F’ville developer seeks bigger anchor, more parking

Tue, 03/18/2008 - 3:54pm
By: Ben Nelms

The move to establish a live/work office and retail development at The Villages on Ga. Highway 54 in Fayetteville continued March 11 at the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The discussion at the commission’s work session involved a proposal to amend the Planned Community Development (PCD) document designated for the area in 2000.

Heritage Creek Development’s Wayne Kendall addressed four proposed changes to the document he said would make the project more conducive to current market conditions and would maintain the spirit of the original plan.

In the process, Kendall said, the total square footage for the seven buildings, excluding an outparcel building, was reduced to 162,850 square feet from the original 175,000 square feet.

Perhaps the most significant change involves two live/work office and retail buildings that Heritage wants to construct as three-story structures instead of the two-story buildings listed on the 2000 PCD agreement.

To be located between the center of the 13.7-acre tract and Hampton Inn to the east, Heritage is asking that each building contain 11,500 square of retail on the first floor and up to 37,000 square feet of apartments and professional offices on the second and third floors.

Kendall asked that the anchor building be approved for 45,000 square feet as opposed to the 33,000 square feet in the original PCD.

Kendall also asked that the four proposed one-story buildings closest to Hwy. 54 not exceed 5,600 square feet each, adding that the buildings would be constructed to appear to be one and a half stories.

Also requested is approval for an outparcel for a bank or restaurant.

Responding to questions on the proposed size and parking accommodations for the anchor store, Kendall said talks were underway with LA Fitness, though nothing could be confirmed at this time.

Questions also arose over the proposal to increase the live/work buildings from two stories to three stories.

“A lot of planning went into this (PCD). I think the original concept can be flexible, but I think they’re asking for a blank check,” said Commissioner Allan Feldman.

Kendall noted the 13 buildings approved in the 2000 plan, referencing the proposal by Heritage to reduce that number to seven and an outparcel building.

Commissioner Bill Talley said the Heritage proposal was a good starting point, though he thought there might be a problem with the number of residences in the three-story buildings.

The proposal also calls for 557 parking spaces, up from the 499 stipulated in the PCD document.

A neighbor at The Villages asked during public comments why the number of parking spaces had increased even though the square footage had decreased.

She was told that increasing the square footage of the anchor would require an increase in the number of spaces for that building.

Chairman Sarah Murphy noted that the proposed increase in square footage for the anchor store would draw from a larger geographic area and increase traffic into the development.

Some on the commission said the original intent of the retail portion of the development was largely meant to serve residences in the PCD area.

Planning and Zoning Director Eldridge Gunn told commissioners the city attorney should be able to give an opinion on the matter at the March 25 regular session.

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