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487-Unit Project in Sandy Springs Draws Support, Ire

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Prolific OTP developers the Providence Group are seeking to transform a 40-year-old apartment complex off Roswell Road into 487 for-sale townhomes and apartments. Currently occupied by Park 225 apartments, the site is close to Buckhead and Brookhaven and is ripe for redevelopment. While members of the adjacent neighborhood of Westfield Park condemn the proposed development due to its density, the larger neighborhood group — the High Point Civic Association (HPCA) — supports the new homes in hopes of a boost in tax base and socio-economics of the neighborhood.

Since Sandy Springs sprung for cityhood in 2005, the city has sought to spruce up the Roswell Road corridor. City leaders have spearheaded a streetscaping project, and many large lots have undergone cosmetic updates or have been replaced by condos and townhomes. Despite all of the cleanup, however, Bill Gannon, a member of the HPCA zoning board, told Reporter Newspapers that in the nine years Sandy Springs has been a city, the Park 225 proposal is only the second request to redevelop old apartments on Roswell Road. He expresses concern that if the development is not approved, it could be years before the property gets another chance from developers. The hesitation of many neighbors focuses on the proposed density of the development. With 162 townhomes and 325 apartments, there is likely to be more traffic in an already congested corridor, though the argument seems trite as the condition is really an omnipresent concern in this city.

As it currently stands, Park 225 is an updated, though decidedly dated — we're talking sunken living rooms — development. The rents, according to the website, hover between $800 and $1,200 for one and two-bedroom units. The city has a lot of potential tax revenue to gain from the conversion, with townhomes to go for more than $400,000 and apartments likely to rent many tiers above the current prices. With ever-increasing prices in the almost decade-old city, the development seems more of an inevitability than not. But if it's squashed, it wouldn't be the first time NIMBYs have prevailed.

·Group endorses redevelopment of Park 225 apartments in Sandy Springs [Reporter Newspapers]