Brookhaven, GA, July 12, 2016 – by Trey Benton – MARTA filed an application with the City of Brookhaven’s Community Development Department on July 1st requesting to rezone an assemblage of land totaling 17.57 acres around the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station to construct a controversial Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The land is bordered by Peachtree Rd, Apple Valley Rd., Dresden Dr. and North Druid Hills Rd. In order to construct the TOD at the densities proposed, MARTA needs to rezone this land to PC-2. Currently the parcels have a mixture of zoning classifications such as C-2, M, R-75 and RM-75.
Included in the application, MARTA has “ticked the box” indicating they will pursue tax incentives in the form of Tax Abatements. Whether those incentives will be ultimately awarded by the DeKalb Development Authority or Brookhaven is not 100% certain, although there are active conversations with the City. If the City is to award the abatements, City Leaders tell The Post they would have more control over how those funds are handled. The number being thrown around at this point is between $15 million and $17 million.
The project, being led by a collaborative of developers called Brookhaven City Center Partners (BCCP), a joint venture of Integral Development and Transwestern Property, will include:
- An 8 story office building including 200,000 square feet,
- A hotel with 75,000 square feet (125 keys);
- Two for rent multifamily buildings aggregating 340 units;
- Two for sale multifamily buildings aggregating 107 units;
- One senior housing building with 100 units; and
- Retail and restaurant uses aggregating 55,768 square feet.
MARTA and BCCP say they have met with regional transportation stakeholders, including the Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Transportation, and City, State and County leaders to address existing traffic problems, infrastructure capacity and other regional issues that could be further impacted by development of the TOD.
Included in the application packet, is a Transportation Analysis Study performed by Kimley-Horne and Associates (Embedded below). The study (Table 6) shows the Gross Project Trip Generation will produce 10,751 trips per day – 5,376 Entering and 5,376 Exiting. The chart shows estimated trip generation numbers and reduced trip generation numbers, as it is expected some of the trip counts will be lowered because of transit use or reductions because of the nature of a TOD.
Also included in the application packet is a Sewer Capacity Letter (Embedded below) from DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management. The County says that based on collected flow data, “sanitary sewer capacity may be available for the subject property at this time.” However, the County notes the determination of available capacity expressed is not guaranteed because it is “based upon the known conditions as of the date of this correspondence and on the provided anticipated capacity needs associated with the project.”
The County further states in the event sewer system infrastructure improvements are required to accommodate the “new flow contribution and ensure adequate sewer system capacity as a result of development on the referenced property, the developer will be responsible for the cost associated with installing any such improvements to the existing sewer system infrastructure.”
MARTA says it is not anticipated there will be an excessive or burdensome impact to schools.
But the real challenge MARTA and BCCP face in getting the project approved, is not necessarily with the City Government itself. The communities surrounding the proposed TOD such as Brookhaven Heights, Brookhaven Fields and Ashford Park have showed up in large numbers and have been vocal as to the impact this project would have on their community. Increases in traffic and infrastructure improvements are some of the top concerns, although the density of the project and how it would change the look and feel of the community have also been topics of considerable debate.
A Development of Regional Impact (DRI) Study is making its way through the State Department of Community Affairs and the Atlanta Regional Commission. As of the time of this Post, the City has not received the DRI.
MARTA’s application is set for a September 7th Planning Commission hearing, followed by appearing before the City Council on September 27th.
The full application, Letter of Intent and Site Plans can be found on the City’s website here.
The latest revised project plan is below.