Mini-city project coming to Dunwoody?

A Boston developer has released renderings of a planned mini-city next to Perimeter Mall that was put on hold during the recession, but that Dunwoody leaders have said would soon be revived.

GID Urban Development posted the new images for the High Street project online, and this week showed off the mixed-use concept at the year’s biggest event in retail, the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas. Though the company declined to comment about the project, shopping the concept to would-be tenants is a sign the project is again in play.

It would come as several new high-rise developments are either underway or planned in the area around Perimeter Mall, the region’s largest office sub-market and home to major corporations including Mercedes-Benz USA, UPS and Cox Enterprises, whose holdings include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The area is rapidly urbanizing and grappling with congestion.

GID in 2007 proposed a blend of 3,000 mid- and high-rise residences, hotels, office towers and street front retail on the site along Perimeter Center Parkway, from Hammond Drive to Abernathy Road, just west of Perimeter Mall. But the project was shelved as a result of the downturn.

The tract already has the needed zoning for a dense mix of uses, a decision by DeKalb County that predates the city’s founding. Messages left with Dunwoody officials were not immediately returned.

GID officials have met in recent months with Dunwoody residents and office workers to get of sense of what retail, services, entertainment and public spaces the community might like on the site.

The AJC has its main offices in a GID-owned building at 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, which is part of the High Street tract.

The new renderings come days after a development group shelved plans for Crown Towers, a four-tower project at the nearby former Gold Kist headquarters site in Dunwoody, and as developer Transwestern pitched a new 16-story speculative office tower on a Perimeter Mall out-parcel.

Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts, said development at High Street is included in a traffic study underway by her group and the governments of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. She credited the GID team for what appears to be a pedestrian-friendly and transit-oriented concept that would help the Perimeter Mall area become more of a live-work-play destination.

MARTA will help mitigate the project’s effect on congestion, she said.

“These projects don’t totally depend on the road grid,” she said. “That’s more attractive for us for the future.”

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