The city gave the green light to plans to build mixed-use development, including a six-story hotel, on a section of Peachtree Road where Brookhaven City Hall now sits.
The city has a lease with property owner Delta Life Insurance for the City Hall building until 2024. The lease agreement includes a provision that either party can get out of the lease with a nine-month notice. The city has not received any notice of when redevelopment may begin.
City officials have said a search for a new City Hall site is not a top priority. City Manager Christian Sigman said in December that the new public safety headquarters being built with special local option sales tax revenue to be built overlooking the Peachtree Creek Greenway has enough space to serve as a “backup City Hall.” Early talks were to have the new public safety headquarters to be finished by next year.
Representatives from developer Taylor and Mathis went to the Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 16 seeking variances for the approximately 6-acre site between City Hall at 4362 Peachtree Road and 4400 Peachtree Road, at the intersection with Hermance Drive, where an urgent care center is now located. The property is adjacent to the LA Fitness Center in Town Brookhaven and is owned by Delta Life Insurance Co.
Between those sites is a five-story office building that formerly housed Brown Mackie College and a two-story office building atop a four-story parking garage. Both of those buildings would remain in the plan. The five-story building is slated to be renovated to include a small plaza area fronting on Peachtree Road, according to site plans submitted to the city.
Plans are to tear down City Hall to build a six-story office and retail building. A new four-story parking deck with 258 spaces is to be built behind that new building.
The urgent care center at the corner of Peachtree Road and Hermance Drive would also be torn down to make way for the new hotel. A new four-story parking deck with 622 spaces would be built on Hermance Drive, adjacent to the new hotel, where a thicket of trees now stand. A new surface parking lot with 31 spaces is also planned adjacent to the hotel.
The hotel would have 130 rooms with a restaurant, lobby, conference rooms and ballroom area on the second floor as well as a rooftop bar area open to the public, said Mike Irby of Taylor and Mathis at the ZBA meeting. Irby did not say what brand hotel is planned to go on the site and said that the project is still in the preliminary stages of design.
The ZBA approved Jan. 16 variances to slightly reduce open space requirements but added a condition that there be at least 5,000 square feet in the hotel dedicated as amenity space, such as a ballroom and conference rooms, for public use.
City staff had recommended denying the variances, noting a reduction in open space requirements does not meet the vision of the Peachtree Overlay District, approved by the City Council last year to promote a pedestrian and bike-friendly corridor along Peachtree Road.
Norman McKay, CFO and vice president for business and finance at Oglethorpe University, which owns the property and apartments adjacent to the planned hotel site, said university officials met with the developers and support the project.
In May, the ZBA approved other variances for the planned redevelopment of the property. Those included: reducing minimum open space requirements; allowing two curb cuts on Peachtree Road and one on Hermance Drive; and eliminating the rear setback for the two new parking decks.