Development group sues Sandy Springs over Northpark project


Rendering of Northpark 100-300.

A development group advised by Houston-based real estate giant Hines has filed a lawsuit against the Sandy Springs alleging the city wrongly denied a land disturbance permit to develop a 14-acre property at Ga. 400 and Abernathy Road into high-rise offices and a hotel.

The lawsuit filed Friday by Northpark-Land Associates LLLP in Fulton County Superior Court claims the company’s development plans complied with zoning established in 1987 by Fulton County, before Sandy Springs existed. The company’s rights were violated by the decision, the lawsuit said.

Northpark-Land, a unit of a pension fund, contends it has rights to build Northpark 100-300, which would consist of one 50-story office tower, a 25-story office tower and an eight-story hotel.

The property was initially 19 acres, but the tract was split by an extension of Peachtree Dunwoody Road in the late 1980s, creating two parcels. The smaller parcel was later rezoned for another firm for another hotel that has yet to be built.

Northpark-Land contends the original 1987 zoning decision still applies to its  parcel.

The company applied for a permit in September and the city denied the permit, stating the proposal didn’t comply with zoning. The firm appealed, which was denied by the city’s Board of Appeals.

The company said the decision denying the permit for Northpark 100-300 has damaged the company “irreparably.”

“The city never comments on pending litigation,” Sandy Springs spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said Friday.

The Central Perimeter area has seen office leasing surge, particularly near MARTA stops, with companies expanding and relocating during the prolonged recovery. Vacancy rates in metro Atlanta are at their lowest point in more than a decade, while rents are at all-time highs, CBRE Research said in its third quarter report.

The property sits near the Sandy Springs MARTA station.

Northpark 100 Location

Location of the proposed Northpark 100-300.

Companies such as State Farm have started new corporate campuses. Many developers have made moves to try to build speculative office space to try to woo tenants looking for new space.

This week, two development groups pitched separate plans in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody for projects that would involve mixes of residential and office space in 10 high rises.

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