Friday, June 10, 2016

Phase III of "Decatur Crossing": negotiation summary

via Theresa Same, MANA Zoning Chair

Fuqua Phase III -- approved plan. Click this and other images to enlarge them.
On May 19, 2016, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved Fuqua Development’s “Decatur Crossing” Phase III to redevelop the 9.2-acre, abandoned Ford dealership (which primarily fronts Scott Boulevard with a small frontage on Church Street) into a mixed-use development.  The plan was presented to the Community in January and is outlined here. Following the community meeting, the DeKalb Cross Neighborhoods Council (DCNC)* compiled and considered all feedback received from the community and provided that feedback to Fuqua Development. This feedback was the basis of our negotiations which took place over several months. The BOC voted in favor of the rezoning request with 34 conditions negotiated by the DCNC. These conditions will become part of the permanent zoning for the property.

In addition to the conditions, the DCNC also negotiated a separate, legally binding zoning agreement which includes $60,000 in funding for off site improvements. Combined with earlier contributions from Phases I and II, this amount will be enough to complete pedestrian improvements at the 6-way intersection, sidewalks on Scott Boulevard (between Willow Lane and Medlock Road) and a short multi-use sidewalk on N. Decatur Road (between Fuqua Phase II and Church Street – in front of Church’s Chicken).  It also includes safety improvements along Scott Boulevard at the Tuxworth Springs Condominiums entrance/exit. The legally binding agreement was signed by MANA with the support of the entire DCNC. 

Fuqua III includes senior apartments, a grocery store, a "chicken-themed" restaurant, multi-family apartments, and a storage facility.
The site plan includes a “specialty grocery store,” a senior housing development (minimum of 90 units), a “chicken themed” restaurant with a drive-thru, a multi-family apartment building (maximum of 262 units) and a storage facility. Fifteen percent of the apartments will be reserved as workforce housing** as negotiated in our contract. The development also includes tree-lined 10-foot-wide multi-use sidewalks around the entire perimeter to match the earlier phases, 6-foot sidewalks on the interior of the development as well as a minimum of 16,300 square feet of park space. We also negotiated a bike lane on the small emergency access road that runs between Scott Boulevard and Church Street. 
Elevations for grocery store (seen from Scott Blvd.)
Elevations for "chicken-themed restaurant with drive-through"
Elevations for apartment complex. 
Storage facility.

Storage facility

Senior living complex by Columbia Residential. For an earlier color version of this rendering *that does not include newly negotiated improvements such as balconies*, click here
The DCNC is particularly excited about the senior housing component which will be built and managed by Columbia Residential.  The DCNC hosted a community meeting with Columbia Residential in April to provide information and answer questions from the community. The Medline Study identified senior housing as a priority for our area. The DCNC has been asking Fuqua Development to include this component since Phase I. Now that the rezoning is complete, Columbia Residential will go through the arduous process of applying for funding.  They believe their application will rate very high and are confident that they will be awarded the low income tax credits needed to complete this project.  Because we believe in this project, the DCNC negotiated conditions allowing Columbia two full application cycles to secure funding. We were able to work with Columbia to add more amenities for their residents, such as balconies and stoops to the building. This is a testament to how a collaborative process, bringing together multiple parties, improves the redevelopment process (see these messages from the developer and from Davis Fox at Commissioner Gannon's office).

None of the retailers have been announced yet. 

* Dekalb Cross-Neighborhood Council for this project includes the following neighborhood representatives: Garrett Assay, Ridgeland Park; Jean Logan (Tuxworth Springs Condominiums); Elizabeth Roberts (Valley Brook Civic Association); Theresa Same (Medlock Area Neighborhood Association, Inc.); Mary Shellman (Good Growth Dekalb, Inc.); Jim Smith (Clairmont Heights Civic Association). Fuqua is represented by Jeff Fuqua (Principal, Fuqua Development), Heather Correa (Partner, Fuqua Development), Bill Aiken (Project Manager, Fuqua Development) and Dennis Webb (Attorney, Smith, Gambrell and Russell).

** Workforce housing as defined by the Urban Land Institute was used for this agreement.  The intention is people working in such professions as teachers, nurse, fire fighters could afford to rent these apartments.