Dunwoody’s years-long plan to build a park in Perimeter Center is finally moving forward thanks to funding from the city’s hotel-motel taxes.
The City Council at its Feb. 10 meeting approved spending $45,000 of its hotel-motel tax money for design services for the 5-acre Perimeter Center East Park. The property is currently filled with trees and a dilapidated building. It is adjacent to the Endeavor Montessori School at 48 Perimeter Center East and south of The Lofts Perimeter Center apartments at 100 Perimeter Center Lofts Circle. Nearby is the site where Grubb Properties plans to build a 20-acre mixed-use development at the former City Hall complex at 41, 47 and 53 Perimeter Center East.
“Let’s get it moving, please,” Mayor Lynn Deutsch said. “I’d like to see it … completed by 2021 and open and used by children as soon as possible.”
The city is still in talks about how to pay for construction, but one option being considered is issuing revenue bonds using hotel-motel taxes.
The $45,000 would pay for survey work, architectural services, engineering services and geotechnical services. The information would be used to create construction documents that would be put out to bid.
Approved as part of the city’s 2017 Park & Recreation Master Plan, the park would include a playground, a picnic shelter, a restroom, an exercise equipment area, a plaza with a water feature, trails and a parking lot with about 50 spaces. The park would have a future multiuse trail connection to the Georgetown-Perimeter Center pedestrian bridge as part of the Dunwoody Trailway.
Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said the park was identified as the number one project to be completed using hotel-motel tax funds.
The city successfully lobbied the General Assembly three years ago to raise its hotel-motel tax from 5% to 8% to fund parks and trails in Perimeter Center in response to requests from hotel operators.
The extra revenue from the hotel-motel tax increase brings in about $1.6 million a year. State law requires the city use half of the money for parks and trails and the other half of the money for the city’s tourism agency, Discover Dunwoody, to promote and brand the new facilities.