Friday, August 25, 2017

Westplan Investors "Swings For The Fences" With Giant Mixed Use Development Near SunTrust Park

Atlanta based Westplan Investors is planning a large mixed use development (MUD) near SunTrust Park in Smyrna.  The project, which could total over 525,000 square feet, would replace an aging and largely vacant 70s era office complex, as well as a largely vacant strip center. 
I discovered the zoning signs for this proposed redevelopment while photographing the adjacent Wendy's which was demolished a few months ago and is being rebuilt in line with the company's new design.

According to documents recently submitted to the City of Smyrna, Westplan purchased the 8.7-acre site in May for $7.2 million.  The firm's current proposal includes plans to develop 310 multi-family units, a 200 room, six-story hotel, 65,000 square feet of office space, 11,000 square feet of retail space, and a 692 space parking garage.  

Westplan, with headquarters in Sandy Springs, often uses funds from Dutch investors to finance their real estate endeavors, primarily in multi-family construction. 
Looking down Spring Road towards Cobb Parkway and SunTrust Park
The firm recently completed two multi-family projects: Accent North Druid Hills on Executive Park Drive and Accent Waterworks on Northside Drive near Atlantic Station.  

As ToNeTo Atlanta reported last fall, the firm is also building two new multi-family developments on Cheshire Bridge Road: Accent Cheshire Bridge and Accent 2050.   The Cheshire Bridge complex is being built where Alfredo's once stood, while the 2050 complex is opening in place of the Doll House gentlemen's club.  

In Smyrna, the existing strip center at 2800 Spring Road includes the Chin Chin Chinese restaurant, while the 144,575 square-foot Emerson Center Office Park at 2810 Spring Road sits largely abandoned. Plans for the new development date back about four years, to when the property was owned by Nilhan Developers LLC, a company affiliated with Chittranjan “Chuck” Thakkar, according to River Edges, a local site covering Cobb county that first reported the plans. 
Rendering of the proposed MUD
While Westplan does not currently have any retail holdings in metro Atlanta, they previously had stakes in both Fountain Oaks shopping center on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, and Rivermont Station on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.

The Braves new ballpark SunTrust Park, which officially opened this past March, is credited with the renewed interest in Smyrna and the Cobb Parkway corridor.  

Chick-fil-A has already completed two "scrape and rebuilds" of existing restaurants at Windy Hill and Akers Mill, while the aforementioned Wendy's is actively working on their replacement restaurant.  

Cumberland Mall recently completed a facelift and will soon welcome Atlanta's second Carlo's Bake Shop and the third overall Bezoria, a growing Mediterranean fast casual eatery.  

While not currently included in the redevelopment plans, a vacant vintage Pizza Hut sits on a parcel adjacent to the Westplan project, while Applebee's occupies another nearby parcel.  The Pizza Hut property had been considered for a hotel in years past, while Applebee's recently announced plans to close 135 locations.  This particular Applebee's may very well have been saved by the fact that the Braves stadium is so close, and auxiliary parking brings fans right by the restaurant.   
The former Pizza Hut at left, rebuilt Wendy's center and current Applebee's in the rear
Should it be built, the project would likely be called "Accent Cumberland" or something like that, and would involve annexing about 6 acres into The City of Smyrna from unincorporated Cobb county. 

The Smyrna planning and zoning board deferred a vote on the project during its most recent meeting on August 14, and city staff plans to meet with the developers over the next few weeks to iron out details.  The planning and zoning board is scheduled to look at the project again when it meets next on Monday September 11.  If the project is approved in its current form, groundbreaking could be as soon as early 2018, with a grand opening in 2020. 

Are you a Smyrna area resident pleased with the current and upcoming area developments?  Do you think the planned development is too much for the area?  What would you like to see open as part of the project?

Please share your thoughts below  


CloseOTP said...

Happy that they're doing something with that land. I do wish they'd do something different than add 300+ apartments. Let's see what the deferred vote leads to...

Anonymous said...

Smyrna doesn't need any more apartment complexes. They are popping up on every corner these days.

Anonymous said...

There is no metro ATL community that needs apartments. There are many communities that are uniting and utilizing social media to get the word out about the under the radar development happening within their neighborhoods. Today's "luxury" apartment complex is transient populated, crime ridden and run down in 10 - 15 years.

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