A large development proposed for West Paces Ferry Road has come back to Buckhead planning boards with fewer proposed parking spaces due to new requirements set by a parking overlay passed last year.
Developer JLB Partners is proposing to build a 13-story residential building at 99 West Paces Ferry Road, a property it purchased in 2015. The developer plans to build out the site in phases, with the first phase proposed to bring 313 multifamily units and 542 parking spaces, according to a presentation given Aug. 1 to the Development Review Committee of Special Public Interest District 9, a zoning area in central Buckhead. The committee met at Tower Place 100.
The site is currently a small office building, surrounded by a few condo buildings, a bank and the St. Regis Atlanta hotel.
The second phase is currently approved for a residential or hotel use, but JLB has not presented plans for that phase yet.
The developer also made changes to the building’s design based on feedback from SPI-9 given at that previous meeting. The committee had recommended the developer change the design to be more modern and in character with the Buckhead Village area, according to the report.
The new design swaps the brown brick and gray siding for more glass and metal features.
“It looks architecturally better,” Bonnie Dean, a committee member said.
The developers will now seek approval from city of Atlanta planning boards.
The amount of parking spaces had to be cut down due to the passage of the “Buckhead Parking Overlay District” in September 2017, but the SPI-9 board had already expressed disapproval of the amount of parking proposed at the developer’s previous review.
The initial proposal in 2017 called for 989 parking spaces and 525 apartments for both phases combined.
The committee recommended the number of parking spaces be “reduced significantly” at the 2017 meeting, according to the report.
The new limit under the overlay for both the planned phases of the development is 750 spaces, according to the SPI-9 report, but the committee recommended the developer come in even lower than that “to the extent possible.”
Hudson Hooks, a partner at JLB, said the amount of units had to be decreased because of the new overlay limits. The developer made the units larger instead to bring down the number of cars residents would have, he said.
The developer is also planning 5,900 square feet of commercial space on the ground level, and JLB anticipates heavy parking space use by those customers.
“Ultimately, we might get into a situation we’re we might have to share parking,” he said.
The parking overlay was established by an ordinance by District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook and former District 8 Councilmember Yolanda Adrean. Shook said he has not received many comments or any complaints about the new district, which signals to him that it has been effective.
“That suggests to me that it’s working and that the previous parking amounts were too generous,” he said. “Developers put their pencils down and made it work.”
The parking overlay was passed with the hope of easing Buckhead’s traffic congestion.