Cobb approves mixed-use project for ailing ‘Restaurant Row’

Cobb Commissioners have approved an estimated $100 million mixed-use development along a struggling section of Powers Ferry Road in East Cobb known as “restaurant row.”

The project by the developer Greystar will put a total of about 450 luxury apartments around the popular Rose & Crown Tavern, which is slated for expansion. More than 170 of those apartments will be restricted to seniors.

Currently, the Rose & Crown is flanked by shuttered or failing restaurants that have struggled to attract a steady stream of clientele.

“Restaurant row has been that way for almost 10 years,” Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the area, said during the board’s regular zoning hearing Tuesday. “It’s a blighted property.”

The commission voted unanimously to approve the proposal, despite opposition from a handful of neighbors and a letter from Dobbins Air Reserve Base urging denial. The site is in the flight path for the base, on the tail end of the designated “accident prone zone,” which means the area possibly could be affected if there’s a crash so construction is more tightly regulated.

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John Pederson of the county’s zoning division said he “disagreed” with Dobbinsand that staff recommended approval.

Eric Meadows, who lives in the nearby Horizon Condominiums, said in addition to Dobbins’ opposition, the development would make a dangerous stretch of road worse. He also expressed concern about building too many rental properties in the area, which is close to SunTrust Park and The Battery.

“The Battery is a destination,” he said. “What the applicant is proposing is not a destination.”

But James Balli, the attorney representing the developer, said the project met the aims off the Powers Ferry Master Plan, which calls for a mixed-use redevelopment of the site. He said the proposedsix-story buildings are shorter than the maximum allowed.

The Powers Ferry Corridor Alliance also lent its support to the project.

Balli said he expected Greystar to break ground sometime next year.

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