Will DeKalb get the next Ponce City Market?

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Will DeKalb get the next Ponce City Market?

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Macauley Investments
Part of the renderings packet for The Rise, a proposed massive development in Tucker that the developers sees as the next Ponce City Market.

As a developer heads Thursday to the Tucker Planning Commission for approval, city staff is skeptical of his grand plans for a redevelopment of an old Sears distribution property.

Stephen Macauley wants to build a mixed-use development on 88 acres, near the corner of Hugh Howell Road and Mountain Industrial Boulevard. It could be similar to Ponce City Market and rival the population of DeKalb County’s smallest city, Pine Lake.

But Tucker staff is recommending the board not support the plans to build “The Rise.” They say it’s unsuitable considering surrounding development and would be burdensome. The worries include traffic, utilities and schools.

“A smaller, more well-organized layout could provide an opportunity for connections to various parts of the city, while still respecting the industrial nature of the area,” staff wrote in a report.

Macaulay’s plans, which have been through several incarnations, call for a grocery store, shops, restaurants, office space, almost 500 multi-family units and a civic center. It even proposes a new Smoke Rise Elementary building. 

There would be a 130-bed personal care home, 98 homes and more, according to the plans on file with the city.

If full, the development would have more residents than Pine Lake, which has about 760.

The city council, which isn’t required to follow recommendations of staff or the planning board, is set to hear the first reading of the plans on Aug. 14 assuming there are no delays as there were during Macauley’s first attempts.

The planning commission meeting is Thursday at 7 p.m., 4228 First Ave.

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