What's Happening with the Former InTown Suites Property?

22 Apr 2021 7:00 PM | Anonymous

Update after the April 22 City of Atlanta In Rem Hearing with APD's Code Enforcement Division:

PHCA President Jim Hardy had the opportunity to speak briefly at the In Rem Hearing this morning and voiced our neighborhood concerns. He recommended the In Rem Board accept the staff recommendation to demolish the property and to charge Paces Properties the cost of that demolition. The attorney for Paces Properties argued against their paying for the demolition, claiming that would delay the sale to Fairfield Properties. Fairfield's attorney was not supportive of our position, either. The In Rem Board Chair advised they did not have the power to recommend who paid for the demolition—unfortunately.

He then requested that Paces Properties pay for 24/7 security on the site. Based on Jim's experience as a security consultant, the new fencing they put in yesterday would not keep the place secure. Paces' attorney argued they had spent so much on this week's fencing and clean-up, they couldn't afford 24/7 security. The In Rem Board advised they did not have the power to make that recommendation, either.

Bottom Line: The In Rem Board voted to agree with the demolition recommendation and give them 120 days to comply. While it's not a perfect outcome, it may be better than nothing. Fairfield Residential plans to demolish the property after the sale is completed.

On behalf of the PHCA Board, we appreciate the large number of people who signed up for the hearing. We saw many supportive comments in the Zoom chat. Thanks particularly to Ben Nemo, president of the Morningside/Lenox Park Neighborhood Association for his comments to the In Rem Board.

We will be talking more with Richard Munger from Fairfield Residential (the new buyer of this property) and will continue to raise our concerns with him, particularly having security on the site 24/7.

Jim will be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau concerning Paces Properties' abandonment of the site and their lack of corporate responsibility. We encourage our community partners who are frustrated by this blight on our community to consider taking the same measure. You can also write to the mayor and other community officials. 

We urge our neighbors and other interested citizens to register for the InRem Hearing, scheduled for Thursday, April 22. LEARN MORE HERE about how to register.

WhatNowAtlanta – Fairfield Residential Plans Luxury Project At Former InTown Suites Site 

Updates from the 4/19/21 NPU-F Meeting. THANK YOU to everyone who was able to attend this meeting. On April 19, an attorney for Paces Properties advised they have reached an agreement with the City to start clean-up on the property on Tuesday, April 20. Paces also agreed to put new fencing up. The company who has a contract to purchase the property from Paces Properties ((Fairfield Residential) will hire security for the site. The attorney also advised he believes the InRem hearing will be postponed to a later date to allow the clean-up and sale to be completed.

From the view of the Piedmont Heights Civic Association, Paces Properties blatantly abandoned the property more than two years ago and allowed it to become a blight on our community. The City of Atlanta showed a total lack of corporate or citizen responsibility by their lack of any discernible action. Paces Properties also failed to acknowledge numerous citations issued on the property. The City staff recommendations for the property were to demolish it. We believe that demolishing the existing structure to be an appropriate action, one that Paces Properties should have to pay. Punitive action is entirely appropriate, and let it serve as a message to other property owners of the importance of living up to their responsibilities as good stewards and citizens of Piedmont Heights.

We urge our neighbors and other interested citizens to register for the InRem Hearing, scheduled for Thursday, April 22. LEARN MORE HERE about how to register.

Updates from the 4/6/21 PHCA Meeting. THANK YOU to everyone who could join us. You asked fantastic questions! A few highlights from the presentation by Mr. Richard Munger, Vice President – Development, Fairfield Residential, the company that has a contract with the current owner (Paces Properties) to purchase this property and create luxury apartment units.

Feel free to contact Mr. Munger with any questions or to the PHCA Board with your thoughts, but here are a few highlights:

  • Fairfield has been around for more than 35 years and is a vertically integrated company, meaning they do a lot of things under one roof instead of contracting everything out. For multifamily living, they specialize in providing development, construction, renovation, asset management, property management, etc.
  • They're headquartered on the West coast and have regional offices across the country. Atlanta is their southeast regional HQ, and they have multiple multifamily properties here already. 
  • The property is currently zoned MRC-2, and they plan to keep that zoning. This property is also in the Beltline Overlay District (all of Piedmont Heights is...)
  • Plans to DEMOLISH the existing structure versus RENOVATE. There will be asbestos cleanup involved as well as soil remediation work related to a previous leak from the nearby gas station onto this property. 
  • They plan to build luxury apartments on this site. Because of significant topography changes on this site, the levels would vary from 4 stories to 6 stories. 
    • Approximately 375-386 units, split between studios/1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units. Units rented at market rate would likely range between $1,400-$1,700 for studios/1 bedroom and $1,900-$2,500 for 2 bedroom.
    • 15% set aside for inclusive/affordable housing units. 
    • No retail incorporated into the plan for a variety of reasons, including parking restrictions within Beltline Overlay District.
  • They hope to close on their purchase contract in late summer. Expect a 2-year construction period. Security will be on-site during all off-hours, including nights and weekends, during construction.
  • Entrance/exits would be on Piedmont Circle and Piedmont Road. Keep in mind that GDOT has plans for a roundabout nearby across from Fire Station 29. There's another discussion for changes further down the road at the Monroe/Armour intersection.
  • Parking garage would be gated for residents and their visitors. Some visitor parking in front of the leasing office outside the gate. Keyfobs would be required for residents to enter the interior building structures. A courtesy officer will be available, and they are prepared to hire security patrol for the site as well. Perimeter fencing will also be in place. 
  • They will apply for the same tax abatement that Paces Properties secured (although they could not take advantage of it because they did not do anything with the property to meet the requirements).  
  • Overall, a $90 million investment in this property - the largest they've ever done in Atlanta. 
  • The name of the complex is yet to be determined. We hope it will not be named after another neighborhood like most of the other complexes are (Ansley Forest, Gables Midtown, etc.) Feel free to weigh in!

A few photos shared during the presentation:

Original info: Learn more at our next virtual PHCA Monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 6, at 7pm.

Several things are in the works:

  • APD's Code Enforcement has cited the property owner for failing to adequately maintain the property. The City of Atlanta has scheduled an InRem hearing in late April. We hope to provide you with a way to join this hearing online once they announce those details. 
  • Another developer is interested in purchasing the property and creating apartments. A representative from this company will be joining our meeting on April 6. 
  • Meanwhile, this area is near a major proposed traffic redo being proposed by GDOT.
  • And, APD just helped remove multiple homeless from the property and has attempted to secure the fencing barrier to prevent further entry. Thank you to our officers!

Never a dull moment in Piedmont Heights!

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Piedmont Heights Civic Association
1579 Monroe Dr. NE, Ste. F307
Atlanta, GA 30324