DUNWOODY, Ga. — The Dunwoody City Council is set to consider a request to build a hotel, restaurants and retail complex in Ravinia office park at the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Road and I-285.
The council heard the first reading of the rezoning request Aug. 26. The property, at 11 Ravinia Parkway, is currently undeveloped.
“It is really a gateway site into the community,” Dunwoody Community Development Director Richard McLeod said. “It’s not developed today. It’s comprised of a grassy knoll in the center and several trees near the perimeter.”
The petition, RZ19-02, seeks a rezoning from Office, Commercial, Residential to PC-2, a type of mixed-used district specific to the Perimeter Center area.
According to plans provided by the developer, the lot would feature 42,000 square feet of restaurants and retail, including white-tablecloth dining, and an eight-story boutique hotel. The property would have a shopfront appearance with wider sidewalks, streetscaping and the majority of the parking in the rear or below grade.
The Dunwoody Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions in a 6-0 vote July 9. No residents spoke for or against the proposal during the City Council public hearing Aug. 26.
The council raised questions about the development’s impact on trees at the site and I-285’s impact on the development.
The plan would require the removal of 68 trees, including 14 mature oaks. However, city staff said it is likely the trees would be removed anyway for I-285 express lanes. To mitigate the impact of tree removal, one of the recommended staff conditions requires planting new trees.
The site has the potential to be impacted by I-285 express lanes and Dunwoody’s proposed westside connector, which would create a grade separated ramp to connect I-285 to Perimeter Center Parkway.
“What I’m concerned about is white-tablecloth dining with an interstate going over its head,” Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch said.
The plans for both projects are still in the early stages so it is unclear to what degree the Ravinia property would be affected or when construction would happen.
“From what I understand, GDOT does not intend or want to acquire more property in Ravinia,” said Kathy Zickert, an attorney for the developers. “It wants its express lanes to go over what they already own … the question is whether [Dunwoody’s] westside connector can attach to what GDOT’s going to do with their elevated lanes.”
Council members also had questions about connectivity within the property, such as where there would be sidewalks and how hotel guests would travel from the front driveway to the parking garage.
The rezoning case will come before the council in the coming weeks for a second reading before a final decision is made.