Tuesday, July 28, 2020

[UPDATE] New Proposal Surfaces for Prized Parcels at Clairmont & Briarcliff Roads

More than a year after one developer walked away from his planned redevelopment of several intown parcels, another firm is proposing an even more absurd project on the same site.  Jay Gipson of The Gipson Company had in 2017 proposed redeveloping a 3.8 acre land assemblage at the corner of Clairmont and Briarcliff Roads into a new RaceTrac, Wendy's and Express Oil Change.  After significant neighborhood opposition and a failed attempt to get the parcels annexed into the City of Brookhaven (from unincorporated DeKalb County), the plans were called off.  Now, Stein Investment Co., LLC wants to develop 264 apartment units and 10,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space on the prized parcels.  
Referring to the proposal as a "vibrant, pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development," according to plans filed with DeKalb County, Stein is seeking to have the subject property rezoned from C-l (Local Commercial) and C-2 (General Commercial) to HR-3 (High Density Residential--3) to accomplish their redevelopment plans.  It is believed that like Gipson, Stein has the property under contract pending the approval of their rezoning request.   All of the subject parcels are currently owned by JMAR Investors, L.P. 

The site is one exit north on I-85 from where Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and Emory Healthcare are each  developing huge new campuses at North Druid Hills Road.  

The Stein project would be comprised of three buildings: A six-story residential building with ground floor retail, a five/six-story residential building that wraps a parking deck, and a two-story restaurant structure with a rooftop patio. The buildings would be separated by what the developer says would be "an inviting pedestrian plaza and vehicular drop off area."  

The property is currently occupied by five older, single-story buildings housing auto-repair, oil change and auto salvage businesses.  A long since demolished Waffle House that has in recent years played host to assorted vehicle services also occupies one of the parcels.  The project is scheduled to be heard at the August 11 Community Council Meeting (District 2) which according to planning documents is "subject to COVID-19 restrictions."  The project will subsequently be heard by the Planning Commission on September 1 and at the Board of Commissioners meeting on September 22.  The two September meetings like the one in August are all  "subject to COVID-19 restrictions" but it's unclear what exactly those are.  

Stein Development is no stranger to the area.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported in late 2018 that the firm purchased the roughly six acre Williamsburg Village shopping center across the street from the proposed multifamily development.  A representative for Stein said at the time that the firm is committed to creating a redevelopment that the neighborhood can be "proud" of.    Additionally,  Space Shop, a self storage business which has been Stein's primary commercial development vehicle, has several locations in the area including a recently completed climate-controlled facility on Clairmont Road near Dresden Drive.  

The former Manna Pro Feed Mill near the Chamblee MARTA station is also now controlled by Stein. The firm is planning to rechristen the property "Red Rose Silos" and incorporate a food hall, entertainment, retail, office and restaurant space, among other elements, according to leasing materials from The Shopping Center Group.  

The Stein project is at least the second planned multifamily redevelopment pitched in the area.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported this past December that Miami's Related Group was looking to redevelop an assembled six acre parcel near the Target on North Druid Hills Road.  On the assemblage, about a mile west of the site of the proposed Stein project, Related Group wants to redevelop several parcels - known in planning documents as 2601 Briarcliff Road - with 382 apartments, a 140-room hotel, 25,000 square feet of office space, and a combined 20,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space.  The project would replace several properties including popular neighborhood watering hole Tin Roof Cantina and Indian restaurant Cafe Bombay.  

What are your thoughts on Stein Development's planned redevelopment?  Do you think Stein has a better or worse vision for the property than Gipson had?   What do you think would make the most sense for the property?

Please share your thoughts below.  

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Horrible idea. CHOA will already overwhelm traffic in the area. Brookhaven will green light anything as long as they get tax revenue if the property is annexed.

Anonymous said...

This is light years better than that hot mess RaceTrac/Wendy's/Express Lube proposal. Far less negative traffic impact. And it closes off all but one of the entrance/exit points along Clairmont.

Anonymous said...

This is really terrible. The last proposed redevelopment was not bad and would not have increased the already bad traffic that is going to get exponentially worse with CHOA being funneled through that intersection. The last businesses proposed would've just served the local existing population. Now they are brining in high density residential to an already high traffic intersection, and there is a high density residential development going in JUST DOWN the ROAD at Briarcliff and N. Druid Hills. People - you have to accept development - it is going to happen. Now, because everyone rejected a reasonable redevelopment we now have this crazy one that is going to make the traffic there insane.

Unknown said...

Best plan I've heard yet, plus with Stein Development owning the property across the street they have an incentive to make the area compliment one another.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Stein while you navigate the most anti-development area of Atlanta!
Neighbors will fight any development due to traffic concerns. I guess they have a point - there is no traffic now from that parcel due to the dilapidated garbage that sits there now.

Anonymous said...

Seriously People. The whole area is due for an upgrade. The corner is currently an eye sore, looking like a junk yard with cars waiting to be repaired. The Williamsburg Plaza is a horrible use of space. With the exception of the Quick Trip, the whole are is has been in need of a facelift for many years. The same people who wanted to leave old 1950s houses in the area can not face changes of any nature. Lets move forward. I look forward to the new business that will be in the area.

Anonymous said...

Love the idea. The CHOA workers can live here and walk to work. The corner has been horrible for 15 years. Great idea.

Anonymous said...

It is inevitable that this tract will be redeveloped and this plan is much better than another gas station and a fast-food restaurant there! If we have this type of mixed-use residential, we will have greater opportunity to have better mass transportation options. We no longer have a bus route on Briarcliff because of limited riders. Perhaps when we do have more traffic when we return to work, this will encourage people to use Marta and we can get Marta to do better for us in our area.

Anonymous said...

This is great!! I hope Stein cleans it up!

Anonymous said...

Great idea and good luck getting this done. More housing is needed. the whole block is a eyesore now. Traffic is terrible now...can it get worse? We'll see. Developement of this parcel is inevitable and Stein's plan is better than the previous one.

Anonymous said...

Does this plan include taking the Riviera Terrace condos directly in back of it off Briarcliff? I know the residents were sent a letter from a commercial real estate firm proposing a possible buy out last year. Just curious, as I used to live there. The new proposal is much better than the gas station and Wendy’s proposal, but a five story apartment building on that narrow lot would be a looming presence over much of that complex.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Stein sure has good trolls lobbying for this horrific proposal to make this area a complete nightmare for traffic. Yes, the existing properties are ugly but they are empty and traffic is still horrible. The now defunct proposal to put a few of service businesses in is far better than adding thousands of cars with no infrastructure to support it. This is not progress, it is poor planning and greed. Next comment will be another Stein Lackey saying OMG a high density mixed use property is amazing and will end systemic racism. Yay!!!

Sagamore Honey said...

Traffic is going to get a lot worse over the next decade of GDOT construction no matter what goes on that property. I agree that the Gipson proposal wouldn't have increased traffic and this will assuredly add 250-500 new cars to every rush hour plus adding a new destination attraction drawing neighbors to the area with no means of access other than driving.

GDOT plan for redevelopment of Clairmont is here, note construction doesn't start until 2023 - http://www.dot.ga.gov/applications/geopi/Pages/Dashboard.aspx?ProjectID=0015956

Chris Chambers said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

I'm in shock at the NIMBY-ism in these comments. I could understand people wanting to protect the historic "character" of an area and thus disliking new development...but this area has been mediocre suburbia since its inception. What is there to protect, honestly? The reason why traffic is so bad is because it has always been poorly planned, low density development with separate land uses. That's the textbook example of how to create car dependency and of course, the traffic problems that follow. This area is too close to more urbanized areas of the metro for it to not have high density, mixed use development. I'm going to assume the NIMBYs are older residents.

Sagamore Honey said...

This proposal looks like everything new in Brookhaven, not in keeping with the 70 year old neighborhood south of it.

Elevation drawings - https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/users/user405/Z%2020%201244108%202814%20Clairmont%20Rd%20pt.3.pdf

Diagram of proposed layout - https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/users/user405/LP%2020%201244107%202814%20Clairmont%20Rd%20pt.2..pdf

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