The Dunwoody Homeowners Association voted to support the proposed Crown Towers mixed-use development only if developers promised 75 percent of residential units are owner-occupied and agrees to reduce office space by 400,000 square feet.
That was the “overwhelming” vote the DHA board made in executive session behind closed doors at its April 10 meeting, said President Robert Wittenstein.
“If [Crown Holdings] can agree to this we will support it, if [they] can’t, we won’t support it,” he said.
Crown Holdings goes before the city’s Planning Commission April 12 and is slated to appear before the City Council on April 25.
Crown Holdings is asking the city of Dunwoody to approve rezoning approximately 5 acres of land at the Gold Kist site, along Perimeter Center Parkway, to be rezoned to allow for a 380-unit high rise condominium tower, a 3-story retail center and a luxury hotel with approximately 150 rooms.
Fifteen acres of proposed development on the Gold Kist site does not require rezoning and would include two 24-story office towers, a restaurant, a conference center and a 28-story high-rise hotel. The project is expected to be completed in 2026.
With the two office towers, Crown Holdings already has approval to build 2 million square-feet of office space. DHA wants that total to be lowered to 1.6 million square-feet.
“It’s really about traffic. This is about a trade-off. This gives them the opportunity to change the complexion [of the project],” Wittenstein said. “The truth is office space creates more traffic. Residents have less impact. The trade-off helps alleviate traffic.”
Crown Holdings has agreed to give up 400,000 square-feet of office space – a reduction of 20 percent – in a draft of concessions it stated it was willing to make for DHA’s support of the project.
However, DHA’s demand for 75 percent of the 380 residential condominium units to be owner-occupied as at construction is something Crown Holdings is likely to resist. The development group has stated it would agree to 50 percent owner occupied at construction, 70 percent at three years and then 75 percent owner occupied within six years.
“They wanted a number of years to get to 75 percent because they said they needed that for funding. It is still very questionable whether we will support this,” Wittenstein said.
Before the vote, Wittenstein said that if he was on the Planning Commission, Dunwoody Crown Towers is a “pretty borderline proposal.”
He also told DHA members that developers had showed him correspondence with banks that stated the proposed project would not get financing if more than 50 percent of the 380 residential units had to be owner occupied.