Apartments to Be Built Across The Forum in Peachtree Corners

A large apartment complex is slated to be built on the undeveloped acreage on Peachtree Parkway across from the popular Peachtree Corners open-air shopping center.

It's long been the dream of many in Peachtree Corners that the 20+ acres across from The Forum would be developed into a multi-use area that all could enjoy.

That dream is about to end.

Charlie Roberts, the owner of the coveted land, and the last undeveloped acreage in the city, has announced he will soon sell the property to Lennar, a Miami, Florida-based company to be developed into a high-end multi-family complex of some 250 or so apartments.

Despite a decade-old fight to keep apartments from being built by community activists including the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA), a large apartment complex is planned for the property. Construction could start as early as May, 2013.

"It's not the best use of the land," agreed Gray Terry, Vice President of Land Use for the UPCCA. The civic organization had been fighting against the property being developed into an apartment complex.

The UPCCA fought to keep the property from being developed into apartments. Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners denied Roberts request to rezone for apartments to keep apartments from being built on the property. Then Roberts took the county to court.

"It went through the courts," said Terry. "The Superior Court of Gwinnett County ruled in favor of the property owner."

Diana Wheeler, the city's Community Development Director, said the ideal mix of homes to apartments for a city is somewhere in the 70-30 to 60-40 percent range. The city is currently at 50 percent homes, 50 percent apartments, the additional 250+ apartments proposed for the property will put the city over the current 50/50 mark.

The land was originally zoned residential (R-100 and R-75), but Roberts later was successful in getting the property rezoned for apartment use (RM-13).

Roberts had planned to develop the property himself some five or six years ago but the 2007 recession forcing him to delay his development plans. The purchase price for the property is nearly $7.6 million.

"The community had hoped it would be developed into a mixed use area," said Wayne Knox, the former V.P. of Land Use for UPCCA.

The development falls within the Simpson Elementary School district so students living in the new apartment complex will attend the Peachtree Corners school

Because the property falls inside the Overlay District established in 2007, the City of Peachtree Corners does have some control over the development, explained Knox. The development must adhere to the signage, architecture and landscaping controls of the Overlay District.

Wheeler said no plans have been filed with the city. All plans will be subject to review by the city's Planning Commission with the ultimate approval falling on the Peachtree Corners City Council.

Are you disappointed that the land will be developed into an apartment complex? Use the comment box below to let us know.


Kim January 15, 2013 at 01:53 PM
So for all those who voted "yes" for Peachtree Corners, this is what you get........no control, higher taxes and apartments! Make your voice be heard and contact our City Council member. Apparently, this is out of our hands, but let's do whatever it takes to try and stop this construction!!!
Veritatem January 15, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Kim is right. Many voting for the city were under the impression that the new city could do something about development of the Charlie Roberts property (and neither any "Yes" supporters, nor any publications including Patch, pointed out that the new city would be able do nothing about the property zoning). The city has turned out to be a multimillion dollar boondoggle we are paying for, and will continue to pay for as our schools suffer, traffic increases, single family residential property values fall below comparable homes elsewhere, and our quality of life suffers year after year in the future due to a glut of apartments. Yes, adding more politicians to Peachtree Corners has really made a difference. Let's hope those deceived or uninformed that voted for our expensive city and a new crop of politicians wake up sometime.
Veritatem January 15, 2013 at 11:52 PM
While Mayor Mike Mason and the council were busy approving a tax rate netting around $2 million - per year - of our taxpayer money, enacting expensive provisions that are not authorized by the city charter (including hiring a city manager for a three service city that is not provided in the city charter, providing an apartment here for him until he wanted to move so he didn't have to travel from Monroe, providing a higher salary than he had when he was manager of a full service city where he oversaw 225 employees and seven departments), having a budget far beyond that calculated by University of Georgia's Institute of Government, renting digs that the city can't fully use, having an open house, approving and paying thousands for a bland city logo, getting their pictures taken, updating their résumés, not lowering our garbage rates, and other important matters, they apparently were just too busy to take the time for an unimportant matter like being proactive from day one in trying to figure out an alternative to the type of the present buyer, negotiating an alternative to apartments, rallying the citizens to oppose this sort of development (Athens just got a Walmart for its downtown nixed due to pressure, despite zoning), and taking every action possible to oppose this sort of property use from the get go.
Bob Chadwick January 16, 2013 at 02:15 AM
The proponents said "you need a city so you can control your own destiny". All we got was another layer of ineffective, bloated government. It would be funny if it weren't so sad!
Phil McCurdy February 05, 2013 at 04:57 PM
And we thought traffic was an issue now, just wait.... I'm sure Charlie is sitting pretty and chuckling all the way to the bank! I just hope the management company at least keeps the price of rent high so undesirables will be discourged to move in... Look at Holcomb Bridge/P'tree Corners Circle; Pitiable!


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