UPDATED: If you’d like to see more information about the development plans for this proposed project with five high-rises, check out the Sandy Springs planning and zoning web page right here.
A mysterious development firm said to have ties to Australia, New Zealand and Asia has submitted plans for a five-skyscraper development in Sandy Springs that would rank among the largest mixed-use projects the city has ever seen.
The proposed project, which is likely to be many years away, would involve three high-rise residential buildings and two office towers that would surround an existing hexagon-shaped office building at 1117 Perimeter Center West near the Sandy Springs MARTA station. It’s not far from the intersection of Abernathy Road and Ga. 400.
The 13-acre property is currently zoned for buildings up to 31 stories tall, a representative for the developer said Tuesday, but it is likely the group will seek a permission to go higher.
To call the project ambitious would be an understatement, and the developer’s lack of disclosure about its identity adds a bit of intrigue to the proceedings. The development group is scheduled to have its first community meeting Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. at the property, and it will likely be a boisterous gathering given recent large rezoning issues in Sandy Springs.
Rob Forrest, a representative for the development firm 1117 Sandy Springs LLC, said the group bought the project in May. The family that controls the property has experience developing in Australia, New Zealand and other international gateway destinations.
He declined to say much more about the developers, or identify prior projects.
“They prefer to be real quiet,” he said. “They sit in the background. They are a quiet developer.”
For now, 1117 Sandy Springs LLC is seeking a rezoning to allow a mix of uses, and renderings supplied to the city are simply design concepts, Forrest said. The number of residential units and the amount of retail and office space are still to be determined, he said.
The development, if built as envisioned, would likely cost several hundred million dollars. No tenants have been identified, Forrest said.
The project would include a mix of rental and for-sale residences and ground floor retail and restaurants with a tunnel connecting to the MARTA station.
“This is an entitlement process that we’re going through,” Forrest said. “There’s no imminent plans to development.”
The owners, however, are serious about the project, he said, picking the Atlanta area over sites in Canada and Dallas.
Forrest said Atlanta reminds the family of Sydney, Australia “20 to 25 years ago,” in its dependency on cars and its growing density.
Transit-oriented development is a trend Forrest said will continue as Atlanta contends with congestion and growing population.
Atlanta has also shaken off the worst of the recession, it is growing jobs and attracting corporate investment, he said.
More information on the meeting and the plans is available here.
The MARTA stops in the Central Perimeter area are attracting a number of developers.
Hines Interests has a site for a mixed-use project hugging Ga. 400, while a hotel developer has long pitched a luxury project at the Sandy Springs MARTA station. West of Ga. 400, Mercedes-Benz is set to build a new U.S. headquarters where developer Ashton Woods plans an adjacent mixed-use project.
In Dunwoody, the High Street site at Hammond Drive and Central Perimeter Parkway is zoned for thousands of residences, retail and office space. It sits across from a new State Farm office complex being built at the Dunwoody MARTA station.
Boston-developer GID, which owns High Street, has sat on the property for years after the soured economy stalled plans to start building. The firm is expected to bring development plans forward in the coming months.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s main office sits on the GID property, and the newspaper has said it will eventually move about a mile away to a building in Sandy Springs that is part of the campus of corporate parent Cox Enterprises.