Nov 8, 2023 - Development

Marietta to vote on a proposed apartment complex near downtown

proposed apartments off marietta square

Photo: Bridger Properties

Marietta leaders could decide on Wednesday if they want to approve an apartment development that some say is too big for the downtown area.

Why it matters: While multi-family construction has boomed in Atlanta over the last several years, many of its suburban counterparts remain resistant to higher-density projects.

The latest: Bridger Properties' plan to build 122 units and 6,000 square feet of commercial space was rejected the second time last week by the Marietta Historic Board of Review.

  • The board recommends to the City Council approval or denial of new construction or changes to the building design of properties within the historic district boundaries.

Catch up quick: The developer in March initially submitted a request to build 135 units in an 84-foot tall building on an existing parking lot at Polk Street and North Marietta Parkway.

  • The original plan included a "fairly generic building that didn't really fit in the historic ordinance," Trevor Beemon, executive director of Cobb Landmarks, told Axios last week. The organization expressed concerns to the developer about the initial project.
  • City Council, at the recommendation of the Marietta Historic Board of Review, rejected the request.

What they're saying: Beemon told Axios that after that rejection, Bridger worked with Cobb Landmarks to come up with a project that met the design and height requirements.

  • He also said the company was sensitive to its needs, such as having direct access to Polk Street and reducing the height of the building so the gardens at the museum can receive adequate sunlight.
  • "We were unclear why the historic board denied this new plan," he said. "We thought it was a good design. It certainly made us happy."
  • The developer declined to talk to Axios about its project.

The other side: According to the Marietta Daily Journal, Historic Board of Review members still say the current proposal includes too large a building for the area.

  • Council member Johnny Walker, who is also a member of the review board, said he didn't think the building is suited for the historic district.
  • "I think it's just blatantly too high, it's too big for this area," he said, according to the MDJ.
  • Board member Jim Trimble, who also opposed the project, said the project "looks like a prison."

What we're watching: The Council meeting starts at 7pm at City Hall.

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