New retail proposed for Tucker’s industrial center
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By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
The former Sears distribution center in Tucker may soon be a new retail hub.
Tucker’s Planning Commission on Jan. 23 unanimously approved a recommendation for rezoning 4650 Hugh Howell, near Mountain Industrial Boulevard, from light industrial (M) to general commercial (C-2) with suggested changes from planning and development staff.
The Planning Commission makes recommendations to the mayor and City Council on proposed amendments to matters of zoning, special land use permits (SLUPs), and the city’s comprehensive plan.
Planning Commission Chair Katherine Atteberry said, “I specifically said [to approve] ‘with staff conditions’ because I feel like this is still a proposal that’s in flux, and that the conditions are reasonable enough at this time.”
Planning Commission members previously voted unanimously to deny the application at the November meeting. Applicant Branch Properties, represented by attorney Laurel David, made changes to the plan to reduce acreage, protect trees, and reduce setbacks.
On Jan. 27, City Council will hear a first read of the application.
Courtney Smith, Tucker’s Director of Planning and Zoning, said, “It’s common that the applicant will work with staff while the council reads … to refine and tweak. It can change significantly.”
Branch Properties proposes to build out a trail system, a bank with a teller and ATM, and other retail space flanked by a grocery store.
In 2017, developer Macauley Investments attempted to get approval for a huge mixed-use development called The Rise on the 88-acre site in the same vein as Atlanta’s Ponce City Market. Branch Properties’ plan is significantly smaller.
In attendance at the meeting were Atteberry, Jessica Vargas, Michael Thomas, and Steve Smith. The next Planning Commission meeting is Feb. 27.
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Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Mountain Industrial Boulevard as Mountain Industrial Road. This story has been updated with the correct information.
Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that the site in question is the former Sears distribution center.
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