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Residents Want More Details on Land Development Proposal

Many came to hear the developer's plans for the 4.3 acres across from the Forum but said they heard only speculation, not specifics.

At Monday night's UPCCA Land Use Meeting a developer presented plans for new shops, office space and restaurants to be built on the corner of Peachtree Parkway and Medlock Bridge.

Bob Cheeley, who serves on the board of Piedmont Bank, purchased the corner property and spoke to the group of some 85 residents who attended.

"I want to see something of the same caliber as the Forum to be developed," said Cheeley.

The outline calls for three separate buildings facing Peachtree Parkway and one that would be built behind Piedmont Bank and would face Medlock Bridge Road. No tenants have been secured but Cheeley would like to see several upscale restaurants and perhaps a Starbucks to move into the space.

But ultimately how the property would be developed would be "user driven," said Cheeley who said the property is being shown privately which is why there is no sign on the property.

Cheeley said there were no tenants lined up at this point but he felt it would be a "home run site for restaurants." Behind the Piedmont Bank building would be a multi-story building with possible space on the bottom floor for retail and the remaining floors for office space.

The property is part of the 25-acre tract across from the Forum, currently owned by Charlie Roberts who had plans to build apartments on the land at one time.

Some of the residents wanted to see more specific plans for the development and expressed concern that along the way the plans would change from the original development. "What do we have that protects us from the old bait and switch routine," said one man.

Mitch Peevy, a land consultant with Mill Creek Consulting who specializes in rezonings who was also at the presentation reassured the group that the intent was to build something that was in keeping with the area.

"We're not looking for a tire store, a gas station, we're not looking for that type of user," said Peevy. "The plans would be to mimic the look of the Forum and the [Piedmont] Bank, said Peevy.

"We think that is an appropriate look for the area." Peevy tried to reassure the sceptics in the crowd by reminding them that the city would be looking out for their interests by adding enough restrictions to ensure that the development would turn out as planned.

The land would need to be rezoned as part is currently zoned for commercial development, the remaining zoned for apartments.

Peachtree Corners resident Richard Rosenthal said he wasn't ready to give the developer a stamp of approval and wanted to hear more specific plans for the property. "I hope they are more prepared the next time," he said.

Note: A copy of the developer's plans is included with this story. Click on the PDF icon to see the full image. The plan may also be printed.

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Rico Figliolini December 11, 2012 at 07:00 PM
When I was an appointed member to the Gwinnett Planning Commission I worked with Mitch Peevy on several rezonings and found him to be an honest, reasonable negotiator when it came to developments of this sort. With that said, I would suggest that the property's zoning conditions mirror some of the current strong conditions found on the Forum rezoning plan. In addition, I would strongly condition SITE PLAN APPROVAL as part of the rezoning as well as a landscape plan. That would allow a pubic viewing of the site plan, and an approval process in place, so that the Peachtree Corner's planning commission can request changes if needed prior to any development - regardless of who the developer ends up being. If it's not in the conditions - no one can be held to what they promised. This is why the Forum has turned out so well.

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