Thursday, April 5, 2012

Update From Councilman Shortal

The following update was sent by Councilman Denis Shortal. 

The My fellow citizens ... the following are some update items of interest ....

1. Project Renaissance (in common terms this is the proposed redevelopment of the 16 acre PVC Farm and the 19 acre old Shallowford Hospital site). The plan is through a public / private partnership to develop these two parcels totaling 35 acres through which the city will be trading part of the 16 acre PVC farm for part of the 19 acre Shallowford hospital site in a land purchase/sale transaction with a to-be named private builder/investor. A rough sketch is both parcels would be developed into park land and trail totally approximately 15 - 16 acres, approx. two - three acres for high end commercial development along Shallowford Rd and the remaining acreage would be high-end, single family, owner occupied and low density housing. Some information of this transaction follows ... (PLEASE NOTE, that the below is as of the issuance of the Invitation For Proposals (IFP) and could change somewhat depending on the proposals put forth by the bidders:

a. The City has issued an IFP ... The IFP, and all other information about this project, are on our city website, — on the right side of the home page just click on the orange box noting Project Renaissance. To date over 20 firms have downloaded the IFP from our website and several firms attended the Pre-Proposal Conference about two weeks ago. The IFP gives the bidder some leeway but it has some fairly specific guidelines on what the city expects/wants from the bidders. The bid deadline is Friday, 20 APR 2012 at 2 PM.

b. Finances and Timelines ... The City has signed a "letter in intent" (LOI) to purchase the 19 acres ... see above. (FYI, this 19 acres is zoned O&I.) In signing the LOI the city has put up $100,000 earnest money. This money is fully refundable thru the close of business (COB) on 23 APR 2012 ... after that time the earnest money is no longer refundable. Thus, you will note from the above IFP deadline that the city has three days to determine if there is a creditable private bidder. If there is not a creditable bidder then the city will cancel the LOI with the seller of the 19 acres, get a refund of the $100,000 earnest money and be back to where we started owning the 16 acre PVC Farm. Assuming there is a creditable bidder, then the city will go thru the due diligence process with the successful bidder and move towards the closing date of 15 JUN 2012. There is a stipulation in the contract that if the city is not ready to close on the contract by 15 JUN 2012 then the city must put forth $500,000 additional non-refundable earnest and reset the new closing date of 31 JUL 2012. It is the city's full intends to make a decision to move forward or cancel the transaction prior to the close COB on 23 APR 2012. If there are unforeseen circumstances that arise after 23 APR 2012 but before 1 JUN 2012 then the city will not move forward with the transaction. The total purchase price of the 19 acres is $6.132 million plus fees and interesting ... total interest/fees, if it is financed over a three year period, as currently envisioned, would be approx. $216,000. The three years principle and interest payments for the 19 acres ... as currently envisioned ... would be $3.75 million in year one (2012), $543 thousand in year two (2013) and $2.05 million in year three (2014). These funds would come from a combination of funds paid to the city from the private developer and city funds. As depicted in the original plans, prior to going to a public bid, the entire end game financial number for the 35 acres would have been, at worse, financial neutral to the city ...… in other words the city's out of pocket money would still be the $5.6 million that the city committed (principle and interest) to purchase the 16 acre PVC Farm.

c. Risk ... The first risk is the loss of the $100,000 that the city has put down as earnest money on the 19 acres. We must be ready to analyze the bids from developers efficiently when the bids arrive on 20 APR to determine if there is/are creditable bidder/s... or not. To me and others, $100,000 of your tax dollars is a huge amount and I do not want to see it go non-refundable unless we are going to complete the transaction. Needless to say the period of 20 APR - thru 23 APR will be a period of intense evaluation by the City Council, Staff as well as any professional assistance we may need. The second risk is if we sign a contract with a developer and after a certain period of time that developer backs out of the contract, declares bankruptcy or whatever. To mitigate this risk we will take all precautions to check the financial stability of the developer and we will be front end loading the payments from the developer with no refund ... thus the developer will sustain a substantial financial commitment/loss if he/she walks away from the deal.

d. Advantages ... The biggest advantage is that it gives us control over what happens to 19 more acres at what we hope to be a financially positive or neutral sum final outcome vs the $5.6 million that we have obligate to buy the PVC farm. Other advantages, if the proposal is as currently envisioned:

- low density, high quality, owner occupied homes ... for me, this is NOT a negotiable item
- a location for the building of a future city hall / police department if future city council so decides
- there is a vacant 22,000+ square foot building on the 19 acres that may have uses for the city
- there is an area along Shallowford Rd that is planned to be developed into high end retail
- we will still have approx. 16 acres of parks land spread over the two parcels, which among other things includes a planned playground ... similar but smaller than the one at BR .... and a multi purpose field on the 19 acres
- there will be a walking (and maybe biking) path thru the 16 acres connecting to and proceeding thru the 19 acres … (there is also a vision to connect this path all the way to BR Park but much needs to come together for that to happen)

