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English Village to Rise on Site of Dead Glenridge Hall

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Preliminary plans have emerged that offer a first glimpse at the development set for the Glenridge Hall site in Sandy Springs. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, developer Ashton Woods and designers Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) propose a mixed-use project styled to look like an old English village in the countryside. So the irony here is huge. Preservationist are still fighting for the historic Tudor home, even as pieces have been carted away and bulldozers have descended. Plans call for more than 1,000 housing units, retail and the corporate offices of Mercedes-Benz to replace the forested estate.

Ashton Woods is hopeful the deal to purchase the property will go through by the fall, with real-estate pros expecting a price tag of more than $80 million. The 76 acres, bisected by Abernathy Road, will be divided up, with 12 acres going to Mercedes-Benz to develop their 250,000-square-foot headquarters. Ashton Woods envisions 545 residential units, comprised of lofts and townhomes, on the 47-acre parcel north of Abernathy Road. Across Abernathy, 399 apartments and 114 owner-occupied units of unspecified form will rise, along with 30,000 square-feet of retail and the Mercedes development. Additionally, the AJC reports that Ashton Woods would leave room for another half-million square feet of office space to be developed later.

Oh, and 30 acres will be left as green space. Winning!

Beyond the irony of replacing a Tudor mansion with a faux English village, DPZ is the designer — a Miami-based firm who, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, is "one of the loudest voices calling for less auto-dependent development patterns in American suburbia." Sandy Springs — a traffic-clogged suburban city — is ripe for less vehicle-centric development, though the Glenridge site's location and lack of connection to public transit seems incongruous with the company's ideals.

Despite the shortcomings, the development would bring density to the Abernathy-Glenridge area, which is already teeming with the headquarters of major companies like UPS and Newell Rubbermaid. Now all it's missing is proximity to a MARTA station.

· Ashton Woods Homes plans New Urbanist development around Mercedes-Benz HQ (SLIDESHOW) [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Development at Glenridge Hall, Mercedes HQ outlined [AJC]
· Glenridge Hall Coverage [Curbed Atlanta]