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A New Hotel in Home Park? Some Residents Aren't so Sure

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Developers want to bring a hotel-and-retail project to the Home Park neighborhood, but not everyone is excited. In permit applications filed earlier this year, Norcross-based architect Rob Ponder and property owner Rashid Noman proposed a development with "hotel, retail and on-site parking" for the lot at 380 14th St., a property just south of Atlantic Station and a few blocks east of the distinctive Al Farooq Masjid mosque. More specific details were hard to come by (and neither Ponder nor Noman responded to inquiries this week), but original proposals for the hotel consisted of 106 guest rooms, a rooftop sun deck, a fitness room, a 100-person meeting room, et cetera. Part of the L-shaped hotel and a space for street-level "small retail" would front Mecaslin Street, and most parking would be below-grade, documents said. All of that is scheduled to go before the Atlanta City Council next month.

Meanwhile, an online petition — which members of the Home Park Community Improvement Association are quick to say didn't come from their organization — has gone up, asking the council to deny the proposal. According to Home Park resident Sene Sorrow, a total of 191 people have signed the petition. Concerns cited in a PowerPoint presentation shared by Sorrow are pretty typical: increased traffic flow on a small street, encroachment "on the residential core of Home Park" and a precedent-setting rezoning that would violate the neighborhood's master plan. Sorrow also argues that 16 other hotels operate within a mile of the proposed site, and 30 more within a two-mile radius.

On the other hand, Keith Willey, a co-president of the HPCIA, said his group initially opposed the hotel plan but has since changed course. "After reading the recommendation of the Atlanta city planners, I personally think that many of the issues that the neighborhood was concerned about have been addressed by the planners," Willey wrote in an email to Curbed Atlanta.

The few available sketches of the proposed 380 14th St. project don't offer a lot in terms of specifics, though they make it clear the hotel probably wouldn't be anything particularly gaudy. A glance at the online portfolio of Ponder, the architect, showed mostly chain hotels, with the firm's most notable contribution in Atlanta probably being the renovation/remodeling of Midtown's Hotel Indigo.

— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep

[ABOVE: Renderings, plans via submitted .pdf]

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