Brookhaven, GA, June 2, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Changes to plans for Solis Dresden, a Terwilliger Pappas planned mixed-use development on 4 acres at the corner of Dresden Drive and Appalachee Drive, were received positively by some 35 neighbors who attended another community meeting Wednesday at Lynwood Park Rec. Center.
But residents are not completely sold on the project – not because of the design, because of the location, the fact it’s still mostly apartments and there is no ownership component. Residents would like to see townhomes or condos that people actually own and have skin in the community game, they say.
“Financing is simply not available for townhomes,” Woody Galloway, attorney for the developer told The Post. “These units are being built to the highest quality standards with the highest quality finishes, which leaves the door open for converting to ownership in the future.”
That’s the same thing the developers of the planned Dresden Village project across the street is saying about their 206 apartment unit development – no lender appetite for town home financing.
The original proposal shown to neighbors in April, was for a 5 story building with 121 apartment units, 9,000 sq. ft. of retail and 214 parking spaces on a 2 level parking deck.
The new plan shaves off one complete story down to 4 to comply with the Overlay, reduces the number of traditional apartments to 113 and adds in 8 town-home style two-story apartments and 2 live/work units. The 9,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space remained unchanged – 2 units, one at 5,000 sq. ft and another at 4,000 sq.ft.
Terwilliger has also added in another 100 parking spaces for the site by way of a plan to dig down one story and create third parking level. That means 200 spaces will be for the residents, 50 for the restaurants, 20 for retail and 44 for public use.
New to the plan is the “closing in” of the once U-shaped building to help screen the neighbors on Canoochee Dr. from a pool and central activity area. Also new is a dedicated entrance/exit on Dresden Drive and a plan for limited right-in, left-out limited access on Appalachee Dr.
There was talk and an impromptu showing of hands about a traffic light being added on Dresden Drive at Appalachee Dr. The developers traffic engineer said they have been floating that idea to the City. He said they would be weighing the pro’s and con’s.
In the end, residents thanked Terwilliger-Pappas for their efforts to change their project plans for the mostly apartment development, that will garner a rental rate from $2,300 per month to $4,000 per month, and in their mind attract a certain upper-crust demographic.
“Our target renter here is a little bit more sophisticated,” Terwilliger’s Greg Power said. “It’s a first class product, it’s condo quality.”
But regardless of the rental rate, neighbors say they are not on board with more apartments in this area and unless the developer can figure out how to make the “impossible” possible by finding a way to finance inclusion of an ownership component into the project, it may not get community support.
“If you could just pick this development up and move it to the MARTA parking lot, I would love, love love that,” said Brookhaven Fields resident Jen Heath. “We just don’t need more apartments on Dresden.”
Galloway said the project is planned to be in front of the Planning Commission and City Council in July and encouraged the community to break in to smaller, more concentrated neighborhood groups to give more focused feedback. He also said their traffic study was done but not being released just yet because they are working through the data.
The project, located at 1411, 1417, 1423, & 1427 Dresden Drive, if it were to move forward, would take approximately 18 to 20 months to complete with the first residents moving in at the 14 month mark.