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4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Dunwoody council members concerned about traffic around proposed Dunwoody Crown Towers BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net The history of the land where Dunwoody Crown Towers is being proposed played a significant role in developers deciding what to propose for the area, the developers say. “We searched back to when the Indians, farmers and onward were on that land,” said veteran Realtor Charlie Brown, the man behind such projects as Atlantic Station, Technology Park/Atlanta, John’s Creek in north Fulton County and Lenox Park located in Buckhead. Dunwoody Crown Towers, an ambitious development project of highrises on the former Gold Kist site off AshfordDunwoody Road, is proposed to include business, hotel and residential towers. The planned development is named Dunwoody Crown Towers, a nod to Crown Holdings Group, which purchased the property more than two years ago. One of the first office buildings in this area was Gold Kist, Brown said. But before it became Gold Kist it was the Cotton Producers Association, a cooperative founded in the mid-1930s by D.W. Brooks, an agronomy professor at the University of Georgia, to help farmers in Carrollton during the Great Depression market their cotton. The Cotton Producers Association assured farmers were paid fairly for their cotton and also assisted them in having access to better technology and marketing for their product. By the 1950s, the coop had diversified beyond cotton to chickens, fertilizer, pork and other grains, and became known as Gold Kist. “The definition of poverty at one time was being a Georgia farmer,” Brown said. “And Gold Kist changed that. D.W. Brooks did that – he was a good farmer.” In 2006, however, Gold Kist was sold to Pilgrim’s Pride Cooperation, creating the largest poultry business in the world. “That building has been vacant a long time,” Brown said. “Dunwoody is an active market. This is one of the finest places in the country you could have a mixeduse development. This is a suburban area that is on the edge of being urban.” The 15-acre site is already zoned for a 20-story hotel and two 24-story business

highrise buildings. On Jan. 5, Crown Development filed a pre-application review with the city of Dunwoody for a rezoning request to also be able to build two residential towers not to exceed 40 stories at the eastern end of the project. The pre-application form says the property would be divided into two tracts, a 9.2-acre site for the hotel and business towers, and 4.75 acres for the two residential towers. Zoning attorney Doug Dillard said the development would create a true “gateway to Dunwoody.” “This is a real opportunity for the city Continued on page 9

New towers proposed Towering new developments are being proposed or are underway in the Perimeter. In Sandy Springs, an Australian developer has proposed five new skyscrapers reaching 20 to 29 stories at 1117 Perimeter Center West. Also, the Texas-based developer Hines is taking the city to court over its denial of zoning for a 25-story office building and a hotel at Northpark at Ga. 400 and Abernathy Road. Meanwhile, in Dunwoody, CRB Realty Associates is proposing a 20-story hotel, two highrise office buildings and two residential towers up to 40 stories tall each at Dunwoody Crown Towers. And in Brookhaven, Seven Oaks is starting construction of a 15-story office building at 4004 Perimeter Summit.

Mixed-use developments are a hot trend, but they’re not for everyone BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

When Scott Ruzycki, the area manager of the LA Fitness at Town Brookhaven looks around at the neighborhood, he likes what he sees: hundreds of potential customers living right next door. “I think this is one of the smartest developments that LA Fitness has located in,” said Ruzycki. “We pull about a thousand more people than a regular LA Fitness.” Many don’t have far to go. The gym Ruzycki manages sits in the middle of a massive “mixed-use” development on Peachtree Road in Brookhaven.

When it comes to new development, “mixed use” has become master of the moment. From The Shops Buckhead Atlanta to Sandy Springs’ City Springs project, mixed-use redevelopments are supposedly blending shops, homes and offices to create downtown-style centers from Perimeter suburbs. The mix of retail and housing in “livework-play” developments has been popularized by such high-profile projects as Atlantic Station and Alpharetta’s Avalon. Town Brookhaven was among the first smaller-scale versions of those mixed-use, mega-projects to launch in the Perimeter Continued on page 8

01-22-2016 Buckhead Reporter