BeltLine a player in dense projects near Piedmont, Fourth Ward parks
By David Pendered
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with information from Atlanta BeltLine and includes a comment from the developer of a potential project near Historic Fourth Ward Park.
The Atlanta BeltLine has a hand in two projects that could add 22-story structures next to the Historic Fourth Ward Park, and eight-story apartment buildings a half-mile north of Piedmont Park.
At Historic Fourth Ward Park, the BeltLine is seeking to rezone land to a classification that allows buildings up to 225 feet high. The site includes the Masquerade nightclub, located in a stone structure built in 1900.
The planned development is a five-story structure.
Near Piedmont Park, a developer is seeking permission to use development rights it purchased in January from the BeltLine. The additional density would allow 180 apartments, parking deck, and a building to be built along Piedmont Road near Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. A related rezoning request would authorize a height of up eight stories.
The BeltLine is not involved in the proposed development because it terminated its interest in the development rights when they were transferred to the new owner.
The two main proposals were presented Monday to the Atlanta City Council.
The council could vote on the requests before the end of the year. However, such a schedule is ambitious, given that the council is slated to meet just twice before beginning winter recess on Dec. 15.
The BeltLine is the sole applicant on the rezoning request for 3.3 acres that’s adjacent to Historic Fourth Ward Park. The addresses are 670 Dallas Street and 695 North Avenue. The property has 243 feet on the southeast side of North Avenue, across from Ponce City Market.
The request involves three parcels: Two parcels that total 2.1 acres, and involve the Masquerade nightclub and surrounding property; and about 1.1 acres that’s owned by the BeltLine or Invest Atlanta – the city’s development arm that oversees the BeltLine and is chaired by Mayor Kasim Reed.
Invest Atlanta put its parcel out for sale in April but remains the owner. The owner of the other property is Poncey Highlands Investors 1, LLC.
The Masquade and its site once was owned by Dean Rioppole, who died in Milton of a heroin overdose last year while seeing a prostitute now charged in the heroin-related death of Google executive Forrest Hayes. The woman, Alix Tichelman, entered a not guilty plea in the death of Hayes, according to latimes.com.
The Georgia Secretary of State has no information about the owners of Poncey Highlands Investors 1, LLC, which was incorporated in 2005.
The BeltLine has asked the city to change the zoning from PD-MU to MRC-3. Here are highlights from the city code about the two categories:
Planned development-mixed use (height limit not mentioned):
- “PD-MU development shall be in complexes within which mutually supporting residential, commercial and office uses are scaled, balanced and located so as to reduce general traffic congestion by providing housing close to principal destinations, and where convenient pedestrian circulation systems and mass transit facilities further reduce the need for private automobiles.”
Permitted uses include residential and business uses including banks, shops, bars and restaurants, pool halls, and dry cleaners.
Mixed residential commercial, category 3 (height limit 225 feet):
“The city finds that highway-oriented retail, service, office and dining uses which are intended to serve larger areas of the city instead of a single neighborhood or small group of neighborhoods must be located on streets that are suited for this type of development and must be done in a manner which is compatible with the adjacent neighborhoods or group of neighborhoods.”
Bike/moped parking must be provided at a ratio of 1 bike space for each 20 vehicle spaces. Permitted uses include residential, and business uses similar to PD-MU, plus funeral homes, gas stations and car washes.
Over on Piedmont Road, BeltLine President/CEO Paul Morris has signed an agreement to sell the development rights associated with a parcel near Historic Fourth Ward Park to Adams Ponce Park South, LLC. The deed did not disclose the price.
In this case, the Atlanta City Council voted in 2013 to remove the development rights from a parcel at 641 North Avenue. The tract also is known as 665 North Avenue and has been developed as an apartment complex, AMLI Ponce Park.
The donor parcel has already been turned into greenspace and dedicated to the city, according to the legislation. The development rights involve 51,430 square feet of residential space, and 64,288 square feet of non-residential space.
The pending legislation would authorize a special use permit to enable Adams Ponce Park South to provide the development rights to an apartment project at 1791 Piedmont Avenue. The proposal involves just the residential portion of the development rights.
The 51,430 square feet of additional residential density would enable Oak Knoll Apartments, LLC to build a proposed multifamily develop described as consisting of 180 units, 166,500 building and 272 parking spaces within a parking deck, according to the pending legislation.