1. 1


    Great news, it will be good for Chamblee.

    Confused why this development and Olmsted made it through Chamblee so quickly but Southbound took years, Blee is nowhere in sight and the Old Gatsbys has not moved at all.

  2. 2

    The Brookhaven Post

    The Blee will be coming back up very soon. ParkView was also on last nights docket getting their sign plans approved. It will be moving along soon too.

  3. 3

    The Brookhaven Post

    Just got this email from a reader: “Did Chamblee use a TAD or give the developer any special incentives to come in to their city?”

    We have been told that “there is no public financing on this project nor any special incentives. This is the location that was chosen and they worked with the city to make it so.”

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    But…but..but…how can that be?!?! Are you saying that the free market might actually work?

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    Isn’t this site contaminated with PCBs?

  6. 6

    Eric Clarkson

    I do not know where you received your information that Southbound took years to get approval. Quite the opposite. City officials worked very closely with the owner and tenant on this property to get them open as quickly as possible. Even granting a temporary C.O. before they had completed all of the required elements to get a permanent C.O.
    No plans for the redevelopment of Chamblee Plaza have been submitted to the city for official review. When they are I am confident that they will receive the same professional attention as all other plans that are submitted to the city.
    The PUD application for Parkview on Peachtree (former Gatsby property) was approved by the city ARB and City Council in one month. This was the result of a quality developer and a competent staff making sure that all conditions of the cities PUD process had been appropriately addressed prior to bringing it before the council. Their signage package was unanimously approved by the ARB last night and I am told they will break ground sometime later this year.
    Thank you for paying such close attention to all of the great advancements that continue to happen in the great City of Chamblee!

  7. 7

    The Brookhaven Post

    Thanks Mayor Clarkson. Great win for Chamblee and surrounding communities. Now we need to get working on the old Buddy’s. I am told that is a challenging parcel to lease. Any movement on it?

    Thanks again, Trey

  8. 8

    Jack Smith

    PCBs on the GE site and pesticide chemicals on the target development site from what I understand. Both are former superfund sites. I don’t know what the current environmental status is and what the rules are for commercial development. I would like to know that information if anyone has an idea.

  9. 9

    The Brookhaven Post

    Hi Jack. We are being told that the Oxford chemicals was never actually a Superfund site but was on the EPB watchlist because contaminants were reported which puts them on the list. The site is not suitable for residential development but is suitable for commercial development. There has been an extensive voluntary abatement initiative on the site and it has been reportedly contained and abated.

  10. 10

    I Want LaVista Hills

    The fact that Chamblee’s mayor on here participating in these comments is huge. Really great. Not sure if anyone else had that reaction as well.

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    The last report I can find is a year old and indicates soil and groundwater remediation is still needed.
    Since this is a semiannual report can the Brookhaven Post get the most current?

  12. 12

    The Brookhaven Post

    We will see if there is one.

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    I’d like to see him comment on the issues raised here and at the Chamblee Post in other articles concerning the recently annexed neighborhoods. I’m not Jealous, but the picture in the new neighborhoods is not as rosy as the impending Peachtee developments.

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    While I am so excited to see a Whole Foods come to the area, I am just as disappointed to read that this development includes the Ashe-Simpson site. Was the owner planning to close anyway?

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    extreme jealousy!

    Continuing the mayors silly mantra’s of the ‘center of the universe’ and ‘leading the way’ in Atlanta development doesn’t seem to be based much in reality.
    Mayor, been to the Westside, Inman Park or even the Emory area lately?
    The reality of Chamblee is there are clearly 2 Chamblee’s.
    What can be done to change this?
    Well, first thing that HAS to happen is the annexed neighborhoods need to WAKE UP and take an active role in their future instead of allowing poor decisions by the city such as extending late nite bar hours increased, w/out as much as a yawn from the neighborhood groups that are in the area already.
    IF there was true leadership in the city, the plan could very well be this,… the city should refocus their commercial efforts to creating the residential necessary to support more commercial projects.
    An opportunity I see that, if pursued properly could become a reality. The Dresden Road/Plaster/Dresden Court area of low income junky rentals could be bought out by partnering the city (bonds, TAD’s,etc) w/ key home builders (Weiland, Brock Built, Ashton Woods),..raze the area and build a planned residential community ‘on the park’. Dresden Park, if the city buys from Dekalb, yet makes no effort to change the demographics will be owners of an unsafe park. That would be a waste. And it accomplishes NOTHING for the annexed neighborhoods.
    There are other areas all around the Chamblee area right now, that should be in high priority discussions about bringing in ROOFTOPS to the Chamblee area.
    Chamblee , work on creating a COMMUNITY of neighborhoods w/ single family, townhomes, great parks, better schools , etc. to replace the undesirable crumbling areas (especially the BuHi & Chamblee Tucker/D’woody areas).
    THEN the commercial areas will be supported and companies might give Chamblee a more serious look.
    What say you mayor?
    And don’t say you’re working on annexed area, without giving SPECIFICS, please!

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    Eddie E

    Is it difficult to maintain that level of artificial hysteria on a daily basis?

