Apartments, townhomes pitched for WestRock’s former Norcross campus

WestRock, based in Atlanta, acquires an Illinois-based paper manufacturing company KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation for $35 per share.

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WestRock, based in Atlanta, acquires an Illinois-based paper manufacturing company KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation for $35 per share.

A developer wants to bring multifamily housing, townhomes and retail to the Norcross property recently vacated by longtime corporate citizen WestRock.

Norcross will host a public meeting Wednesday night to discuss the plans Alliance Realty Partners has for the 10-acre site off Thrasher Street, a few blocks west of the city's main downtown square. A change in zoning from the current light industrial classification would be necessary for the project to become a reality.

The plans include an estimated 500,000 square feet of “residential uses.” About two-thirds of that would be dedicated to apartments, which would range from studios to three-bedroom units, documents filed with the city suggest. The remainder of the proposed residential space would be for townhomes ranging from 1,800 to 3,200 square feet.

The maximum number of residential units is listed as 385.

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Rezoning documents submitted with the city of Norcross show elevations for the townhomes proposed for the city's former WestRock property. (via city of Norcross)

Rezoning documents submitted with the city of Norcross show elevations for the townhomes proposed for the city's former WestRock property. (via city of Norcross)

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Rezoning documents submitted with the city of Norcross show elevations for the townhomes proposed for the city's former WestRock property. (via city of Norcross)

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Rezoning documents submitted with the city of Norcross show elevations for the townhomes proposed for the city's former WestRock property. (via city of Norcross)

Rezoning documents submitted with the city of Norcross show elevations for the townhomes proposed for the city's former WestRock property. (via city of Norcross)

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Rezoning documents submitted with the city of Norcross show elevations for the townhomes proposed for the city's former WestRock property. (via city of Norcross)

Initial plans also call for a park, a parking deck — and 50,000 square feet of “nonresidential uses.”

“Uses may include specialty shops such as coffee, sundries, fitness, general merchandise, package systems, restaurants, shared office and workspaces,” documents said.

The company now known as WestRock — a paper and packaging giant and Fortune 500 company — has been in Gwinnett County since the 1960s and was previously known as Rock-Tenn. It merged with Virignia-based MeadWestvaco Corporation in 2015 and, early last year, announced it was vacating its longtime Norcross home and taking 800 jobs to the Sandy Springs area.

The company said at the time that it planned to maintain its second existing office in Norcross, as well as locations in nearby Duluth and in Richmond, Virginia. “Senior leadership, corporate support functions and commercial teams” were expected to move to Sandy Springs.

Norcross city leaders and representatives from the developer are slated to attend a public meeting on the site’s proposed redevelopment, which is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. It will be held at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center, 10 College St. NW.

City officials described the meeting as a “wonderful opportunity” for the public to hear details about the redevelopment proposal.

“The proposed development,” the developer wrote in its rezoning application, “will replace an office park with a large area of surface parking with a mix of uses including a public park greenspace that will enliven the neighborhood.”

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Students say they hope to turn this into a broader action with some pushing voter registration and sending letters to lawmakers.

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