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Fuqua development plans at Beltline, Piedmont Park approved, angering neighbors

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Proposal calls for 11-story hotel, townhomes, affordable housing at artery some call clogged and dangerous.

A concept overlooking Piedmont Park compiled by Smith Dalia Architects.
Overlooking Piedmont Park, this concept by Smith Dalia Architects emerged when AIA Georgia heralded their proposal—called The Terrace at the Park—for its forward-thinking design and “urban tempo.” It’s unclear if any facets of this design could be used as the prime real estate develops, but the scale appears similar.
Smith Dalia

A prime piece of real estate overlooking both the Atlanta Beltline and Piedmont Park could, once again, be the source of a clash between neighbors, the city, and developers.

Fuqua Development has recently closed on is pursuing long-watched acreage where the Eastside Trail meets Piedmont Park, next to Park Tavern and a gravel parking lot. About this time last year, Beltline officials asked for proposals from developers, on behalf of Invest Atlanta, for the 1.5-acre piece called 1016 Monroe Drive.

(UPDATE: Atlanta Beltline officials send word that the property’s sale is not yet complete. “It is a conditional contract and one more step in the process,” Beltline spokeswoman Jenny Odom tells Curbed Atlanta. “The plans are not yet approved and are subject to a robust community engagement process through much of 2018.”)

Per the RFP, any mixed-use development there would be required to offer between 20 and 40 percent affordable workforce housing. The parcel has more than 800 feet of frontage along the Beltline corridor and is literally steps away from Piedmont Park.

Now, according to WSB-TV, Fuqua is planning an 11-story hotel, grocery store, townhomes, and apartments (with 30 percent affordable housing) for the site.

The property in question, in 2016.
Google Maps

The property’s rezoning is pending, but the proposal this morning received approval from the majority of Invest Atlanta’s board and outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed, who applauded the jobs and housing it would bring, the news station reports.

The plans have renewed the decade-old ire of some Midtown and Virginia-Highland neighbors, who are calling the project too dense for a key intersection (10th Street and Monroe Drive) that’s already car-clogged and dangerous.

One naysaying nearby resident, Fred Smith, told the station that neighbors weren’t given adequate opportunity to voice opinions and that such tactics by the city are “not going to continue to fly.”

When the land first came up for grabs in 2015, we put together this peerless visual to help illustrate its position and scope.

Way back when, prior to the Great Recession, Gwinnett County development magnate Wayne Mason had planned to erect two large condo towers (soaring 38 and 42 stories) on the site, but those plans eventually sputtered.

It’s no surprise that Virginia-Highland residents reflect on Mason’s big idea as being “infamous.”