Brookhaven, GA, November 1, 2016 – by Trey Benton – A reworked Master Plan for Dresden Village, a mixed-use product proposed for 3.73 acres along Dresden Drive, between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive, has been filed with the Brookhaven Community Development Department by local developer CONNOLLY. The new plan incorporates Dixie Moon, a 2,500 sq. ft. restaurant concept by Chef Scott Serpas, after CONNOLLY was able to come to terms with the owner of the “Little White House” parcel, Fritz Rybert. According to the new Dresden Village Master Plan, CONNOLLY describes changes that include:
- Reduction in density from the original 206 total units to 169 multifamily units and 10 “For-Sale” Townhome along Caldwell Rd.
- Improved transition of the project into the single family homes by stepping down the height and density from the multi-family portion of the project to townhomes
- Addition of Dixie Moon restaurant, which now can get built with adequate parking
- Improved landscape and tree save areas by reducing the amount of building encroaching on Parkside and opening up a view corridor, which also saves trees
- 20,700 sq. ft. of Retail
- Townhomes will have 2-car garages underneath each unit
- Parking deck will have 420 spaces – 180 for commercial/retail, 240 for multifamily, 40 for townhome
- 25 on-street parking spaces
“Dresden Village will fill the missing link and complete the pedestrian and retail experience along Dresden Drive,” developer JR Connolly told The Post. “The stores will have a local flavor, with individually designed storefronts and signage and building architecture to resemble a vintage village downtown.” Connolly says including an ownership component along Caldwell Rd. creates a better transition to the Ashford Park neighborhood in this new design.
CONNOLLY’s previous trip through the Planning Commission in August, resulted in a recommendation for City Council to deny their application. During the August 23rd City Council meeting, the case was deferred and remanded back, giving the developer a chance to make changes to their site plan. Working with Fairfield Residential, who is no longer part of the Dresden Village project, CONNOLLY presented a plan at 56.6 units per acre comprised of 194 multifamily units. The multifamily component in the revised plan reduces the units per acre count down to 45.3.
Back in 2006, the proposed site was zoned to PC-2, allowing the development of 155 multifamily units (48.6 units per acre) and 35,000 square feet of retail/restaurant uses, in two four story buildings with a central parking deck on 3.19 acres.
The revised site plan calls for the Serpas restaurant to be detached – on the same parcel where the “Little White House” once stood. CONNOLLY says the plan is to construct the restaurant as closely as possible to the original two story “house-like” design, with minor modifications possible in order to incorporate a drive and valet station. On the Dresden Dr. side of the project, the plan shows 4-story multifamily over 1-story of retail.
The top floor will be stepped back, a design component intended to reduce the “monolithic” feel, which Connolly says will disappear from most sight angles and also provide a premium larger unit with an enhanced outdoor patio. The storefront facades of the new design will feature a varied “stepped” architectural look so as to appear as if there are multiple buildings combined, rather than a single faced building wall. Each of the retailers on the retail level will have an opportunity to customize their storefronts, also aiding in creating the feel of a “downtown village”.
Surrounding the proposed Dresden Village site is a 8′ multi-use trail that connects to the Dresden Drive frontage. Along Caldwell Rd., 10 parallel parking spaces are incorporated into the design that lie between one of the two gated townhome entrances and the rear entrance to the site. This rear entrance aligns with Green Meadows Lane, providing access to the Serpas restaurant whose patrons will now park in the project’s 6-level parking deck.
Attorney for the applicant, Carl Westmoreland, is requesting the .3 acre “Little White House” parcel (currently zoned Neighborhood Shopping (NS)) now being incorporated into Dresden Village site, be rezoned to PC-2, making it consistent with the new site plan and the classification requested for the balance of the property in the application. Because the incorporation of Rybert’s property is part of an amended application, the City says it will not fall under the zoning moratorium now in place for any new applications that increase density – there being no residential component on the added parcel either. That moratorium is set to expire in February 2017.
Back in 2015, Brookhaven’s City Council approved modifications to the City’s zoning code that allowed the Caldwell Rd. property as well as others around the city to be rezoned to NS. Part of the City’s rationale to make these changes was after doing an analysis of all properties in the City, Brookhaven has a lot of challenging lots that could very well be used for neighborhood coffee shops and neighborhood restaurants, such as Serpas’ proposed Dixie Moon restaurant.
Developers anticipate moving the DeKalb County tag office to another location which the theory is, would offset a large percentage of the traffic Dresden Village could bring, effectively making increases in traffic negligible. One problem developers noted previously is staging coming in and out of the tag office and the poor design of ingress and egress.
While on the Planning Commission’s Wednesday, November 2nd Agenda, CONNOLLY says they will request the Planning Commission recommend City Council defer the application when they meet on November 9th. That would mean the case would then fall on to the December 7th Planning Commission Agenda and subsequently, the December 13th City Council meeting agenda.