The city of Sandy Springs has won a lengthy court battle over the Northpark property at Abernathy Road and Ga. 400, confirming its halt to a planned office tower and hotel, according to City Attorney Dan Lee. The developer, Hines, would have to seek rezoning to move ahead with the plan.
“What the property owners will do, I can’t say, but their plan rejected by [the city’s Board of Appeals] is affirmed,” Lee said of the Oct. 18 court decision.
Doug Dillard, the attorney representing Hines, did not respond to calls and emails.
The 14-acre wooded site at the interchange’s southeast corner was once part of a larger development site, most of which has been built out over the decades, including nearby office towers and shopping centers. In 1987, Fulton County approved a zoning plan allowing for two towers — one up to 50 stories tall — and a hotel and commercial space on the property.
Since then, the property has had physical changes, including Peachtree-Dunwoody Road cutting through the site and a corner being sold to another developer for a still-unbuilt hotel.
In 2015, Hines applied to build a roughly 25-story office tower, a 600-room hotel and a mixed-use “village” based on that 1987 rezoning. But the city rejected the old decision as no longer valid due to the site changes. The hotel was a particular sticking point.
The court appeal began in January 2016. Hines has declined to identify the property owner it is working for beyond saying it is a “state agency” from outside Georgia and suggesting it is a pension fund.