.

Anonymous said...

How about a 4th Chikfila within the 1(ish) mile radius? That would be cluck awesome. What we really need is good real food in terms of a Marietta Diner and the perfect spot for their expansion would be at the corner of the Homes/Ravina property. They can call it the Dunwoody Diner. Hines - get to work!

Anonymous said...

Damn chik-fil-a is soooooo overrated! It's not all that. Fazoli's Doesn't sound that bad after all. No more chicken!

Anonymous said...

Rooms to Go owns that property and leases the space to Best Buy and The Tile Store. Their corporate office is nearby. They won't be selling that property anytime soon, or ever most likely, as they own all the property and buildings in which their stores are located.

Anonymous said...

I did not mention perimeter expo I spoke to Hines/ Ravinia across the street a large corner parcel perfect for Marietta diner named Dunwoody Diner. This is where they once were considering a QT.

Anonymous said...

They don't have to sell the property eminent domain happens every day for infrastructure projects. This is elementary level community development....

Anonymous said...

Not joking on the fried chicken place - If you want a bucket of fried chicken in Dunwoody to take to a picnic or tailgate, where would you go? BTW, I tried the newest Chick-Fil-A this weekend (the former automotive center location). It was so slow that they ended up refunding my money (about 15 minutes for a Chick-Fil-A One App order). Manager was trying but the employees were just not good. Probably not the best idea to berate them in front of a bunch of hungry waiting customers. The Mt. Vernon CFA is much better. And I question the sanity of anyone who doesn't like Chick-Fil-A. It is the best fast food restaurant in America by far.

Not sure what the allure of the Diner is. Aside from Buckhead Diner, they are generally filthy. Also, I think locating on the west side of Ashford Dunwoody is preferable to the east side.

Anonymous said...

Lol! Well anonymous 9:56am I question your sanity for waiting 15 minutes for a crap-fil-a sandwich! Your probably one of the DA's that wait all night at a grand opening of a crap-fil-a. It's a bun,butter,pickle and sometimes juicy sometimes dry chicken. Nothing special. Not to mention the awful waffle over soaked oil potatoes the push. They do have good condiments ... Eat well!

Anonymous said...


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