Capital City Real Estate, a Washington DC based development firm, is proposing a mixed-use development on the 1.25 acre site located on Ponce de Leon Avenue between Penn Avenue and Argonne Avenue (272 Ponce de Leon Avenue.) The project is currently proposed to be a seven-story, 150,000 sq ft mixed-use medical and residential development. The medical offices (80,000 sq ft) will be located on the eastern side adjacent to Argonne Avenue and could include a top floor surgery center. The proposed residential units will be located on the western side adjacent to Penn Avenue. The owner is actively negotiating a lease for Lidl Grocery to be on the first floor of the building. The projcect team is seeking tax credits which are separately applied for and approved by Fulton County.
MNA reached out to the development team in late August to inquire about the project after learning it was being marketed by JLL. The project is not currently seeking any rezoning or variance requests. The property is zone C-2 and Capital City Realty is currently planning to develop to C-2 zoning requirements. If the project proceeds in this way, they will not be required to seek NPU-E or MNA review.
Even without the requirement, the development team committed to meeting with MNA’s Land Use Committee to present the plans and discuss community needs and expectations for the design. Due to their previous proposal for this lot (264 Ponce Mixed Use Development), the team is familiar with our Midtown Garden District Master Plan. This informational meeting took place on January 19, 2021 Land Use meeting. Please see the agenda for that meeting here.
Following the informational meeting in January, the MNA Land Use Committee compiled remarks and open-ended questions for the Capital City development team to continue a discussion about the project design. This communication sent to the CCRE team is detailed below. We believe the CCRE team understands the value of community collaboration and we anticipate a response. Updates will be provided on this site page as we receive additional documentation. We invited the project team to return to MNA Land Use Committee for our March 2021 meeting and we are awaiting confirmation.
- Access: questions about overall flow inside the building, especially related to vehicular and pedestrian entries, public access and security remain; requested first and second floor plans.
- Loading docks: asked for confirmation that the loading areas will be internal to the building and large enough to allow for multiple delivery trucks at one time without blocking the street and/or sidewalk.
- Traffic volume: requested to review referenced traffic study; indicated committee and neighbor concern with the traffic inflow into the residential neighborhood, the traffic at the two intersections and the pedestrian access to the grocery store; strongly suggested a light at the Penn intersection or at least a crosswalk light across Ponce de Leon
- Food delivery, Uber pick-up: area inside the parking deck to accommodate food delivery cars and pick up drivers was indicated in meeting; requested floor plan indicating the location of this area and how it will be accessed; how and where will the building have signage to direct food delivery and pick-up drivers to the specific area designated for them?; requested they work with each of the apps to drop a pin to direct them
- Street parking: requested number of street parking spaces that will be impacted by this design
- Eliminate noise and light spillage: recommended to enclose the parking deck structure where it faces towards the residential neighborhood; requested more details on this facade
- Height: the medical building on the north east corner is 8 stories high (over 110’ above the ground level) and abutting a 3 story residential building; asked for them to consider the redesign options discussed during the meeting including (but not limited to) stepping back the stories after the 3rd level to allow a more gradual transition or reduce the width of the building and move the north facade further away from the residential building.
- EIFS: in the adjacent SPI districts, no exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) is allowed where visible from any public right-of-way, park or plaza, outdoor dining area, or adjacent property; this property, while not in the SPI, is adjacent and should be treated accordingly to allow a continuity of multi-story building design as in the higher density areas of Midtown, just a few blocks west of the development.
- North setback and buffer area: highlighted that the renderings and elevations presented were not clear on how the north setback and buffer areas were addressed, how and if the alley was incorporated in the design and how was the north west corner addressed; requested the full site plan so we can understand these critical engagement points.
- South facade / sidewalk: highlighted that the south facade, as designed, with a large center area as a blank wall, is not appropriate for the Ponce corridor especially in an area where pedestrian traffic is very high; strongly encouraged having a second entry to the building (either entry for the store, small coffee shop, or even entry to the apartment lobby) to improve the sidewalk engagement and safer pedestrian environment; highlighted that the building abuts a very large residential neighborhood, where people walk to grocery stores (see access and people walking on a daily basis to Trader Joe and Publix); making the building more pedestrian friendly will increase the foot traffic.
- East / West facades: same activation comment for both facades on Penn and Argonne; requested clarification on the location of the entry for the apartment building on Penn Avenue
- Garage entry: highlighted that open garages on side streets can become dangerous especially after hours when the parking will be mostly empty; both garage entries should be redesigned to allow full garage entry closure after hours to protect not only the cars left overnight but also public parking patrons, tenants and eliminate the possibility of an area that can become a nuisance for the neighborhood
We believe as residents of Midtown, we have a right to engage and comment on the development that shapes and affects our community. Since this project is not currently slated to require NPU review, we appreciate the development team being willing to present to our Land Use Committee. We hope to have a collaborative working relationship to maximize this project for the greatest benefit to our community.
If you would like to make a comment or voice a concern, you have the following options:
PARTICIPATE IN MONTHLY MNA PROCESS
EMAIL OUR D2 COUNCILMAN
You are always able to reach out directly to our councilman that represents this area of Midtown:
District 2: Amir Farokhi (project resides in District 2)
WRITE AN IMPACT STATEMENT
An impact statement can be written to support a project or used to voice specific concerns. If you would like to submit an impact statement, we encourage you to share your statement with: