A hotel, apartments and grocery proposed next to Piedmont Park

The Invest Atlanta board on Thursday gave preliminary approval to selling a 1.47-acre strip of land at the southeast corner of Piedmont Park to a developer who plans to build a hotel and 350-unit apartment complex there.

The move was denounced by some neighborhood advocates and a board member who argued that the terms of the agreement had been hashed out in the dark.

Two of the board’s nine members opposed the project, including board secretary Julian Bene.

In a letter to his fellow board members, Bene said the project would needlessly exacerbate traffic, alter the residential character of the streets, and be short on affordable housing.

As part of the agreement, Fuqua Acquisitions will pay $2.5 million for the land, which will be combined with several other parcels for the $166 million development that will include a grocery store, restaurants, and the 150-room hotel.

Thirty percent of the homes would be affordable housing, according to the plan.

The development will front the Beltline and Atlanta Beltline Inc. will negotiate the final plans, which requires approval from the Atlanta City Council.

Incoming Councilwoman Jennifer Ide, whose council district includes the proposed development, said that the intersection at 10th Street and Monroe Drive is already dangerous and that children have been struck and killed by vehicles there.

Ide told the board that her district welcomes affordable housing, but that it needed to be transit and pedestrian friendly.

“The idea of building a car centric, parking space-heavy development is going to be of great concern to the community,” she said.

Beltline Inc. CEO Brian McGowan promised that the community would be engaged as negotiations continued.

“I was told we would have dozens and dozens of meetings, as many as is necessary so that the community feels like their voices have been heard,” McGowan said.

According to a fact sheet presented to the board, a memorandum of understanding between the Beltline and developer would be signed next month. The rezoning process would take up the next nine months and then the deal would close. Construction is scheduled for Spring 2019.

Steve Bowen, a development partner who owns land within the project area, said he didn’t know what infrastructure improvements would be needed to accommodate the project.

But those concerns, would be addressed, he said, adding that the traffic issue might even take care of itself.

“Maybe with the development there people will have the perception that it’s high traffic area and it won’t be and people will avoid the area,” he said.

Bene’s letter also criticized the sale of publicly owned land because its value hadn’t been clearly established. He wrote that the Fulton County tax assessor values a parcel of similar size on the other side of the park at $9.4 million.


The AJC’s Stephen Deere keeps you updated on the latest in the Atlanta mayoral race and everything else going on at City Hall. 

Never miss a minute of what's happening in Atlanta politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

In other Atlanta news:

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Train-truck crashes too familiar in this Gwinnett city
Train-truck crashes too familiar in this Gwinnett city

The sights and sounds of a train crashing into a tractor-trailer Friday night in Gwinnett County were not new to people in that area. Just over a year ago, a train hit a truck on the tracks a short distance away, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Friday’s incident was at Holcomb Bridge Road at Thrasher Street, and the November 2016 incident...
Disappointed tourists visit (mostly) closed King historic site
Disappointed tourists visit (mostly) closed King historic site

A smattering of people wandered the grounds of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Park, trying to figure out what to do since most of the grounds were closed due to the government shutdown.  Freedom Hall, which is privately owned, remained open Saturday for visitors to take in exhibits about Rosa Parks, Ghandi and Kng and his wife, Coretta...
Armed robbery suspect dies after being shot by officer
Armed robbery suspect dies after being shot by officer

A man who robbed a Kroger store at gunpoint was later shot by a Dunwoody officer and died at a hospital, according to a police statement Saturday. The man was shot in a parking lot of a shopping center in the 5000 block of Winters Chapel Road, Dunwoody police said in a news release.  About 7:45 a.m., the man forced his way into a register at a...
Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 
Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported. Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and...
Temp reaches 60s; ‘we have earned it’
Temp reaches 60s; ‘we have earned it’

Today:  Sunshine, clouds. High: 58 Tonight: Clear. Low: 35 Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. High: 63 One day after some metro Atlanta school systems remained closed due to effects of the snow and ice storm, the temperature moved into the 60s. And it’s supposed to stay in that range for a while. “It is going to be an...
More Stories