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UPDATE: Avondale Estates City Commission faces big vote about mixed-use Alexan Gateway project

Avondale Estates Business

UPDATE: Avondale Estates City Commission faces big vote about mixed-use Alexan Gateway project

Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.
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Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

By Miranda Hawkins, contributor 

The fate of a controversial mixed-use project in Avondale Estates hinges on five votes on Thursday.

The meeting was rescheduled from Monday, Aug. 27 and will now be held on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Trammell Crow Residential proposed plans earlier this year to build Alexan Gateway along North Avondale Road. The almost 300-unit apartment complex would include a coffee shop and restaurant.

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The Board of Mayor and Commissioners will vote on a developer’s agreement – which was rejected by the city Planning Commission earlier this month – a rezoning request, and an appeal for a certificate of appropriateness, which is needed to get a certificate of occupancy.

The Architectural Review Board denied Trammell Crow’s initial request earlier this month pointing to concerns about the “excessive mass and scale of the building,” it’s design, and the landscape plan.

If the City Commission approves the agreement and zoning request and overturns the appeal, it will green light the development.

The Architectural Review Board’s reasons of denial echo many community members concerns.

Second Century Avondale, a local civic group that is focused on designing the city in a way that reflects its long-range planning, says the development doesn’t fit with the city’s Downtown Master Plan. The group compiled a chart comparing Trammell Crow’s site plan with the Downtown Master Plan and scored what aspects do and don’t match.

According to Second Century Avondale, if the development breaks ground, it wouldn’t bolster local businesses, it would inflate local prices, and it would set a precedent for future developments to build outside of current zoning regulations.

There are some in the business community who do favor it, most notably Wild Heaven owner Nick Purdy who has published two letters to the editor on the topic in Decaturish.

Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore declined to comment.

The City Commission meeting starts at 6:30 Thursday night, Aug. 30, at City Hall, located at 21 North Avondale Plaza. All meetings are open to the public.

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