Dunwoody could soon get two new mixed-use developments that together could bring two hotels, retail space and more than six restaurants to the Perimeter Mall area, already bursting with construction and traffic.
Dunwoody City Council on Monday approved both plans. Developer JSJ Perimeter LLC, based in Atlanta, will build on the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Center East an 11-story, 160-room boutique hotel; 7,050 square feet of restaurant space; 5,369 square feet of retail space; a fitness club of 70,000 square feet; and a four-level parking deck, according to a staff memo presented to the Dunwoody City Council on Nov. 11. It has not been made public which hotel brand could occupy the development.
The developer has not disclosed the estimated cost of the development, JSJ Perimeter still must get approval of the final site renderings from the City Council early next year but plans to begin construction in March. They said they expect to finish in early 2021.
The council voted unanimously to allow JSJ Perimeter to build on the 2.86-acre site that currently holds a closed bank building and a wooded area.
North Carolina-based GMC Real Estate is the developer behind the second project, a large mixed-use development on Ravinia Parkway that was also approved Monday. The GMC plan includes an eight-story hotel with 275 rooms, and six restaurant or retail spaces between Ravinia Parkway and the I-285 west exit ramp to Ashford Dunwoody Road, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The Ravinia development will sit next to the JSJ Perimeter development.
With the approval of the two projects, Dunwoody now has hundreds of thousands of square feet of new retail and restaurant space in the pipeline that will bring even more people and cars to an area already choked with traffic on most workdays.
Lynn Deutsch, Dunwoody’s incoming mayor who sits on the City Council, voted in favor of both projects. Asked about the city’s traffic challenges, she agreed it’s an issue. “We just now, in the last month or so, started making sure all the traffic lights are syncing,” she said. However, she said these two developments may generate few new trips to the area, and will serve primarily visitors staying in the hotels and people already commuting to the area for work.
Deutsch said hotels generate less traffic than other development because “travelers don’t drive, they use a combination of MARTA and Uber.”
A third mixed-use development now under construction will contribute new residents to the town.
The mixed-use High Street Atlanta development will feature 3,000 residences, 400 hotel rooms, 635,000 square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of retail space just across the street from the State Farm building, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
Deutsch sees no problem with the pace of development in Dunwoody, focusing instead on how to make Dunwoody more “walkable” in the area near Perimeter Mall, sometimes called the Perimeter Center. She said one of her goals as mayor is to make Perimeter Center walkable for those who live, work, and go there.
“The way we make Perimeter Center more walkable is by making sure people have a safe path to walk,” she said. “Everything is going to be much more walkable when these projects are completed than it is today.”
According to Deutsch, Dunwoody has the largest amount of commercial office square footage in the southeast, with tens of thousands of people working in the area.
Deutsch says developments are attracted to the Perimeter Center area because of its transit options including the Dunwoody MARTA station next to the mall and proximity to Atlanta, sitting at the intersection of I-285 and Ga. 400.
To mitigate traffic the developments are expected to bring, JSJ Perimeter offered to build a new road connecting Perimeter Center East to Ravinia Parkway that could serve as an alternative to Ashford Dunwoody Road for the future workers of the two neighboring developments, according to Deutsch.
“I think technology down the road will help address some traffic issues,” Deutsch said.
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