Potential site plans for blighted Sprayberry Crossing unveiled

dilapidated bowling alley storefront at Sprayberry CrosssingBowling alley storefront at Sprayberry Crossing with inexplicable packaged muffins in front (photo by Rebecca Gaunt)

The Sprayberry Crossing shopping center, which has been drawing complaints from neighbors for years for its decaying appearance and blighted, abandoned buildings, may finally have a chance at a new life.

According to the SprayberryCrossing.com website, an affiliate of Atlantic Crossing is under agreement to acquire the 15-acre property at 2692 Sandy Plains Rd. for mixed-use with the “quality and sustainability of other much larger well known mixed-use developments like Avalon and Ponce City Market, albeit on a much smaller scale.”

The proposed redevelopment centers on a town green and secondary courtyard. There will be 8,200 square feet of retail space, 12,000 square feet of office space, 120 senior living residential flats, 56 for-sale townhomes, and 172 rental units. One-bedrooms will be 75 percent of the rentals with two-bedrooms making up the rest. In the center of it all, a 30,000 square foot national grocery chain will reside.

There will be two four-story mixed-use buildings to house the combination residential and commercial uses, as well as a walking and biking trail linking Piedmont Road to Post Oak Tritt Road. According to the developers, there will also be a mandatory owners association in order to enforce “first-class operation and maintenance.”

The plan also incorporates keeping a small family cemetery, the possible moving of which has sparked controversy in the past.

Developers are currently taking feedback via the website and plan for a future community presentation, which may be virtual due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The goal is to start demolition and site work in early 2021.

The Sprayberry Crossing Action Facebook group is now up to almost 5,500 members wanting to see improvements to the property. Group founder Joe Glancy posted the plans in the group Monday, saying that he and fellow admin Shane Spink “advocate for removing the blighted conditions that have plagued this property and haunted our surrounding community for the past two decades. We will continue to do so, regardless of what happens with this potential redevelopment.”

Many of the comments were from neighbors excited about the plans, though others did express concerns about the inclusion of apartments, the four-story buildings, or wanting a larger retail component. Several expressed hope for which grocery chain might be coming, some with hopes for Lidl, Sprouts or a Trader Joe’s.

County Commissioner JoAnn Birrell, whose district includes the property, posted in the group, “I will not be commenting on these plans until an application and site plan is filed through the zoning office. Once that is complete and we have dates for Planning Commission and BOC Zoning Hearings, I will host a community meeting to discuss with District 3 Planning Commission Judy Williams and staff.”

According to Birrell, due to the outbreak, the Cobb Board of Commissioners has cancelled April’s zoning hearings, but May 19 is on the schedule to resume, pending what is going on with the current pandemic.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.