Manget housing development is approved
by Rachel Miller
August 05, 2013 12:00 AM | 339 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - Residents of the Manget neighborhood have waited eight years to see rows of blighted rental units - torn down by the city in 2005 - replaced with new single-family housing.

The project could finally be completed within three years now that the City Council approved the Manget development, which is a mix of detached single-family homes and townhomes.

Plans for the residential blocks in the southwest portion of Marietta, tucked between South Fairground Street and South Marietta Parkway, faced multiple rounds of requests and changes by the City Council.

One final contention by Councilman Philip Goldstein about marking public parking spaces on the official city record caused him to vote against the project, which passed in a 6-1 vote.

"Homebuyers that purchase in the development may assume that the parking spaces in the public right of way belong to them as opposed to the public," Goldstein said.

Adam Brock with the Marietta-based Brock Built Homes, who designed the plans, said the city staff has been very helpful and the majority of the council is great. But, he said, Goldstein is going to run other developers out of town.

"I find Philip Goldstein to be closed- minded, unreasonable to work with at times, and uncompromising," Brock said.

Goldstein said he worked with the developers on many concerns.

"I was both candid and upfront with the developer and met with them when requested," Goldstein said.

Goldstein said he does support the overall project and it will be "a positive addition in the City of Marietta."

Project numbers

In 2005, the city used $5 million raised from a tax allocation district to buy, and then demolish, duplex rental units on the 7.8 acres.

The city then sold the property for $1.5 million to Hedgewood Homes, which also purchased additional surrounding land and ended up owning 17.5 acres. The company built 12 single-family homes, 14 townhomes and an eight-unit condo building before the Great Recession hit in 2008 and BB&T foreclosed on the development.

Atlanta-based Pacific Group now owns the property and is using Brock Built Homes to build the Manget development, which will include 10 townhomes and 78 single-family detached homes.

Each lot is at least .03 acres for the detached homes with a maximum of .10 acres, according to Brock.

The density for the housing subdivision is 7.69 units per acre, which is less than the Hedgewood Homes plan that included condominiums and over 200 residences.

Brock said the size of the homes vary, with the cottage floor plans between 1,600 to 2,500 square feet and the traditional craftsman series between 1,800 to 2,800 square feet.

"We don't do anything less than a three bedroom," Brock said.

Brock said the townhomes are still in the design phase, but he envisions them having a walkout terrace.

Home prices will range from the mid $200,000s up to $400,000, including the townhomes.

Parking problems

Each home will have a two-car garage, and residents will be required to park in garages or driveways, not on the street. It will be enforced by the Manget Home Owners Association, which has yet to be formed.

The development plans provide 98 guest parking spaces, with half being on public roads along the perimeter of the subdivision or running through the neighborhood, like Frasier Street.

Although these spaces will be city property, Brock told the council on Wednesday that the HOA will be responsible for marking and maintaining those spots.

The subdivision is in a tight space that will require one-way alleys as the primary access to many of the homes.

For instance, the developers will construct an alley running parallel to Manget Street from Waterman Street to Frasier Street, which will have "No Parking" signs.

The city staff was concerned about the narrow alleys that are only 14 feet wide, and the variance to build the alleys required a separate approval by the council on Wednesday.

Goldstein did support this variance that unanimously passed.

New neighbors

Councilwoman Annette Lewis lives less than 10 houses away from the approved Manget housing development, and the future homeowners in the subdivision will be voters in her Ward 1 district.

Lewis said she doesn't think about the dividing lines between wards and views the people in the area as neighbors.

Parking problems have plagued the area full of homes that were built after World War II when families were lucky to have a car, let alone more than one, Lewis said.

She said residents play "musical chairs" to get vehicles into available spots.

Brock said he's had a lot of interest in the development by the surrounding neighborhood.

Phase 1 in the southeast quadrant, which was previously approved by the council, has 25 lots prepped for construction with two foundations ready to be poured as soon as the weather allows, Brock said.

Brock said development on phases 2, 3 and 4 could begin in the next 60 days, with the project finished within three years.

Moving in

Amy Linton, who owns a home at 160 South Ave. on the corner of Waterman and South, will have townhomes developed across her property buffered by one of the alleyways.

Linton said she bought the house in 1979, but has left it vacant in recent years waiting to see what will happen with the development.

Linton also owns the property at 195 Frasier St., across the 120 Loop from the Manget development, in which she lived after renovating the 100-plus year-old home.

Linton said she left the historic neighborhood in 2005 and moved to Buckhead after Marietta approved a plan for the Mill Lofts Condominiums at the corner of Atlanta Street and the South Marietta Loop.

"It was out of character with the area," Linton said.

Linton said she is much happier with the plans at the Manget development that fulfills a need in the city for smaller, affordable family homes.

"I think it is really going to be successful," Linton said.

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