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Buckhead luxury apartment developer fined for traffic-clogging crane mishap

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GDOT determines Atlanta-based builder should fork over more than $350K

Earlier renderings of the ground floor show the project’s leanings toward classic elegance.
The Sutton Buckhead was initially pitched as a condo tower.
Sutton renderings by Reese Vanderbilt via Preserve Properties

If you think Buckhead traffic—especially along Peachtree Road—couldn’t get any more hellish, imagine what happens when a massive crane breaks down on a busy corridor during rush hour.

In December, that’s exactly that happened, and Buckhead-based developer Preserve Properties is in hot water over the fiasco, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

For about five days, a construction crane working on The Sutton apartment project illegally blocked the northbound lanes of Peachtree Road, causing the already congested area to back up far worse—during Christmas shopping season, no less, according to state officials.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has now fined Preserve Properties $351,464 for the mishap, as well as indefinitely suspended the driveway permit—which allows for minor roadway encroachments—of Gilbane Building Co., a contractor working for the developer.

A rendering of The Sutton.

The amount of the fine was reportedly calculated by adding the cost of damage with the estimated price of the inconvenience to drivers.

GDOT had also denied Gilbane a permit for road closures at the site after the firm failed to help the state agency control traffic around the project, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It’s unclear what this dilemma could mean for The Sutton, which was expected to be tenant-ready in May 2019.

The Sutton is slated to stand 21 stories and boast 151 high-end apartments. The project was initially supposed to be a condo tower, with some units asking more than $2 million, but it fell short of a sales goal in September, triggering the switch to rentals.