Parking might pose issue at new Johns Creek event center near brewery

Hezli Holdings who owns property on Lakefield Drive plans to open a 13,000 square foot event center next door to the busy Six Bridges Brewing where parking spaces are taken quickly most weekends. Pictured is an image of the parking lot at Sweetwater Creek State Park. Jenni Girtman for The AJC
Hezli Holdings who owns property on Lakefield Drive plans to open a 13,000 square foot event center next door to the busy Six Bridges Brewing where parking spaces are taken quickly most weekends. Pictured is an image of the parking lot at Sweetwater Creek State Park. Jenni Girtman for The AJC

There might not be enough parking to go around at a planned Johns Creek event center.

Hezli Holdings, which owns property on Lakefield Drive, plans to open a 13,000-square-foot event center next door to the busy Six Bridges Brewing where parking spaces are taken quickly most weekends.

During a Monday meeting, Johns Creek City Council members questioned whether there would be enough parking to accommodate brewery patrons and guests who rent out the facility for events. Council approved rezoning of the site to community business district in a split vote.

“I am very troubled by this case,” Mayor Mike Bodker said, referring to the future event center as a great product in the wrong location. “We are opening the door to what we know will be a problem. It’s just a matter of when.”

Bodker and Councilman Lenny Zaprowski voted against the rezoning. Both complained that visitors to the brewery already hunt for parking spaces.

“It’s too much intensity between what’s already there and what you’re bringing in,” Bodker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Businesses already operating in that particular building rely on that set of parking.”

Before the pandemic, Hezli Holdings operated an event center in a smaller space in the building but, when they applied for a business license, learned it was zoned only for industrial use and had to shut down, Community Development Director Ben Song told the AJC.

Clay Gridley, who co-owns the brewery with his father Charles, told the AJC that he’s concerned about parking too. There were few available parking spaces when the previous event facility was open, he said.

Gridley added that he trusts city officials’ judgment in determining if Hezli has enough parking for the new event space.

The Lakefield building first opened in 1983 as part of the original Technology Park and currently has 100 parking spaces. Hezli plans to add more sidewalks around the structure.

Kedrin Edgerson, who represents Helzi Holdings, has said the company plans to add 25 parking spaces and off-site parking at three nearby locations with shuttle service. The city required 159 parking spaces for the buildings’ new use but reduced the number given the off-site parking accommodations. Edgerson told officials valet parking will be offered as well.

Hezli wants to eventually open a restaurant in the building for patrons of the brewery, which doesn’t offer food, Edgerson said during the meeting. But Gridley was unaware of the those plans, he said.

“The food aspect is news to me,” he said. “We have food trucks on the weekends. I don’t think we need competing vendors.”

A restaurant could require even more parking spaces, Song told Council members.

Edgerson didn’t return an email and phone calls to the AJC.

The new event center location is near the planned town center area that Johns Creek plans to develop.

Councilman John Bradberry said Hezli’s plans compliment the city’s desire for live, work, play in the area. “If we’re looking for greater vibrancy, this is the poster child for potential vibrancy,” Bradberry said, adding that he trusts the city staff, which recommended the rezoning.

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