City to ask developers to build in Georgetown area

City's 'PVC farm' part of 35 acres that could be redeveloped

Dunwoody's city leaders announced an ambitious plan Thursday to redevelop 35 acres of the Georgetown area, including the 'PVC farm' the city purchased last year. 

City officials will send out "invitations for proposals" in an effort to identify developers that would be willing to partner with the city on a development at its eastern gateway.

Dubbed "Project Renaissance," the plan calls for parks and trails, low-density residential and small neighborhood commercial facilities in an area that's known mostly for a multitude of apartment complexes and aging retail and commercial businesses.

“This is our opportunity to kick start a dynamic rebirth for the Georgetown area,” Mayor Mike Davis said.

The project was announced at a press conference held Thursday at City Hall. The proposals of interest are expected to come back to the city in late April.

The redevelopment plan represents another twist in the fate of the property called the 'PVC farm.' The 16-acre property, located at 4000 Dunwoody Park Drive, was .

The property is called the PVC farm because it used to be marked by the pipes coming out of the ground to serve an apartment complex that was never built.

The property was originally purchased to be turned into parkland, but that plan stalled when the city's voters failed to pass a parks bond that would have provided the money to improve it.

The property was recently at the center of rumors that the city was secretly going to sell it to .

Davis said the current proposal "leverages" the city's multi-million investment in parkland at the PVC farm.

The development incorporates 19 acres of property at 4552, 4555 and 4575 N. Shallowford Rd., . The city has the property under contract for $6.1 million.

The city's vision for the area is specific, even before a developer has been brought in on the project.

No more than 110 residential units would be built across the two properties. All would be more than 2,200 square feet, no more than three stories and not built in a cookie-cutter manner, according to city guidelines.

Neighborhood commercial retail would be restricted to no more than 30,000 square feet on each property, and no more than 15,000 square feet in any one building.

For the PVC farm, the city sees four acres being set aside for a park, and a concrete path being built between the the 16-acre parcel on Dunwoody Park Drive and the 19-acre site across North Shallowford Road.

On the old hospital site, the city sees up to eight acres being set aside for parks. Five acres are envisioned as a an active, open-field park and three acres could be passive and wooded.

Another five acres on the old hospital site could be set aside for a future municipal complex, say city officials. City Hall and the police department could be relocated there in the future.

City guidelines also call for a 12-foot landscaped walking trail to connect Chamblee Dunwoody Road, north of the site, with the old hospital property.

City officials make it clear that they "anticipate" some are all of the features they are looking for in the development could be seen in a successful proposal from a developer.

Joe Seconder March 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I am looking forward to our city officials holding public Question & Answer sessions to gain a greater understanding and provide 2-way feedback prior to any financial obligations incurred or plans approved.
Max May 06, 2012 at 11:41 PM
The idea of 'two-way feedback' prior to plan approval and ultimately a plan to spend public money sounds reasonable. Various constituencies ought to have a chance to express their ideas for how tax their money is spent. The project specifications deny a true residential multi-family (apartments) use, limit retail to sub-Big Box square footage, encourage walking and biking through the idea of connected trails. All of these characteristics are positive to me, given this land would have been developed as an apartment complex if nothing was done. I want to see how this can connect to Brook Run! The idea of taking my bike through Brook Run to Georgetown, safe from most car traffic, is neat.


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