By John Schaffner

Atlanta-based Barry Real Estate Cos., which last year dropped plans to build a luxury hotel at The Streets of Buckhead, is seeking a zoning change for property around the corner at 79 W. Paces Ferry Road to build a hotel/condominium project that essentially will mirror the new St. Regis across West Paces Ferry.

The development would feature 250 hotel rooms and 50 condominiums, and the ground floor would include retail space.

Since the 1980s, a German trust company has owned the property, which stretches from West Paces Ferry Place to the driveway for 103 West. There is no immediate timetable for construction.

The project would replace several retail buildings along West Paces Ferry Road, as well as upscale town homes behind the shops that are accessed from West Paces Ferry Way.

The new development would not exceed a height of 325 feet, about the same as the St. Regis, but would appear shorter than the St. Regis, which sits on higher land.

Barry’s attorneys appeared before the Transportation & Development Committee of Neighborhood Planning Unit B (NPU-B) on May 19 and before the NPU-B Zoning Committee May 26, seeking a change in zoning on the property to planned development mixed use (PDMU), which conforms with the new SPI-9 overlay standards for that area of Buckhead. Both NPU-B committees gave conditional approval to the zoning change and development plan. But the Zoning Committee also conditioned its approval on a letter from the adjacent neighborhood stating it does not object, to be presented to the NPU-B full board at its meeting June 2.

Barry’s attorneys said the Tuxedo Park neighborhood has voted in favor of the development, but a member of the Zoning Committee said there was no neighborhood vote.

Committee members also questioned the rush to approval for a project that likely will not be built for four to five years.

The retail, hotel and residential elements would share a parking deck, part of which would be underground. The above-ground parking would be screened according to recent changes in city ordinances. At least one level of the parking deck must be vanpool accessible, and the developer must provide at least 25 bicycle parking spaces.

Lord Aeck Sargent Architecture developed the site plan.

The two major concerns voiced were the height of the building, which is less than the zoning allows for properties between the planned development and the neighborhood, and the potential stormwater runoff rate.

Before taking down the existing structures, Barry must create demolition management plans for traffic and submit them to NPU-B and the city’s planning director.

Barry has not disclosed the name of the hotel, but in August 2007 the company announced its intention to build its first luxury 1 Hotel & Residences at Peachtree and Pharr roads.

Barry withdrew the hotel plans from The Streets of Buckhead early in 2008.