Written: October 16, 2017

Luxury Buckhead residential community breaks ground

Shovels for the long-expected luxury residential community in Peachtree Hills have finally hit dirt.

More than a decade after first being announced, a 216-unit senior living project in Peachtree Hills has broken ground, its developer says.

The entire development will cover about 20 acres in the historic south Buckhead neighborhood known for its dense tree canopy and Peachtree Creek.

Site development on the project, officially called Peachtree Hills Place, is underway. Construction on the first units could start later this fall.

It has more than $117 million in financing from SunTrust Bank, Atlantic Capital Bank, Iberia Bank and Capital Bank.

Peachtree Hills Place is geared to the high-end homebuyer. It will include 204 condos in six, four-story buildings. The condos will range from $730,000 to $1.8 million. Twelve custom-built single-family homes will start at $1.8 million.

The project was first pitched in 2005 on the cusp of the historic recession, with plans for more than 260 luxury apartments.

Asked about changes to the project’s overall plan and the more-than decade long process to get to groundbreaking, Isakson said, “We were patient.” An important step included getting feedback from the project’s first homebuyers, who suggested a few tweaks. “We worked through a myriad of things,” he said.

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Atlanta City Council to consider density bonuses for affordable housing

Developers willing to add affordable housing units to apartment projects or build near transit could receive density bonuses under legislation introduced into the Atlanta City Council this week.

The ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Carla Smith, would let developers willing to commit to affordable housing construct taller buildings, thus allowing more apartments. Apartment projects built near transit also would qualify for density bonuses.

Unlike two “inclusionary zoning” ordinances currently circulating among local neighborhood planning units (NPUs), Smith’s ordinance would be voluntary for developers rather than mandatory. It also would apply to the entire city, rather than specific communities.

“Affordable housing needs to be everywhere,” Smith said.

Smith said she plans to send the ordinance to the NPUs for input before putting it through the city council’s committee review process.

“I want to hear everyone’s ideas,” she said. “Then, maybe we can write a [new] paper or amend this paper.”

While Smith is lead sponsor of the ordinance, most of the other council members also have signed on as co-sponsors.

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South downtown’s Norfolk Southern building sells for $25 million

The former Norfolk Southern headquarters, an abandoned landmark on Spring Street eyed for years as a major south downtown redevelopment, has sold for $25 million.

The buyer, 99-125 Spring Street Atlanta Owner LLC, is said to be affiliated with Los Angeles-based real estate company CIM Group, according to sources familiar with the deal.

At nearly 406,000 square feet, the Norfolk Southern property is one of downtown’s largest and most complicated redevelopment opportunities. Under new ownership, it may be woven into a sweeping south downtown project that Newport U.S. is RE planning. It could create a walkable mix of residences, shops and restaurants stretching all the way to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The sale of the Norfolk Southern building was completed on Sept. 27, according to Fulton County property records. The LLC paid about $62 a foot.

Earlier this year, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported CIM Group planned to develop a $1 billion mixed-use project around a renovated Philips Arena. One of the principals of CIM is Richard Ressler, the brother of Tony Ressler, the majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks.

An email to CIM principals was not immediately returned. Norfolk Southern declined comment on the sale.

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First look at 220-unit Chamblee project

A 220-unit apartment project could speed up plans to make a stretch of Clairmont Road in Chamblee at least a bit more walkable.

The Bainbridge Cos., which is expanding for the first time into the Atlanta market, is proposing the nearly three-acre project at Interstate 85 and Clairmont Road.

The company, based in Wellington, Fla., is primarily known for developments in East Coast markets such as Florida, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

It declined comment about the new project. But, it released images to the Chamblee Architectural Review Board, which meets October 3.

Bainbridge is seeking approval for variances allowing it to develop just under three acres at Clairmont Road near the Century Center Office Park and Interstate 85, according to the proposal submitted to Chamblee.

The property currently includes two vacant commercial buildings. Some of the land is owned by Highwoods Realty Limited Partnership, an affiliate of the real estate company Highwoods, which owns Century Center.

Long-term, the office park could be transformed into a higher-density

mixed-use node that’s a strong, regional employment center, according to Chamblee’s future development plan.

The Bainbridge Cos. project would also rise within walking distance of the Peachtree Creek Greenway Trail, a linear multi-use path that will one day connect Chamblee, Doraville, Brookhaven and the Atlanta Beltline.

Atlanta’s Niles Bolton Associates is designing the apartment project.

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Darden looks to grow Cheddar’s brand in Georgia

Darden Restaurants Inc. wants to grow one of its newly-acquired brands in Georgia.

Darden (NYSE: DRI) earlier this year acquired Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 million.

Now, it sees growth potential in the Southeast.

Darden CEO Gene Lee said in a Sept. 26 call with analysts that the company acquired the 11 franchisee-owned Cheddar’s restaurants in Georgia, along with the development rights in Georgia and Alabama.

“This transaction, which closed on August 28, gives us the opportunity to enhance our presence in two states that we believe will have strong growth opportunities for the Cheddar’s brand,” Lee said.

Cheddar’s was founded in 1979 in Arlington, Texas. Today, it has around 165 locations in 28 states. Its restaurants see average sales volume of $4.4 million, says Darden.

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Grady Memorial Hospital plans $13 million diagnostic center off Camp Creek Parkway

Grady Memorial Hospital Corp. plans to open a $13 million diagnostic center off Camp Creek Parkway inside its new medical office building.

The hospital on Sept. 22 filed plans with the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) to establish a multimodality diagnostic center. The project would require 32,000 square feet of interior build-out.

As Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in April 2017, Grady is opening an ambulatory care center, called Comprehensive Care Center of Camp Creek, on Princeton Lakes Way.

To build the new center, Grady partnered with Ackerman & Co., which has developed three other medical office buildings in the Camp Creek area.

Ackerman Medical founder John Willig in April estimated the building would cost $8 million to $8.5 million.

Grady will need to file a Certificate of Need and gain approval from DCH before beginning work on the diagnostic center.

The new MOB is slated to open in early 2018.

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Groundbreaking ceremony set for new state Judicial Complex

Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Chief Justice Harris Hines will preside Thursday at a ground-breaking ceremony for the new state Judicial Complex being built on the former site of the Georgia Archives building.

One of the most expensive building projects in state history at $105 million, the court building will be on Capitol Avenue in downtown Atlanta, just south of the Georgia Capitol. It will house both the state Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals.

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Houston’s hospitals treat storm victims and become victims themselves

Water poured into hospitals. Ambulances were caught up in roiling floodwaters. Medical transport helicopters were grounded by high winds. Houston’s world-renowned health care infrastructure found itself battered by Hurricane Harvey, struggling to treat storm victims while becoming a victim itself.

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190-home subdivision proposed in Gwinnett County

A new 190-home residential development is proposed in eastern Gwinnett County.

MF Georgia 1 LLC wants to build the project on 110 acres on Ewing Chapel Road south of Brooks Road, according to plans filed with the county.

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