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Updated Apr 21 @ 12:21PM
 

Alpharetta delays vote on Fuqua development

Mixed-use plan would add office, retail, apartments

The 62-acre, mixed-use project proposed by Atlanta-based real estate companies Fuqua Development and TPA Group would include office, residential, retail, restaurants and an entertainment center.
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ALPHARETTA — City leaders will take up deliberations Monday on a proposal to change the development mix within a 62-acre site at Lakeview Parkway and Haynes Bridge Road.

The applicants, TPA Fuqua and Peridot, are seeking conditional use to allow additional office, residential and retail on the property. The request includes adding 488 residential units, including 320 one- or two-bedroom, high-end apartments.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to delay a decision on the request until it had time to study the latest traffic studies on the area. The matter has been rescheduled for the April 24 meeting.

Kathryn Zickert, the attorney representing the development team, told city officials that the developers had acceded to nearly all the conditions – more than 50 – recommended by city staff and the Planning Commission.

However, two conditions remain unresolved.

While the staff recommendation would allow 220 apartments, Zickert said that figure falls far below the threshold to support a successful mixed-use community. She cited a 2008 city-sponsored study that promoted “for-rent” opportunities in that portion of the city in anticipation of future job growth. That study, she said, severely underestimated the job boon Alpharetta has seen in the past decade.

City officials also questioned a request to install a traffic signal along Lakeview Parkway. However, developers told the council a traffic light is absolutely essential for retailers, calling the device a make-or-break amenity.

The property has been the subject of major development plans for more than five years and has gone through numerous iterations.

The latest design includes:

• 15,300 square feet of retail

• 26,300 square feet of restau- rants

• 9,600 square feet for a market

• 27,000 square feet for enter- tainment

• 104,000 square feet for a 200- key hotel

The proposal also would include an additional 510,000 square feet for office and parking to provide 3,322 spaces. In addition, the development would incorporate sections of the city’s Alpha Loop in its design.

Councilman Chris Owens proposed that he wasn’t convinced that a traffic signal would be necessary at the site, citing earlier plan drawings that called for a roundabout on Lakeview Parkway to accommodate retail traffic. He also said the developer’s latest traffic study was not prepared earlier enough to give the council time to study the issue thoroughly.

But, one of the biggest points of contention came from Councilman Jim Gilvin, who pointed out that the city had already exceeded its inventory of for-rent residential units.

He said the city’s own Master Plan, developed with the input of residents, called for a ratio of 32 percent for-rent units and 68 percent for-sale units. The city, he said, is already at 35 percent in its ratio of for-rent units, not including those assigned for assisted living.

Two residents came forward to speak against the request for apartments.

Shawn Doughtie told the council that approving a development whose residential component is dominated by for-rent units cannot steer the city’s ratio of apartments down to the 32 percent goal.

“If this is approved, you should dispense with any pretense that there is a goal,” he said.

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