By Rebecca Gaunt
With some wrangling of the details, Kennesaw City Council approved a 19-acre mixed use development at 2652 South Main St.
Council approved the property for rezoning Monday, from light industrial (LI) to central business district (CBD), 3-1 with Nimesh Patel absent and Pat Ferris in opposition. Ferris was also the sole vote against the project application from Bulldog Acquisitions, LLC, citing concerns about traffic and the commercial component.
The project includes 318 multi-family apartments, a minimum of 44 for-sale townhomes, 5,000 – 10,000 square feet of commercial space wrapped around a parking deck, a detached retail building with 10,000 – 25,000 square feet of commercial space, and a southern extension of the existing Gateway Park along Main Street with interconnected pedestrian trails.
Ferris said he was concerned about the lack of specificity in commercial square footage.
“I would like to have seen the commercial be better defined…I think somewhere in one of the hearings they admitted they didn’t have any current people lined up to lease any of the commercial,” he said.
The Kennesaw Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions to limit the number of townhomes to 65 and to prohibit the businesses with fryers and grills in the vertical shared commercial/residential building. Zoning administrator Darryl Simmons recommended approval with the stipulations attached but Council voted to remove both.
Council member Tracey Viars suggested removing the restaurant exclusion at last week’s work session.
“It works in Revival and Revival wasn’t really set up for that. I talked to the leasing agents and they don’t have any problems with leasing those spaces above it. They don’t have any problems with extra complaints from those residents,” Viars said.
Simmons also recommended denial of the developer’s variance requests to reduce the average residential floor area from 1,000 square feet to 935 square feet, and to reduce one-bedroom apartment minimum square footage from 850 square feet to 705 square feet. Council approved both variance requests, with opposition from Ferris.
Viars also spoke in support of allowing the developer to reduce apartment size at the work session.
“I don’t know how many people realize that a 638-square-foot apartment at Revival right now starts at $1,900 a month. When they go to the 850, I’m not sure those rents are going to be available to some of the people we’d like to be able to live there,” Viars said.
When the development reaches 80% occupancy, a traffic signal warrant study is required. If the study indicates a signal is needed, the developer must pay for installation.
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.