An Orlando developer has a contract to buy the old General Motors plant in
Doraville and plans to build a "clean and green" community of
houses, shops, restaurants and offices on the site, the company said
"It could be any mix of uses," New Broad Street spokeswoman Barbara
Koenig said Thursday. "Any mix of commercial, retail, residential."
The deal is expected to close in early summer. The purchase price will not be
disclosed, Koenig said.
"This is the best urban infill site in the country for a large
transit-oriented development," New Broad Street president David Pace
said in a statement. "It will be clean and green, incorporating
environmental remediation of the former industrial site with best practices
for sustainable development."
The Doraville plant closed in September 2008 and several developers bid to
buy the massive 165-acre site.
New Broad Street told the AJC in December that it wants to transform the
former factory into an “urban center” with homes, eateries, businesses and
offices. That would fit into Doraville’s plans for the site, which is
bordered by MARTA rail and I-285. The city has said it wants a mixed-use
development -- without a long-rumored stadium, possibly for the Atlanta
Doraville Mayor Ray Jenkins is likely to emphasize that point Friday. He
declined to comment, through a spokesman, on Thursday night until he could
again talk with developers and other players, most notably those from DeKalb
Doraville leaders have feared the county would wrest control of the
redevelopment, leaving the city of 10,000 people with little say on the
property that dominates both the landscape and conversation. One council
member, Bob Roche, has been trying to get the City Council to hire a
development director since November to make sure the small city is not
“New Broad is a quality developer and deserves high-caliber, quality service
from Doraville,” Roche said Thursday evening. “I call upon the mayor and
city council to begin an immediate search for an experienced, highly
qualified city development director to represent Doraville and prepare the
city for the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis was in meetings Thursday evening and could not be
reached for comment.
New Broad Street has had experience in converting “brownfields” -- abandoned
or underused industrial sites -- into residential and commercial properties.
One project that may be comparable to a Doraville redevelopment -- although
much larger -- is the transformation of the Orlando Naval Training Center
into Baldwin Park, a luxury housing and shopping district. Pace, New Broad
Street's president, was among the key players in that project.
Following environmental remediation and new construction, the new urbanism
design of Baldwin Park features an eight-square-block village center with
shops, businesses and homes as well as more traditional residential streets
of townhomes and private houses.
Before Republican Mel Martinez stepped down from the U.S. Senate last year,
Baldwin Park was said to be the only neighborhood in the nation that was
home to two U.S. senators. Democrat Bill Nelson also lives there.
New Broad Street primarily builds "master-planned" communities. The
company adheres to the new urbanism ethic of building "live, work and
Last year, the company was picked as a consultant to mixed-use developments in
Lake County, Fla., and Warsaw, Poland.
Many of the principals at New Broad Street worked at Disney before forming
their own firm.
Staff writer Rachel Tobin Ramos contributed to this report.
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