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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fuqua's revised Lindbergh development: Walmart out, Kroger in

Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua is once again trying his hand at developing a Buckhead retail site nearly two years after the Atlanta City Council blocked his efforts to build a Walmart near the Lindbergh MARTA Station.

Fuqua's new mixed-use project - it's located east of Piedmont Road, north of Lindbergh Drive, and east of Morosgo Drive - would include an 82,000-square-foot Kroger Fresh Fare, 180 senior housing units, 137 detached single-family units, and a three-story parking deck. Land use and zoning changes would be required for the project to move forward.

Earlier this week, Fuqua Development asked Neighborhood Planning Unit-B to defer a vote on whether the land use should be changed for the mixed-use project. We're told that some residents have concerns because the revised project still lacks density, continues to have a big-box component, and contains too much surface parking.

"The big box is a little smaller, but it's not an urban development," one resident, who asked to be remain anonymous, tells CL. "It's a very suburban development. It's got surface parking, a minute deck, and a smattering of senior housing."

Fuqua plans to continue meeting with neighbors, perform a traffic study, and make minor adjustments to the site plans. Fuqua says the vast majority of residents support his current project, but a small group of opponents still has some "bad blood" over his stalled Walmart-anchored retailed center. This time around, he says, his revised plans call for high-density development that is half the size of his previous proposal.

"[Our original proposal] included a tenant people didn't like," Fuqua says. "People said, 'If you build a grocery store and a mixed-use project, we'd support it.' ... There's really no grocery store near that MARTA stop. [The new proposal] is different and better than anything we've proposed on the site."

Last month, Fuqua announced that Kroger would likely be the anchor tenant for his Glenwood Park development along the Atlanta Beltline. The 22-acre project's anchor tenant for months had widely been rumored to be a Walmart.

Fuqua hopes that the required changes will be considered by Council before the year's end. If there are no significant delays, he expects to break ground in Spring 2015.

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