Listen Live:

UK’s Sky News coverage of London terror attack

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
54°
Scattered Clouds
H 68° L 46°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    54°
    Current Conditions
    Scattered Clouds. H 68° L 46°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    70°
    Today
    Mostly Cloudy. H 57° L 47°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    58°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Cloudy. H 57° L 47°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Developer wants rezoning for massive Sandy Springs project

A Houston development firm is planning a massive mixed-use development in Sandy Springs that would be one of the largest new developments in the Central Perimeter area in many years.

Hines, a real estate investment trust, has requested a rezoning of land at Ga. 400 and Abernathy Road to allow construction of what it calls 100 Northpark. The development will include a blend of high-rise office space, as well as retail space, 500 residential units and a 250-room hotel, according to a Development of Regional Impact filing with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

The request to rezone 16 acres at a critical intersection in Sandy Springs comes as the office market in the Central Perimeter region has heated up, filling up more vacant space last year than any other regional submarket. That has fueled speculation that high-rise development could soon return to a metro area that in recent years suffered the hangover of a pre-recession building boom and the lack of demand caused by the financial collapse.

The office component in the Hines project — 1.5 million square feet — would be larger in total floor space than Bank of America Plaza or the combined space of more than two Equitable buildings. The filing states that Hines is seeking to build 150,000 square feet of retail.

The project is designed to be “transit-oriented” and it is adjacent to MARTA rail as well as being close to major freeways, said John Heagy, senior vice president for Hines. He added having connections to transit options is part of Hines’ strategy of development.

The Central Perimeter area of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody has been very active in office leasing. Much of it came from new tenants stemming from job growth, but some came from office relocations from other metro Atlanta neighborhoods.

The office vacancy rate in metro Atlanta was just under 20 percent at the end of 2012, according to Cushman & Wakefield, several points higher than the historical average.

The Sandy Springs and Dunwoody area filled more than 1.2 million square feet of top tier office space in 2012 — twice as much as any other office submarket — fueled by office relocations from giants like State Farm.

The Central Perimeter area “has clearly shown it’s one of the hottest markets in the city,” said Ken Ashley, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield in Atlanta.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and maybe this is the real estate party in Atlanta right now,” he said.

Ashley said with the market beginning to fill in Central Perimeter, large vacant blocks of office space in that area are now tough to find to woo large corporate relocations or new operations.

But Ashley cautioned that construction financing is still difficult to obtain and lenders want to see a strong business case, including demand from office and retail tenants.

Still, Hines’ move is a sign that developers are thinking about building again, even if it can’t be with the pre-recession mentality of “build it and they will come.”

“The most endangered species in Atlanta, known as the crane, might actually return,” Ashley said.

Hines is seeking a rezoning that would permit up to 26 stories in height, a Sandy Springs spokeswoman said. The office tower, for instance, would have nine levels of parking and 17 stories of office space.

