City won’t sell BeltLine land for 10th and Monroe mixed-use project

By Maria Saporta

A proposal to build a mixed-use development at the corner of 10thStreet and Monroe Drive has been dealt a major setback.

Jennifer Ide, the city councilwoman for District 6 – which includes the property, sent SaportaReport a text Friday evening saying the City of Atlanta has rescinded a request for proposal for a key piece of BeltLine property that would have been necessary for the project to move forward as planned.

rendering

Proposed concept for development at Monroe and 10th streets (Special: Invest Atlanta)

Ide also informed the Virginia-Highland Civic Association and its planning committee about the decision to withdraw the BeltLine’s RFP for the sliver of property – 1.47 acres – that runs along the triangular site just east of the Park Tavern and Piedmont Park.

The project – a joint venture between Jim Kegley and Jeff Fuqua – drew widespread criticism from the surrounding neighborhoods of Virginia-Highland and Midtown because of its proposed density.

When the project was presented to the board of Invest Atlanta last December, it called for an 11-story hotel with 150 rooms, 351 residential units with 30 percent of them affordable, a 20,000 square-foot grocery store, additional retail and restaurant space as well as 745 parking spaces.

Nearly everyone who spoke at a well-attended neighborhood town-hall meeting earlier this Spring voiced concerns about the project, which many said was too dense for the site and would make an already bad traffic intersection worse.

The project also would have changed the single-family character that exists on much of the 4-acre site and nearly all of the trees on the hill adjacent to the BeltLine and Piedmont Park would have been cut down.

10th and Monroe

Trees at 10th and Monroe (Photo by Kelly Jordan)

The developers canceled other town-hall meetings, saying they had gone back to the drawing boards.

Originally, Invest Atlanta and the BeltLine had selected the joint venture in an RFP that would have sold the BeltLine property to Kegley and Fuqua for $2.5 million.

According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta BeltLine CEO Brian McGowan sent a letter to Fuqua informing the developers that the BeltLine and Invest Atlanta had decided against selling the property at this time.

“We have determined that the process itself is not yielding a result that we feel is appropriate for that site,” a statement from the Atlanta BeltLine read. “We plan to re-evaluate at a later date.”

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

8 replies
  1. Priscilla Padron says:

    Density is inevitable and desirable in intown areas. The area is well-served by MARTA. And think of the amenities: Arts Center, Midtown Promenade, Trader Joe’s! A little up the street and available by bus, Virginia Highland, which is recuperating very well from the recession. Maybe Fuqua will come up with a design that works better.Report

    Reply
  2. nick boxer says:

    Density is desirable in appropriate locations of which there are plenty nearby. This, however, is not an appropriate location as it is not possible to create good ingress and egress and control traffic flow at the location. Adding density to the established commercial locations nearby makes a lot more sense. Redeveloping the area where Trader Joe’s and the movie theatre is makes sense… the Home Depot / Whole Foods areas… yes. Ansley Mall (which for the record has about the same # of parking spaces as the failed Fuqua development on a parcel more than 6x the size) could be redeveloped as well. Knocking down single family homes to add 300+ apartments, 100+ hotel rooms, and amenities at an already congested and problematic intersection made no sense. Amenities for the park and Beltline could be developed at this location, provided they require very limited parking and are to an appropriate scale. I applaud the City and Beltline folks for sticking to their master plans and supporting the neighborhood. Thanks to all who helped stop this inappropriate plan!Report

    Reply
  3. Flip Hager says:

    It is unacceptable to rezone single family homes in our neighborhood- we are not midtown and never want to be- that’s on the other side of the park!Report

    Reply
  4. Steve Scarborough says:

    One hopes not. The area teeters on the edge of having too much development already. Sometimes it seems that developers won’t be satisfied until our surface streets are parking lots all day. Monroe is a mess already.Report

    Reply
  5. urban gardener says:

    If ever land should become part of the park, this land is it. It is next to the highest visibility and highest use areas of the park. That vibrant commercial properties at the opposite end of the park are to be commandeered and bulldozed (at great expense taking funds away from sidewalks and the like) while this is area of large trees is to be sold off to the highest bidder for a comparative pittance is just criminal all the way around.Report

    Reply
  6. Not playin says:

    Somebody should have told these developers….

    CoA (city of Atlanta) only sells to itself..

    using taxpayer money

    ala

    The Civic Center, Atlanta Housing Authority fiascoReport

    Reply

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