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Beltline condo project advances, despite Virginia-Highland neighbors’ pushback

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The proposed residential building goes against established land-use plans, opponents say

a blueprint of the proposed project
Detractors say developer Capital City Real Estate is bending the city’s zoning rules to progress a condo project.
Square Feet Studio

Some Eastside Trail neighbors remain vigilant in fighting a condo project they say would clash with development plans mapped out by City of Atlanta and Beltline officials and Virginia-Highland leaders.

That’s despite the city’s Zoning Review Board recently siding with developer Capital City Real Estate. The company is requesting a rezoning of 675 Drewry Street that neighbors claim goes against the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan, the Beltline’s Subarea 6 masterplan, and the Virginia-Highland Masterplan.

Just south of Piedmont Park on the Beltline, Capital City aims to develop a 37-unit condo building, which would stand about seven stories and include a two-floor, partially buried parking deck.

An approximation of what could come.
nobeltlinehighrises.org

The developer wants the roughly .4-acre property, which currently houses a single-story building with live-work space and some retail, to be rezoned from a light industrial designation to one that allows for mixed-use development.

That would allow builders to bring the structure to the very borders of the property—a move the organized neighbors detest because, they contend, it would cramp neighboring residences and frustrate deliveries to places like Diversified Metal Fabricators next door.

To complicate matters, Capital City has no plans to include any commercial space at the development.

Neighbors in opposition of the condo project are also concerned about parking deck plans that show an automobile entrance fronting the nearest Beltline access point. That would be unsightly and counterintuitive to the multi-use trail’s goal of encouraging alternate modes of transportation, opponents say.

Google Maps

Neighborhood organizer Bob Marshall, Jr. told Curbed Atlanta that none of the protesters are opposed to new residences at the site.

“We want multifamily housing. We live in multifamily housing. What’s disturbing to us is, under the city’s only two-year-old land-use plan, there are 17 categories of zoning this [developer] could have chosen,” he said, nodding to options such as medium-density mixed-residential or general multifamily residential designations.

The city’s Comprehensive Development Plan and the Beltline’s Subarea 6 masterplan, Marshall added, call for mixed-use projects—just not at the Drewry Street site.

As for the parking plans: “I don’t feel like this is NIMBYism. All I want is 10 feet in my backyard,” he said, noting that the entrance to the parking garage should be by the “godawful cell tower” at the southeast corner of the site.

The site in question.
Google Maps

Neighborhood activists like Marshall are now trying to motivate supporters to lobby Atlanta City Councilwoman Jennifer Ide to help the cause.

Now that the ZRB has made its recommendations, the matter goes to the council’s zoning committee.

If the committee gives the thumbs-up, the rezoning proposal would be sent before the full council for a vote, and then to the mayor’s desk for final approval.

Neither Capital City nor designer Square Feet Studio replied to Curbed’s request for comment. This story will be updated if responses come.