Atlanta has seen another David vs. Goliath story, with local residents fighting back against developer Simon Malls. In this edition, though, the fight isn't about traffic congestion, ruined sight lines or property values. The neighbors just wanted to put a stop to the noise.
For all of the potential benefits of the rapid, ongoing development in Buckhead, there are also bound to be some downsides. According to one group of neighbors, late-night construction noise has been the most problematic.
"There's the outside work taking place on Phipps Plaza, there's the hotel from the developer [Noble Investment Group] in partnership with Simon, then there's the apartment complex from the developer out of Texas [Columbus Realty Partners] in partnership with Simon," said Edward Solomon, who lives in a nearby condo. "All three projects have had noise issues, and I've been working or complaining or calling at all different times."
Back in June, other nearby condo residents were featured on CBS46 when they were being kept awake by the same construction work taking place after midnight. Simon Malls representatives said, at that point, they would save the noisiest parts of construction until after 7 a.m. But according to those with nearby bedrooms, Simon didn't fully live up to its promise.
"From what I'm understanding from talking with the police is that the Phipps project did have a permit to work after hours on the inside," said Solomon. "There were times that the interior work would bring metal out at two or three o'clock in the morning, and they would be cutting metal ... So, that project has been pretty much untouchable."
Until now. After months of conversations with the leaders of the construction teams, numerous conversations with police and a few with local council members, Solomon got in touch with a corporate representative for Simon Malls. After some back and forth, it seems that they have worked out the issues.
"It's all been quiet for a week, now," said Solomon. He even managed to get the trash pickup schedule changed so trucks are showing up after seven, as well, instead of four in the morning. "Hopefully right now we've gotten to the bottom of it. Now, I've got these guys' phone numbers so at six o'clock in the morning, I'll be more than happy to pick up the phone and wake them up as well."
· Meet The Domain at Phipps Plaza, aka More Buckhead Traffic [Curbed]
· Buckhead residents say non-stop construction is preventing their sleep [CBS46]
· Simon, Noble Investment plan AC Hotel at Phipps [Atlanta Business Chronicle]