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Walgreen's-Anchored Mixed-Use Approved After Seven Years

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After a seven-year fight, complete with legal challenges and angry letters, the Walgreen's-anchored mixed-use development on the corner of Peachtree Road and Colonial Drive in Brookhaven will finally move forward, albeit with mixed support from the community. Brookhaven's Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3 to 2 to allow the project, developed by The Gipson Company. When completed, the three-story brick structure will add 32,000 square feet of office space as well as a 14,100-square-foot Walgreen's. The site plan (link is a PDF) shows the configuration of a parking lot on the site. Construction could begin by the end of the year.

As recently as last week, the Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance (BPCA) was writing letters encouraging the board to vote against the project, on the grounds that it required variances to the Brookhaven Overlay Ordinance, which aims to keep the area looking urban and all city-like. The letter says granting the variances would establish a precedent that would "compromise the integrity of the Overlay Ordinance." BPCA blames the need for variances on Walgreen's and the developers, saying "Their financial problems are totally due to their paying too much for the property, which they will readily admit. Walgreens and the developer's financial mistakes should not be mitigated nor corrected by granting variances" and claiming the state of the fire-damaged property is a "self created problem" caused by lack of maintenance. Now that it has been approved, the development could be completed as early as next year.

· Peachtree Road Walgreens finally wins approval [Reporter Newspapers]
· BPCA Submits Walgreens Variance Opposition Letter to ZBA [The Brookhaven Post]
· Agenda Item [Brookhaven City Website]