City approves shopping center near Perimeter, with plans to pave over pond

A new shopping center near Perimeter Mall will soon be built on a busy corner off Ashford Dunwoody Road.

The Dunwoody City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to approve the project on a 10.1-acre plot currently made up of three large restaurant buildings constructed in the 1990s, and a stormwater detention pond between Ashwood Parkway and Meadow Lane Road. Only one of the restaurants is currently occupied.

Developers at Branch Ashwood Associates plan to pave over the pond, build a new street and launch “Perimeter Marketplace.” The shopping center would consist of a grocery store, bank, Race Trac gas station and several restaurants.

The Dunwoody City Council discussed the plan in May at a public hearing, where some residents spoke out to say they didn’t want to lose the greenspace surrounding the stormwater pond. Others were in support of the project and said it was an improvement to what is on the property now.

Since then, the developers agreed to create a small “pocket park” to make up for the loss of greenspace, and plan to add more shrubbery and landscaping, according to a spokeswoman for the city. Councilman Tom Lambert was the sole vote against the project.

Construction on the site could begin later this year or early next year.

“It’s tired now, tired-looking,” Mary Keesee, who lives in the Walton Ashwood Apartments down the street from the property, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month. The proposal for the new shopping center “cleans it up,” she said.

The developers, a division of Atlanta-based Branch Properties, got approval from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to fill in the pond and pave over it, according to a report from the city. Councilman Terry Nall said the stormwater pond is “fairly toxic.”

Branch plans to spend about $5 million to construct a new public road between Ashwood Parkway and Meadow Lane Road, which could serve as a helpful cut-through for residents in the multiple apartment buildings nearby.

Perimeter Marketplace would be anchored by a 25,000-square-foot grocery store, though developers said they cannot yet reveal which one. The name of the bank and other shops and restaurants have also not yet been announced. The existing restaurant buildings would be demolished.

At the entrance to the property — at the corner of Ashford Dunwoody and Meadow Lane — the developers envision a welcoming entryway with a patio and seating space. The development is located in the Perimeter Center area less than a mile north of Perimeter Mall.

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