An illustration of the proposed 1400 Murphy Ave. warehouse complex from the website of Prologis.

The developer of a Southwest Atlanta warehouse project says it is working with the City on “enhancements” to a local intersection following concerns raised by its own consultant that trucks cannot safely pass through the area.

But the City’s Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) would not immediately provide details or a copy of a new, fuller traffic study about Prologis’s 1400 Murphy Ave. project, raising local concerns that it will be approved without community review as the last step before an initial construction permit is issued. The vice-chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit X (NPU-X) says he was able to briefly see part of the study and that it shows much higher truck traffic than an earlier version.

Prologis is remaking the 32-acre site of a historic Nabisco snack factory into a warehouse and logistics complex. To access the site, trucks would be directed through two intersections about a block away: Murphy and Dill Avenue, and Dill and Lee Street. Both intersections are known for tight turns that currently force trucks to drive the wrong way or onto the sidewalk. A traffic “memo” produced last year by Prologis consultant Kimley-Horn included photos of trucks making such dangerous maneuvers. 

A truck making the turn from Dill Avenue onto Murphy Avenue southbound is forced to enter the wrong lane, as seen in a Kimley-Horn report for Prologis’s development.

In NPU-X meetings last year, community members noted the difficulty of fixes to the Murphy/Dill intersection, which is constricted by MARTA and railroad overpasses. However, Prologis now says some kind of solution is underway.

“We are working with ATLDOT to ensure the safety of pedestrians, passenger vehicles and bikers at Dill and Murphy Ave., including increasing the turning radius at the intersection with restriping and other enhancements,” said Prologis spokesperson Mattie​​​​ Sorrentino.

However, she did not provide any details nor provide a copy of the new traffic study, nor did ATLDOT respond to questions. ATLDOT also would not immediately provide the traffic study or the agency’s comments about it. SaportaReport filed a Georgia Open Records Act request for the documents and ATLDOT spokesperson Michael Frierson said that request is being reviewed.

NPU-X has been unable to get the study and comments from the City, too, according to vice-chair Zachary Adriaenssens. But, he added, he was able to get a peek at a copy. He says that among its estimates was nearly 1,000 truck trips a day – higher than around 340 in the earlier “memo.” 

Adriaenssens says he’s concerned neighborhood groups will be unable to review the traffic study prior to its internal ATLDOT approval. After that approval, the project is eligible to get its land-disturbance permit for pre-construction, which would involve demolishing the old factory’s concrete pad. 

Since NPU-X meetings last fall where the project was debated, Adriaenssens said, the Atlanta Department of City Planning (DCP) made some suggestions that could be a hint at the improvements Prologis is now citing. He said DCP Commissioner Jahnee Prince suggested more than $1 million in transportation improvements in the area related to pedestrians, possibly with Prologis’s own additions. The funding in part would have come from impact fees, which are charged to developers by DCP to fund certain infrastructure or service improvements needed for a project. However, Adriaenssens said, NPU-X never saw a final list or heard anything more about it. 

DCP referred SaportaReport questions to ATLDOT.

Sorrentino noted that Prologis has agreed to other traffic-related improvements suggested by the community, including placing the truck entrance on Murphy and creating improved access to an Oakland City MARTA Station entrance on the site’s northwest corner.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Adriaenssens as chair rather than vice-chair of NPU-X. He served as chair until January.

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  1. City of Atlanta seems intent on destroying neighborhoods in SW Atlanta. We need housing, retail, and grocery stores. How could anyone in their right mind think that this site is an appropriate place for a truck terminal? Every person associated with this project should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. Looks like the new guy isn’t any better than Joyce Shepherd. They all just look so confused when you say the city just keeps dumping on SW ATL. Like they just don’t understand why you would say such a thing. But they need to keep SW Atlanta as a bargaining tool / favor Depot for other parts of the city. Who cares if it never actually brings in revenue.

    1. if you live in the neighborhood you could have stopped this. Stop complaining after the fact. you elected KLB and Joyce Shepard (for multiple terms). the fact that they sold you out to the highest bidder should come as no surprise. its just an obscure form of economic racism. But wait…the new owners might save some of the historic structure oh yeah. it was gone in 30 days along with the 125 yr old oaks.

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