The developer with plans to redevelop a portion of Peachtree Road — including demolishing Brookhaven City Hall — got the go-ahead from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Mike Irby with Taylor & Mathis, a commercial real estate company hired by Delta Life Insurance to come up with design plans for several parcels totaling just over 6 acres at 4362-4400 Peachtree Road, attended the ZBA’s May 16 hearing. He explained the variances requested, including adding and extending curb cuts on Peachtree Road and one on Hermance Drive, are necessary as part of the proposed redevelopment.
An existing 5-story building next to City Hall would remain and a new four-story office/retail or hotel building would be constructed at the corner of Hermance Drive and Peachtree Road, where an urgent care office is now located.
The property currently has five office buildings with 200,000 square feet, ranging in height from one to five stories as well as a parking garage and surface parking lots. Those existing buildings were built in the 1970s and are occupied by a variety of office tenants, including the city of Brookhaven and Delta Life.
Irby said preliminary plans for the property include a new office and retail building where City Hall is now located. An office building or boutique hotel could go in at the corner of Hermance Drive and Peachtree Road, he said.
“We are wanting to create a unique, iconic development on this corner,” Irby told ZBA members.
Plans include adding two new parking decks and refurbishing the outside of the existing 5-story building to create a more contemporary look and to create a continuous aesthetic at the corner, he said.
The project would replace the current City Hall building with a new 6-story office and retail building.
Preliminary plans for the project could encompass mid-rise office and hotel uses, street-level retail and restaurant space, and a small open plaza space along Peachtree Road with landscaping, sidewalks and outdoor dining areas.
Irby said after the meeting no timeline has been established to begin the project.
Last year, the city renewed its lease with Delta Life Insurance for five years. The lease agreement includes a provision that either party can get out of the lease with a nine-month notice.
City spokesperson Burke Brennan said the city is always on the lookout for a new City Hall space. An issue facing the city is that it currently has no funding source to build or buy a new location.
The city moved into its current City Hall, a former Georgia State University building, in 2014. After the city was incorporated in December 2012, the city used an office building in Dunwoody for its very first City Hall.
Talk of where to find a permanent location for City Hall has been tossed about since the city was founded. In recent years, MARTA made a new City Hall part of a plan for a massive transit-oriented development at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station to include retail, office and multi-family residential buildings. But that project was ultimately dropped by MARTA after considerable blowback from residents concerned about about, among other issues, traffic and MARTA’s request for significant tax abatements from the city.