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    Jeez, Chamblee just can’t do right in your book. And I still don’t understand is why you bought a house in “undesirable crumbling areas” full of “low income junky rentals” that should be “razed”.

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    Bill Lowe

    Let’s see: If these were vacant, run down structures where the owner was not maintaining them properly, the city could potentially purchase them or force the owner to sell by way of continuous code violations and then someone could buy them that will maintain them or redevelop them. Since they are not vacant and run down and appear to be maintained, this makes them a business that is viable. It costs money to purchase an existing business—especially one where relocation is not really possible—such as apartments. You have to BUY THEM OUT, and that does not come at a discount. Vacant property is usually sold at a vacant property price.

    How to bring new commercial development into the annexed areas: This starts with an upgrade to existing residents. Existing residents are not bad people, they just may not have the income requirements to justify new retail. You are not going to get a upscale department store located in a community that does not shop there. This is not rocket science, but it can be difficult to understand when your investment property is not performing well.

    How to add more roofs/upgrade the existing residential: Well, with more money from the people that live here and investing their own money into their own homes, this will lead the developers to believe that they should also invest in the community. Upgrade your house. Do renovations that show from an aerial view. Move some dirt around showing recent activity. Brag about where you live to everyone you know. Encourage those that are looking for a place to live to check out your neighborhood. Being negative about it does not encourage anything positive. The developers will love this area in the future. Land prices are not likely to ever exceed 1 million dollars per acre in single family residential—and that is about where it peaked at before the recession on 1/3 acre lots. A little under $300k was the highest sales price on an unmolested original home from the area. Essentially a tear down house… value to the house, it is all in the land.

    I wish there was a way to prove these points to the ignorant. Past performance is no indicator of future results….but history does repeat itself to many investors.

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    Jack Smith

    OK, great. Thanks for the information. I appreciate it. I do wonder how a “pocket park” would be allowed if residential is not. Sometimes these former contaminated sites are not allowed to have green areas due to potential leaching in the soil.

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    extreme jealousy!

    Some people have no good understanding of Atlanta’s real estate market.
    Chamblee absolutely must grow rooftops and create housing opportunities for higher income middle class families before realizing commercial property potentials.
    A person here or there doing minor upgrades has no bearing on the regional market.
    Foolish for anyone to put more into their homes than the market will bear. I learned that quick and have halted my landscape plans.
    It takes a savvy community development development department w/ a proactive aggressive city w/ a vision to pinpoint areas, encourage redevelopment and move the process forward.
    Considering conditions along BuHi, a bond referendum or creating a tax allocation district would be necessary to break ground on any significant project.
    Also, per MK’s comment, please do research and gain a little better understanding of how junky low rent areas, residential & commercial have a detrimental effect on surrounding neighborhoods. I believe some of the annexed neighborhoods are worth saving, but if continued neglect will themselves become included in the ‘low rent’ and need to be ‘razed’ category.
    That is why it’s important to address these things NOW, before it becomes too late.

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    That still doesn’t answer my question.

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    extreme jealousy!

    All you have to do is google 30345 zillow and look at the too many listings 200,000 and lower in the annexed neighborhoods. And even at 165-185,..they’re just sitting for 6 months, some a YEAR! We are in trouble down here indeed and ain’t no one in the city of Chamblee doing nothin’ to acknowledge this decline in values and do what’s necessary to save these neighborhoods & homeowners that are still hanging on for dear life!

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    That is the kind of research you should have done before you moved here. I hear Smyrna is a great little city to live in and has made great strides in improving the communities that make up the city. Maybe you should give the area a visit.

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    But the thing is that values haven’t actually declined in that part of town. They have generally tracked the broader market. That has simply always (going back many decades) been a less desirable place place to live, hence its lower valuations.

    It’s like if someone moved to Vine City and then got indignant about the lack of a Neiman Marcus in the neighborhood.

  25. 25

    extreme jealousy!

    I beg to differ. Look at the actual history of home sales. This area(between Clairmont/Dresden/ 85/Buford Highway) tried to rise in value between 2000 -2008 when folks were buying low and upgrading kitchens, baths, yards. You will find homes were selling solidly between 200- 265,000 between 2004-2008.
    The bottom fell out early ’08 which left many of these in foreclosure. Now, 6 years later, they are being sold real close to their mid 1990’s prices, 150,000-199,000.
    This area has NOT kept up w/ rebounded Atlanta market. The surrounding conditions have to be addressed 1st, to bring this area up.
    My question to Chamblee officials is why isn’t that happening?

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    extreme jealousy!

    THIS should be the scale of vision Chamblee and Brookhaven should come together on and create a Buford Highway tax allocation district along the entire Buford Highway corridor!
    Buford Highway needs to be remade and redesigned to become part of Atlanta, 21st century style! Roswell, so ahead of the game, and bet will get a Marta rail to compliment!

