Braves zoning attorney James Balli filed a stipulation letter Wednesday with examples of the kind of architecture the franchise intends to use in its development, which comes before the Cobb Planning Commission on Tuesday.
Among the photographs included in the document is one of a shopping and entertainment district in Los Angeles called The Grove.
“Those are existing buildings in which we’re utilizing that to say the material that you see, the high quality design and other features that you see, are the type of quality that you can expect from the first class development that is going to occur there,” Balli said.
The privately-owned development calls for:
• 630,000 square feet of Class A office space;
• 500,000 square feet of “upscale” retail space;
• 450 hotel rooms;
• 600 “luxury” multi-family residential units; and
• 100,000 square feet for a multi-use entertainment facility.
Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the Cumberland area, said he reviewed the submitted photos of various developments the Braves intend to emulate.
“I think that it’s definitely high caliber and definitely the style and streetscape that I think people have been looking forward to seeing,” Ott said.
The Braves have not asked for any special treatment in the zoning process, Ott said.
“They’re meeting all of the filing deadlines that the county has for anyone else for a zoning, and I think that’s important to point out,” he said. “I have asked and they appear to be following my direction that they meet all the filing deadlines and not try to do something differently.”
Last week, Rob Hosack, the county’s community development director, recommended the Cobb Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners vote in favor of the rezoning request. After the Planning Commission votes on the development, it heads for a final vote before county commissioners on July 15.
Hosack said his staff was confident to recommend approval of the rezoning request because the intended use of the site is appropriate for the area.
“Additionally, I think it’s consistent with the Cobb County Comprehensive Plan and kind of what we have envisioned to happen in that area, and actually it’s not very often that we get a chance to be able to work with somebody that has control of 70-plus acres, so that’s pretty cool, too,” Hosack said.
One of the stipulations Balli includes is a master property owners association controlled by the Braves.
“That’s fantastic, only because it will provide for a comprehensive and coordinated development approach, which is really neat too,” Hosack said.
ARC, GRTA give project green light
Also on Wednesday, the Braves received good news from the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. When a development of this size is proposed, it must undergo an engineering and design review by the ARC and GRTA called a “development of regional impact” study, Balli said.
“They were required to study over 50 intersections all over the region, how it would affect the region and the traffic plans to address it,” Balli said.
Last week, the ARC and GRTA approved the project based on certain improvements to the area the Braves and county agreed to make.
“They requested pedestrian access and traffic management plans, which will be complied with by the county and the Braves,” Balli said.
The recommended approval doesn’t become final until after five business days to give local governments a chance to object.
“That period expired at 5 o’clock (Wednesday) and there’s been no appeal,” Balli said. “So the approval by GRTA and ARC is final and that process is now complete. It is important to note that every local government that could possibly be affected from Sandy Springs to Smyrna was comfortable enough and supported the project enough to where they did not appeal the approval and are in agreement that the project is going to be beneficial to the region.”