Dunwoody officials soon will make big decisions about the city’s Georgetown redevelopment plan, known as Project Renaissance.
Based on an early review of proposals from private developers, Dunwoody City Council on April 23 chose to move ahead with the purchase of 19 acres that will be a major component of the redevelopment project.
The city’s contract to buy the 19-acre former Emory Dunwoody hospital site gave the city until April 23 back out of the purchase. By taking no action at its meeting, the council chose to put the $100,000 in earnest money the city has already deposited toward the purchase of the land.
“The city has two proposals from the private sector,” City Manager Warren Hutmacher told the council. “I believe we do have a viable proposal that would be worth putting the earnest money at risk.”
In March, Dunwoody issued an invitation for proposals from developers for the public-private development planned on 35 acres on North Shallowford Road. Bids were due April 20, and a selection committee is expected to announce the winning bid in early May, said Dunwoody spokesman Bob Mullen.
Titled “Project Renaissance,” the city’s public-private development plan aims to mix green space, homes, shops and possibly a municipal complex on North Shallowford Road to revamp the city’s Georgetown area.
City Council members pointed out that while they do have hesitations about moving ahead with the project, they are confident about the possibilities it could bring for the Georgetown area, which has struggled to develop commercially.
“I remain concerned that in a perfect economy and a perfect world this would not be the way to transform Georgetown,” Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch said.
Councilman Denis Shortal said he thinks one of the biggest advantages is working with a private developer to make the project very low cost for taxpayers.
“There’s a lot of positive here and I think the positive outweighs the risk factor,” Shortal said. “There are very exciting possibilities without putting the citizens into major debt.”