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    Jack Smith

    In all honesty, many of the areas in Chamblee that have increased in value is not because of Chamblee policy but rather due to people determined to find areas that are affordable but close enough to other areas of interest and sink money into the homes. In north Chamblee the interest is the Perimeter area and all the neighborhoods and parks in between. 15 years ago the 50s ranch houses just inside 285 on Ashford Dunwoody Rd were selling far less than Virginia Highlands, Chastain Park, Buckhead areas (200s and below). As the areas most attractive to younger people got much more expensive, we (as a younger person at that time I include myself) began turning to alternate areas that seemed to have some of the things we thought were important. The result is a complete transformation of Lynwood, Ashford Park, and other nearby areas. Heck, even historic Brookhaven has been transformed in many ways as estate lots became available and homes were rebuilt or extensively redeveloped.

    Buford Hwy and the areas surrounding it were not even a consideration for the people you are interested in attracting. Areas of Drew Valley are pushing just about as far as they can towards Burford Hwy but in reality people don’t want to live next to Buford Hwy or right on Clairmont Rd. I am astounded by some people that can make it work but it isn’t an ideal location.

    As time has passed and development and interest have increased the northern Chamblee and Brookhaven city areas have become much less attainable from a price perspective for younger couples. As a result younger people are pushing furthering into the Doraville and east Chamblee areas where homes are still in that sweet spot price range of mid to low 200’s. Most do not want to live in condos or townhouses. Very little of this re-development was a result of city policy but rather people choosing to move in and change neighborhoods followed by developers focusing on areas followed by a wave of more people.

    Eventually these areas will price out most people as what has happened from P-tree Dunwoody west all the way to Vinings. When that happens people will again start looking at areas that are in need of redevelopment to find those 200’s and less priced homes. The redevelopment of the GM site may kickstart some of it such as a real re-development of downtown Chamblee but no government policy is going to make this happen. People have to decide they want to live in an area and begin to move to it.

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    Well said. Thank you for injecting some reality into the conversation.

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    extreme jealousy!

    I agree. I misjudged what the opportunity was here. I have a hard time believing there are people that actually WANT this great intown location to just remain poor and an illegal immigrant sanctuary. It’s very sad. I feel for all of us that were FOOLED by the Chamblee annex vote!

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    Government taxes and wastes tax money without regard to the consequences. They are more than happy to be dazzled by developers needing their assistance to build certain developments even if they will languish for years. Government will not be held responsible for its failures and the elected making development decisions have little development experience.

    On the other hand, smart developers follow trends in population movement. Developers and home builders using their own money build for success and profit. Those not savvy in real estate development do not stay in the game very long.

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    So what are your thoughts (anybody that wants to opine) on the brookhaven portion of bu hi getting some new residential development in the next several years? I mean it is a super convenient area with little traffic, obviously the housing options would have to be appealing and priced realistically to get upper middle income folks to bite. You can go just a couple of blocks west of bu hi and you have tear downs and 800k houses being built.

  32. 32

    Eric Robert

    “to just remain poor and an illegal immigrant sanctuary. It’s very sad” And this is the real motivation. While many appreciate the unique vibrancy of Buford Highway others see what they perceive to be a threat to the “American Way of Life”

    Its a passion that apparently causes someone to move from one “illegal immigrant sanctuary” (smyrna) to another (Bu Highway).

    Personally there are a ton of areas and corridors in metro Atlanta filled with the same chain shopping and eating choices, yes some are up scale, but they all are found everywhere. Buford Highway offers more locally and independently owned choices that you can’t find anywhere else. Seeing how there are so many places to live where the typical strip mall choices dominate I don’t understand why folks need to move to this corridor if they don’t like what it has to offer.

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    extreme jealousy!

    Why are you spreading wrong information, Eric Robert? Smyrna is definitely not a ‘sanctuary’ to illegal aliens. Back in ’04, 2005, when the metro was seeing the huge influx, primarily due to the building boom, there were areas in Cobb (& Smyrna) that were feeling the negative effects. From super meth labs run by drug cartels, high numbers of hit and runs & packed rental houses, Cobb (& Smyrna) officials took ACTION and over the last 5 years have made outstanding progress cleaning up the run down areas and protecting the citizens they were elected to protect!
    I certainly don’t agree that BuHi is some special place that needs to be protected at all costs. That’s just ‘open border’ propaganda!
    In truth, it’s the seedy, neglected, look the other way, trashy, crime ridden ‘sanctuary’ unassimilated section of Atlanta!
    Eric, you need to get up to the Smyrna-Vinings area,’s very nice!!

  34. 34

    The Brookhaven Post

    Ok folks. The comments have gone off the rails. Please get back to the topic at hand. And please make sure they stay there. Thank you very much.

  35. 35


    I wholeheartedly agree with you ER. The worst thing that can happen to Chamblee would be turning it into “Brookhaven North.”

    Brookhaven is already bordering on “vanilla” and the addition of a Whole Paycheck only adds to that vibe. Chamblee is a true gem in that it is really a melting pot of awesome, home-style ethnic cuisine mixed in with funky antique stores, high-income housing and working class neighborhoods, and people of all backgrounds. The low-income housing is needed — although it does need to be safe and up to code if it is not.

    Weird how people buy a house in an area they hate.

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