2. Tilly Mill Rd/North Peachtree Rd Intersection Improvement .... As all of you know this intersection is one of the most troublesome intersections in our city. We have had a design team come up with options on how to improve this intersection. This team came up with quite an elaborate design that would add turn lanes in several directions and a stop light at the intersection of N. Peachtree Rd/Peeler Rd. Cost estimates are approx. $1.6 million. If we proceed with this plan it will probably be a late 2013/2014 project and because of cost will be a multi-year project. I fully agree that improvement are needed at this intersection but I am not that sure that this is the right plan and/or the best value for the expense. A couple of other concerns are ... if we enhance the intersection will it just attract more thru traffic and, we must minimize the negative effect on the citizens that live in that immediate area. I am fully aware that with the traffic volume we have in our city there is no cure-all solution but there are definitely things that can be done that will be enhancements … and intersection improvement are close to the top of that list. I ask all you to stay up to date and involved in this and other intersection improvements. We had a public meeting with plans, etc on the subject intersection and frankly I was a bit disappointed at the citizen turn out.

3. Paving ... As you know the paving/street enhancement list has been completed for 2012. The total budget this year is $2.5 million. I want to focus on two of our streets that are scheduled for paving/improvements. Both of these streets are heavily traveled and are scheduled for improvements, including bike lanes, as well as paving. These streets are Mt Vernon Rd west from Ashford Dunwoody Rd to the Dunwoody / Sandy Springs border and Chamblee Dunwoody Rd from Peeler Rd to Nerine Circle. If all goes as planned these two projects are slated to have construction start in the first or second week of June ... after school is out. There will be some curb and gutter work, etc., which at times may require some temporary lane closure ... we will do our best to minimize the inconvenience. Remember before we became a city we didn't have this inconvenience as our streets were not being repaved. For those of us that do not live on or in the vicinity these street I would ask you to use alternate routes in your travels. For all of us it require some patience. Think of it as remodeling your house ... it is kind of a pain when you are going thru it but when you are done the finished product is awesome.

4. Events Around Town ... There are some fun events going on and coming up in our city ... as well as some information events of interest:

a. Stage Door Player ... The last three performances of "Same Time Next Year" are this Th, Fr and Sat at 8 PM ... Call 770-396-1726 for tickets. Meredy and I saw the play last Fr and we give it a definite "thumbs up."
b. City Council Meeting ... 9 APR @ 7 PM.
c. Walk to School Day ... Wed, 11 APR
d. Missouri Spring Black & Gold Football Game ... 14 APR @ 2 PM .... Oh, that is in Columbia, MO.
e. Lemonade Days ... 18-22 APR at Brook Run Park. A fun filled event for the entire family. All the proceeds will be used for improvements of the Donaldson-Chestnut Farm House .... and buildings.
f. Monarchs & Margaritas Gala Event ... 21 APR from 6:30 - 10 PM at beautiful Glenridge Hall in Sandy Springs. A fun evening with all the proceeds going to support the DNC. For tickets/info go to
g. City Council Meeting ... 23 APR @ 7 PM ... One of the highlights will be a briefing for all of us citizens by Tony Simon and Clint Austin on the just completed Georgia Legislative Session.
h. Community Meeting on the Zoning Rewrite … 26 APR ... exact time and place TBA … check our city website for details. This will be an update on the progress of the city's zoning ordinance rewrite.
I. Dunwoody Arts Festival (3rd annual) ... 12 & 13 May in Dunwoody Village

5. If anyone would like me to address your HOA members or neighbors on a specific issue or just issues in general just let me know I will be glad to come to your meeting.

6. I better end this as my spelling is getting worse as the evening/morning goes on. Please pass this on to all your friends, neighbors, members of your HOA or anyone else that you think maybe interested. If anyone would like to added to my email update list please let me know and I will make that happen. To all, a blessed Easter, Passover or whatever you celebrate this special religious season of the year! Thanks for your continued involvement ...… it is you, the citizens, that makes Dunwoody a great place to live!

Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Council, District One, Post-1
Mayor Pro Tem
PH (O) 678-382-6700 (C) 678-246-9006

1 comment:

Joe Seconder said...

And don't forget about the 4th Annual BRAD - Bicycle Ride Around Dunwoody, during Lemonade Days on 4/21. Ride options ranging for kids on training wheels, casual novices to "roadies".

Early registration discount ends on April 16th

To register & for more info please go to:
& Facebook: