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    Riley OConnor

    The overall premise of such a study remains the same as it did years ago. “What do you want your community to look like?”

    As pointed out, a lot of people put a lot of energy into the original study, and if you know where to look, you can see what the outcomes have been. The Walgreen’s store, even after all the turmoil, is one example. The veterinarian’s office on Peachtree next to General Hardware is another, as is the office building at the corner of Peachtree and Kendrick. These buildings generally hold to the original conception of the LCI.

    But, it should be noted that the building at Peachtree and Kendrick was originally going to be a bank, but that bank withdrew when it was pressed to put its ATM at the back of the property, a very poor location from the security standpoint. And, this building has some occupancy, but there are still vacant spaces. On the other hand, the adjacent building, which seems to date back to the 1950’s, is also vacant. So, there may not be a real market for businesses in that stretch of Peachtree. There are still open spots, such as at the old Hastings property. And there are underutilized spots, such as the Brookhaven Station retail development.

    During the original LCI study, we were at one meeting which proposed buildings at the MARTA station to be of a specific height. At that meeting, someone announced that they were in the commercial real estate business and that such a proposed height would not be feasible economically. Which points to one of the major issues of any such study, trying to find the balance between what the market wants, what the market will support and what the neighborhood will tolerate.

    We all know that growth is coming and that the general idea is to reach some form of agreement. But I also know that MARTA is not necessarily going to abide by anything that the community comes up with. Their real problem is that the Brookhaven development is not quite like anything that have hove done or are in the process of doing. Unlike Lindbergh, there are neighborhoods that are directly affected by their project and are vocal. Candler Park and Avondale are not directly in a downtown nor are they as large as the proposed Brookhaven site. Chamblee has already embraced the conversion of commercial properties into residential / mixed use.

    That leaves us. We must get this right and given the number of talented people here, we actually have the chance to do something truly worthy of Brookhaven.

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    BETTER get involved in this one people.

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    If that stretch of Peachtree (between Town Brookhaven and Osborne) gets redeveloped, I hope that it is one single entity with as little in/out driveways as possible and parking in the back. Otherwise it will just keep looking like slightly more dense strip malls and the pedestrian experience will really suffer.

  4. 4

    Riley OConnor

    My take on it, based on a very limited understanding of the LCI Overlay, is that there won’t be tall buildings on that stretch of road. I say so mostly from a market-based approach since the available land is fairly narrow in that area. Between Osborne Road and Kendrick Drive, there is a parallel street one block over, Tallulah Street. From Kendrick to Town Brookhaven, there is a limited amount of space also, and I’m not sure that anyone would want to build a nice building right next to a Public Storage facility.

    The notion of traditional “strip malls” is contrary to the intent of the LCI, which wants parking spaces to be located the stores, not in front like the traditional strip mall. The LCI-design front also has a wide pedestrian area, so having fewer in/out driveways is also desirable. Whatever development takes place south from Osborne will also be limited by the presence of both Brookhaven Park and the Post development. That means, to me, that most of the LCI related development will be on Peachtree at Dresden, southward toward to the Cherokee Plaza area. And a little bit down Dresden, some of which is already in play. It also means that the Brookhaven Station development might well be a candidate for demolition because of both the strip mall look and the parking issues.

    And there is the MARTA development.

    What portions of the original LCI notion get retained in a new Overlay is the big question. It is clouded by the fact that the original LCI was a DeKalb County creation, while this new one will be from the City.

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    Eric Robert

    After making changes to the proposed development on the god awful MARTA parking lots (based on input from the community). The MARTA proposal looks pretty good. Especially the proposal to include Class A office space between the station and Peachtree Road. I hope we don’t lose this opportunity and have to live with the unsightly parking lots that now divide the Dresden Activity Center from the Peachtree Corridor. These two areas and the Brookhaven MARTA Station desperately need better connectivity (physically and from a development/design point of view). The MARTA development proposal seems to provide that. Lets get past the final 10 yards and get this plan approved.

  6. 6

    Riley OConnor

    Paragraph 2, Sentence 1 in the above should read “…..which wants parking spaces to be located behind the stores, not in front like the traditional strip mall. ”

    Mea culpa.

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    If they can fit a 125ft (10 story) Bldg between the Marta station and Peachtree (same or less width as the Waffle House property then I think you can be guaranteed that they will fit all the way up and down Peachtree – and the BPCA I mean Architecural Review Board (same group, different name) will see that it happens.

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