Greenstone Takes Sandy Springs To Court Over Lakeside Project
Atlanta Business Chronicle
July 16, 2008
Developer Greenstone Properties has sued Sandy Springs over its city council’s denial of rezoning for its 26-acre Lakeside office complex redevelopment.
The developer, which paid $62 million for the 1960s-era property, said it wants “substantial damages” from the city. The redevelopment project would bring a mix of office, retail, multi-family residential and hotel space and would generate some $3 million in tax revenue for the city, Greenstone said.
The suit claims Greenstone bought the property only after receiving assurances and positive feedback from city officials about its plans. Greenstone then got approvals at all levels of the city, as well as from various regional authorities, before the city council denied rezoning despite positive staff recommendations.
The proposal was rejected by vote of three council members, with two abstaining, one not present and the mayor not voting at all. The sole beef was traffic concerns that disregarded the opinions of the traffic engineers, the city staff and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Greenstone claims.
“We worked hard to come up with a traffic plan that would accommodate the impact of our development and leave things better than we found it — in other words the proverbial ‘win/win,'” said De Little, president of Greenstone Properties. “Every professional traffic engineer who reviewed our plans supported them. A lawsuit was certainly not our preferred course of action.”
The traffic aspects of the redevelopment had previously received support from the city’s traffic engineers and also received approval from GRTA, which reviews regional traffic issues, Greenstone said. Greenstone proposed making multimillion dollar improvements to nearby intersections, as recommended by its traffic consultant and as supported by the city and GRTA. The traffic analysis showed that the traffic situation along Glenridge Drive would be improved by the Greenstone improvements after accommodating the impact of the full build-out of the Lakeside project, the developer said.
Greenstone is represented by RobbinsLaw, LLC CEO and Managing Member Richard L. Robbins.