Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Georgetown Redevelopment Plan

Click on photo and then link at bottom of page to see more sketches.
The City of Dunwoody now has a much more definitive idea of what it wants to do with the PVC Farm, provided council votes to approve the new plan. On Thursday, the city unveiled what it is calling “Project Renaissance – A New Georgetown.”  The plan calls for the redevelopment of not only the 16 acres known as the PVC Farm, but the 19 acres once occupied by the Emory Hospital campus (part of the failed park's bond purchase), which the city has under contract under a 60-day "free look" option. 
“We’ve come up with a plan to start transforming Georgetown,” Mayor Mike Davis said. "It's an opportunity to stimulate Georgetown, to kick start a dynamic redevelopment."

The plan calls for a public-private partnership with the the city holding onto 17 acres, much of which will become parks and greenspace and perhaps even city hall, with the other 18 acres being sold to developers, who would work under city guidelines.  City Manager Warren Hutmacher said he envisioned 70 single-family homes on the PVC Farm parcel, with 40 homes on the Emory Hospital parcel.  These are only preliminary numbers.  The plan also calls for a retail node on the Shallowford Rd. side of the PVC Farm.
The plan also calls for a trail connecting the new greenspaces to Brook Run Park, with the routing of the trail still to be determined.

Just who will the developer(s) be?  The city has issued "Invitation for Proposals" (IFPs) encouraging interested developers and participants to submit ideas, concepts and designs.  Hutmacher didn't say how the city determined which developers to invite, but did say the developer that is chosen would be asked to put down a $100,000 deposit.  Both Hutmacher and Mayor Davis stressed that public input would be important, and all proposals would be put online. 
I think public vetting of the plans is vital.  On the surface, there doesn't appear to be any negatives.  It gives the city much-needed greenspace, and adds low-density, owner-occupied housing.  And, because developers would purchase 18 acres, it theoretically wouldn't cost the city more than the original $5 million-plus it paid for the PVC Farm.  While the plan appears solid, I reserve judgement at the time being.
Much more to come at Monday's city council meeting (click City Council Meeting to see agenda).

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