2 Chamblee projects progress but show pandemic’s effects on development plans

Caption
Renderings of a new corporate headquarters (left) and a new condominium building (right) were shown to the Chamblee Design Review Board on Wednesday.

Credit: City of Chamblee

After initially getting approved in 2019 but stalling out, two real estate development projects are moving forward in Chamblee — albeit with some adjustments made necessary by the pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Chamblee Design Review Board heard the updated plans for a new nursing home headquarters and a mixed-use development with more than 100 condominiums. Both projects were given the greenlight to proceed to the City Council for approval, with a few design tweaks.

Both developers cited the pandemic for design changes they’ve made since their initial 2019 proposals. The new headquarters for PruittHealth Inc. stalled out entirely after the pandemic ravaged their industry, according to Chris Scott, a representative for their project’s developer Greenstone Properties.

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He told the design review board that PruittHealth decided to “hit the pause button” in 2020 to focus on taking care of their nursing home patients, who were at high risk of coronavirus. Scott added that the company wanted to revisit how their office space should be reconfigured with distancing and safety in mind.

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Rod Mullice of Windsor Stevens Holdings cited similar changes to his development company’s plans for The Gordon, a mixed-use project with 120 condominiums and roughly 8,000 square feet of retail space.

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“We wanted to recognize that people are working from home, and we want to give them opportunities to enjoy fresh air from their balconies or through their windows,” Mullice said. “We wanted to increase those opportunities.”

PruittHealth headquarters

Greenstone Properties is set to build PruittHealth’s new headquarters on a 2.8-acre property across the street from the Chamblee MARTA station. The company that specializes in long-term healthcare would relocate its current headquarters, which is at 1626 Jeurgens Court in Norcross, to 5238 Peachtree Road.

PruittHealth plans a five-story building with a a modern architectural design, which drew mixed feelings from the design board members. Board member Holly Jeffreys worried the building wouldn’t blend in with the area.

“It’s a gorgeous building ... but I still don’t know if this building fits in this part of Chamblee,” she said, adding it looks more like a Midtown or Buckhead building.

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PruittHealth, which was founded in 1969, currently employs more than 13,000 employees across 180 locations in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. It serves about 24,000 patients daily.

In 2019, the company’s rezoning request made it through the City Council but was later put on hold. With the redesign, Scott said the company plans to take more advantage of the nearby MARTA station, shrinking the site’s planned parking lot. The initial plans included a parking deck with more than 500 parking spots, but that has now shrunk to fewer than 200, Scott said.

The development will be built in two phases over 10 years. A fitness center and a cafe, which will be open to the public, are included in the first phase.

Caption
This is a rendering of the proposed PruittHealth headquarters in Chamblee.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Caption
This is a rendering of the proposed PruittHealth headquarters in Chamblee.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Credit: City of Chamblee

The Gordon

Windsor Stevens envisions a roughly 148,000-square-foot, mixed-use development near Chamblee Dunwoody Road and American Drive. The developer will build two buildings with 120 condo units and ground-level floors for retail businesses on the 1.4-acre property.

The project’s plans from 2019 were significantly smaller, with only 56 condos and slightly less retail space. The new condos would feature extra balcony space and more windows.

The developer asked to shrink the square footage of most of the condos, including some as small as 386 square feet, but the design review board recommended the City Council deny that request at a later meeting.

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Windsor Stevens also wanted the building to be eight stories tall in places, which is a story higher than city code allows. Board member Joshua Word said he is worried how that could affect a nearby daycare.

“You’re basically casting a shadow on that facility all day long,” he said. “That concerns me a little bit.”

Mullice said the change to unit size wouldn’t heavily affect the project, but limiting the building’s height would hurt its economic viability. The design review board asked the developer to explore other ways to keep the building at seven stories.

Caption
This is a rendering of The Gordon proposal.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Caption
This is a rendering of The Gordon proposal.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Credit: City of Chamblee

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