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Dyana Bagby Posted by on May 1, 2016.

Dunwoody Crown Towers agrees to ‘voluntary impact fee’ of $760,000 for DHA support

The Dunwoody Homeowners Associated voted Sunday, May 1, to support the Crown Towers development and developers’ request that the residential units be 50 percent rental and 50 percent owner occupied at the start of construction and then converted to 75 percent owner occupied over five years.

As part of a negotiation for the DHA’s support, the developers have agreed to a “voluntary impact fee” of $760,000 to the city to use toward a park in the Perimeter.

The project and money for the city is not a sure thing, though, and must go through city council first. The Dunwoody City Council will consider on second and final reading the proposed mixed-use development, including two highrises with 380 residential units, at the former Gold Kist site at 244 Perimeter Center Parkway at its May 9 meeting. City staff and the Planning Commission have recommended the residential units be 75 percent owner occupied and rental units be 25 percent.

The DHA voted last month to support the proposed Crown Towers mixed-use development only if developers promised 75 percent of residential units are owner occupied and 25 percent are rental units. But in the ensuing weeks, DHA President Robert Wittenstein said he negotiated with the developers to agree to a “voluntary impact fee” of $2,000 per residential unit for a total of $760,000. Last week, the developers had agreed to just $1,000 per unit, or $380,000.

“I think this is a good deal for the city,” Wittenstein said of the proposed development. “Five years [to convert to 75 percent owner occupied] in the life of a city is a blink of an eye.”

The idea of the Westside Connector also came up at Sunday’s DHA meeting. The Westside Connector was conceptualized in the 2011 Perimeter Community Improvement Districts’ 10-year plan, but the idea it could become a reality didn’t begin until last year when the owners of Crown Holdings, who own the Gold Kist property, offered the city 2 acres for right-of-way.

The Westside Connector, estimated at $20 million, is a planned road coming off I-285, going under Ashford-Dunwoody Road and connecting with Perimeter Center Parkway. The road is part of a network of connectors planned for the area as new highrise developments are being built.

Charlie Brown with Crown Holdings Development, the company working to redevelop the property, said last night the Westside Connector “is the elephant in the room” when it comes to the proposed Crown Towers development.

The donation of the 2 acres is dependent on the city approving rezoning of the Gold Kist property for the mixed-use development, Brown explained.

And while the $760,000 “voluntary impact fee” is ideally for a park, Brown said he and the developers would not “stand in the way of the people” — such as the city and PCID — if the money were to instead be used toward a study for the Westside Connector or possibly other traffic improvements.