No date has been set for a Sandy Springs zoning hearing. The project also is pending review by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • An Atlanta middle school student was taken to the hospital Wednesday after ingesting a “controlled substance,” according to school officials. The Young Middle School student was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta Public Schools spokeswoman Kimberly Willis Green said. The call came in about 2:50 p.m., officials said.  The APS Police Department is investigating the incident, Green said.  Other students were evaluated to see if they ingested the substance, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Parents of affected students were notified immediately, APS spokeswoman Pat St. Claire said. All parents are expected to get a robocall.  In other news:
  • Tasharina Fluker and her daughter had just gotten to their Lithonia townhome Wednesday morning from celebrating the mother’s birthday. No less than an hour after they arrived, police say Fluker’s boyfriend, Michael Thornton, shot and killed her and daughter Janazia Miles.  A family member found one of them in the middle of the doorway and Miles’ 8-month-old son unharmed, Channel 2 Action News reported. It is not known how the relative entered the home.  Police were called to the scene about 3 a.m. after getting a person-down call on the 2000 block of Parkway Trail. The women were found with “no signs of life,” DeKalb police Lt. Rod Bryant said.  Thornton was later found at another location, police said. They have not described his relationship to the women, but neighbors said Thornton and Fluker were in a relationship and lived at the home. Neighbor Trocon Talhouk told Channel 2 he heard the couple arguing in the middle of the night.  “He kept saying: ‘All I want to do is get in the house,’” Talhouk said. “And then, shortly after that, I heard a car speed off and (the) next thing you know fire trucks and police cars were pulling up.”  It wasn’t the first time neighbors had heard domestic incidents at the home, Talhouk said.  “According to neighbors, (the two) fight all the time and he’s always beating (her),” he told Channel 2.  Fluker also leaves behind two sons — one in middle school and another who attends Grambling State University on a football scholarship he earned while playing for Miller Grove High School, the station reported. Police have not released other details.  In other news:
  • The grandmother of a Gwinnett County toddler who died after being hit by a car in front of her house was arrested in connection with the incident, police said Wednesday. Gilma J. Ordonez-Guevara, 44, of Lawrenceville, is charged with vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and not having a license, Cpl. Michele Pihera said. Ordonez-Guevara was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on Tuesday, Pihera said. She also is on an immigration hold by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to jail records. Ordonez-Guevara, who lives in the same Lawrenceville neighborhood as the toddler, initially denied being involved, police said. However, after investigators searched her SUV, evidence conflicted with her previous statements. Based on the second interview, police learned she hit the toddler, 23-month-old Valeria Leiba, as she was backing out of the driveway in the 1000 block of Memory Lane. Ordonez-Guevara did not know the child was behind her SUV, according to police. After the incident, Ordonez-Guevara carried her granddaughter inside the child’s home, got back in her SUV and drove to her own house. She left her SUV in the driveway and walked back to her granddaughter’s home. RELATED: Gwinnett toddler dies after being hit by car “There are not enough words to help bring solace to the victim’s family during such a tragic loss,” Pihera said. “We want the family to know that many people in Gwinnett and the surrounding communities are thinking of them during this difficult time.” In other news:
  • U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch vowed to uphold the law if confirmed to the nation’s highest court, not tipping his hand as he sidestepped controversial political subjects, as Gorsuch directly pushed back against President Donald Trump’s criticism of federal judges. “When anyone criticizes the honesty or integrity, the motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening; I find that demoralizing,” Gorsuch said in response to questions from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “Anyone including the President of the United States?” Blumenthal pressed. “Anyone is anyone,” Gorsuch replied. In a day of testimony that stretched for almost twelve hours, Gorsuch parried most questions from Democrats, who tried in vain to get him to reveal his views on issues like abortion, and items that might come before the Supreme Court, like President Trump’s travel ban. Gorsuch repeatedly refused to take the bait. “I can’t get involved in politics, and I think it would be very imprudent of judges to start commenting on political disputes,” Gorsuch said. Under questioning from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gorsuch was asked what he had discussed with President Trump on the issue of abortion. “In that interview did he ever ask you to overrule Roe v Wade?” Graham asked. “No, Senator,” Gorsuch replied, adding that if the President had asked that question, “I would have walked out the door.” Gorsuch was pressed about the President in a number of different ways, telling Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that, “nobody is above the law in this country, and that includes the President of the United States.” With Republicans strongly in support of Gorsuch, there was already maneuvering behind the scenes over the expected floor fight in the Senate, as Democrats have made clear they think the GOP should be forced to get 60 votes for his nomination. That has prompted GOP leaders to criticize the threat of a filibuster. “If there aren’t 60 votes for a nominee like Neil Gorsuch it’s appropriate to ask the question is there any nominee any Republican president could make that Democrats would approve,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Gorsuch’s lengthy day of testimony ended on a light note, as Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) suggested to Gorsuch that he have a cocktail before bed. “Just don’t drink vodka,” Kennedy said to chuckles from the audience. Kennedy then drew even more laughter by adding in one more surprise. “You never been to Russia, have you?” “I’ve never been to Russia,” a smiling Gorsuch said.