Decatur Crossing Phase III proposed

According to a notice sent to DeKalb County April 6 from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the ARC reviewed and completed a preliminary regional review of the proposed project, which was reviewed as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI). The county sent the proposal to the ARC for review.

Phases I and II of Decatur Crossing, a mixed-use development, are being constructed by Fuqua Development at the six-legged intersection of Scott Boulevard, Medlock Road, and North Decatur Road.

According to the notice, Phase I consists of multi-family residential space with supporting commercial and amenity space. Phases II and III are mixed-use developments.

“In total (Phases I, II and III), this DRI consists of approximately 94,293 square-feet of commercial space; a 123,600-square-foot self-storage facility; 14,118 square feet of office space, 964 apartments, and 102 senior affordable apartments,” the notice stated.

The review notice stated that the planned development of Phase III triggered a DRI review for the entire site per the ARC’s DRI rules. Each phase has different ownership, with one development firm developing each site separately, according to the notice. The development is projected to be constructed in 2018.

In the preliminary comment section of the notice, the ARC stated that the proposed development is located in the “maturing neighborhoods” area of the region. “Maturing neighborhoods were primarily developed prior to 1970,” the ARC stated. “These areas are typically adjacent to the region’s core and regional employment corridors, and combined they encompass 49 percent of the region’s jobs and 18 percent of its population.”

Recommended policies for maturing neighborhoods include:
• Improve safety and quality of transit options by providing alternatives for end-of-trip facilities (such as bicycle racks) and sidewalks and/ or shelters adjacent to bus stops;
• Identify and remedy incidents of “food deserts” within neighborhoods, particularly in traditionally underserved neighborhoods and schools;
• Promote mixed-use where locally appropriate, specifically in areas served by existing or planned transit; and
• Develop policies and establish design standards to ensure new and infill development is compatible with existing neighborhoods.

The ARC said the proposed project “appears to manifest” a majority of the policies for the area. “In particular, the mix of uses, along with the site’s proximity to bus transit, offers the potential for residents to work and shop on site and for visitors to park once—or arrive by bicycle or transit—and conduct multiple trips on foot,” the ARC stated. “These conditions can reduce or eliminate dependency on cars for internal site circulation and also encourage visitors to arrive via alternative transportation modes.”

The ARC said the proposed project should promote a functional, safe, clearly marked and comfortable pedestrian experience on all streets, paths and parking lots on the site, as well as all connections from the project to neighboring uses. “This is especially important as uses at opposite ends of the site which are separated from each other by surface parking lots and main site driveways,” the ARC stated. “The development team is also encouraged to ensure that end-of-trip facilities (bicycle racks, etc.) are provided for transit riding-residents and visitors at key locations throughout the site.”

The ARC concluded that the proposed project has the potential for considerable impact on the existing road network. “The developer and DeKalb County should work together to identify and prioritize enhancements that will mitigate the potential impacts of this project in the context of area-wide growth,” the notice said.