Brookhaven, GA, April 18, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Earlier this week, the City of Brookhaven sent out an advisory that part of Skyland Dr. which runs through the new Skyland Brookhaven development project (formerly Bryton Hills Apartments) will remain closed for the time being, and voters who cast their ballots at the Skyland Precinct would need to utilize other access points.
“Voters travelling through the Drew Valley Subdivision will not be able to access the Skyland Precinct at 1850 Skyland Terrace from the intersection of Drew Valley and Skyland Drive,” said City Communications Director Burke Brennan in the release. “Voters using this route must utilize Skyland Trail NE to go around the block to access the precinct from the north, or use Buford Highway to access Skyland Rd from the East.”
But why has the road been closed for so long? What has slowed the new townhome development project down?
Well, according to the City, BH Residential Holdings, LP (the developer for the project) applied for and was granted a road closure permit through Brookhaven’s Public Works department, allowing part of Skyland Dr., Skyland Way and Skyland Rd. be closed to traffic “for the safety of the public at large”. During demolition, the developer ran into a significant amount of granite bedrock requiring a crushing operation be set up to reduce the size of the rock so it could be hauled away. The amount of traffic going through the area was causing an unsafe condition for both workers and the public.
“From the very beginning of the project there became a conflict between the demolition of the old buildings and the traffic cutting through the site; cars and scooters were weaving in and out and around heavy equipment and there was real concern for the safety of the public being exposed to this activity,” Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said in an April email. “Unfortunately, the development of such a configuration of housing cannot be done without the space the roadbeds provided to be able to work.”
The finding of the bedrock also impacted the installation of a water line because its proposed location was very close to an existing gas line – which resulted in the gas company not allowing any drilling or blasting to run the water line. That meant the water line contractor had to chip away at the bedrock with a hydraulic hammer attachment on an excavator which could only be done from the roadbed, according to Ruffin.
“Currently, all of the infrastructure in phase one of Skyland Brookhaven is complete,” Ruffin explained, “with the exception of the milling and asphalt topping of the road and the installation of the sidewalks and signage.”
The City says conversations with the developer leads them to estimate some or all of the roads will re-open in the month of April or the early part of May, once curbing repairs and street resurfacing has been completed. “We will continue to work with the developer to ensure that they are meeting City codes during the completion of this project, including those that keep the community safe,” Ruffin added.
Skyland Brookhaven, is a new townhome development located on Clairmont Rd. at Skyland Dr., and is in the works on the site of the former 204-unit Bryton Hills Apartment complex. The community will have 172 units at a density of 13.31 units per acre on the 12.9 acre site.
Once complete, home prices at will start in the mid $400,000 range, and prospective owners will choose from several floor plans that range from 2516 to 2824 square feet. Sales for available units range in price from $469,900 to $508,486, according to real estate listings. The development is a product of the team of Southeast Capital Companies and HomeSouth Communities.
On the backside of this development, the DeKalb County Board of Education announced in May they came to agreements with the City of Brookhaven and the Georgia State Properties Commission to acquire 11.2 acres for $7.5 million, land that includes Skyland Center (formerly Skyland Elementary School) as well as Brookhaven’s Skyland Park, for the construction of a new elementary school. The school will be named John Lewis Elementary, and hopes are, it will be completed in Fall of 2019.