Despite a resounding recommendation of "no" by the Buckhead Neighborhood Planning Unit, the Atlanta City Council Community Development Committee has voted in favor of a contentious project slated for 10 acres of land in Lindbergh. For developers, it's a major victory in a four-year-long struggle; the vote clears the way for the matter to come before the Atlanta City Council in January. Should the council approve, prolific developer Jeff Fuqua and his team, in partnership with Greystar Development, plan to construct an 82,000-square-foot Kroger and 190 apartments. Of late, the area around Lindbergh has grown much denser with a glut of apartments, and many fear Fuqua's project will worsen the area's already abysmal traffic. But is it fair to deny the development when others have been allowed to construct apartments in the area?
At the core of the proposal, Fuqua will be adding a grocery store, a much needed amenity for the area — though his claims that it will be the closest grocery to a MARTA station are more than a little suspect. While there's already a large shopping precinct located near the new development, the Kroger will provide fresh groceries to many within walking distance. Angry neighbors are quick to say Fuqua claimed the proposal was a "neighborhood grocery store," which given the average size of Kroger stores seems to not be the most unreasonable claim. The Kroger is already a concession from the originaly proposed Walmart, reinforcing that people like to complain. That's not to say traffic isn't a valid concern.
Nonetheless, in an attempt to appease neighbors, Fuqua offered an olive branch in the form of park space for the community. Maybe it's time to accept the fact that, while his developments might lack design pizazz, Fuqua is helping Atlanta to gain more walkable neighborhoods. And resistance appears to be futile.
· Fuqua's Lindbergh development gets committee green light [Atlanta INtown]