Garner Group apartments

The Garner Group and Greystar Properties have proposed putting more than 400 apartments and townhomes on a 60-acre site in Mableton. On Tuesday, the Cobb Board of Commissioners approved the development.

Area residents have high hopes for a mixed-use development that will bring hundreds of apartments to the heart of Mableton, according to south Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid.

The county’s governing board approved the development Tuesday in a 3-2 vote, with commissioners Bob Ott and Keli Gambrill opposed.

According to county documents, developer Garner Group would build 402 residential units — to include approximately 42 townhomes and 360 luxury apartments — on 60 acres at the intersection of Floyd Road and East-West Connector.

The site is already well developed and features a Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store, Food Depot supermarket, QuikTrip gas station, two shopping malls and more.

Altogether, the project would total some 720,000 square feet, with almost 280,000 of them devoted to commercial property. The remaining 445,000 would be set aside for residential use.

According to a statement of intent submitted by the developer’s attorney, Garvis Sams, the site plan includes fewer parking spaces than are typically required by the county “in order to include more open green space/parks ... and includes enhanced pedestrian connectivity to ensure meaningful ‘walkability.’”

Brad Garner, founder of the Garner Group, said his company specializes in the “speculative revitalization of older centers.”

{span style=”background-color: #ffffff;”}In that sense, the property in question was ideal — it was “clearly going downhill,” Garner said. Tenants from the 1990’s had long since left, with the remaining anchor tenants considering their own departures in the event the board rejected his rezoning request, he added.

“This application has received a lot of attention, and in a good way,” Cupid said after the developer’s presentation. “And if I’ve received any inquiry from residents, it was followed up with them being appreciative to see something like this be a catalyst for the area.”

Ott, the commissioner representing east Cobb, said he appreciated the developer’s attempt to revitalize the area but could not support the proposal given the impact it would have on traffic.

“It’s just too many apartments,” Ott said, noting that recent similar developments in his district had roughly 300 apartments along roads that were less congested.

Board Chairman Mike Boyce also expressed concern over the impact the development would have on traffic along Floyd Road. But he threw his full support behind the development after Garner committed to paying for the installation of a new traffic light on that road should it become necessary.

“I think the shopping center’s going to be a success,” Boyce said. “The homes are going to sell out and rent out right away.”

The county Planning Commission, an advisory body, voted earlier in the month to recommend the project’s approval.

At that meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Galt Porter said there was no better place in the district to put a mixed-use development, given the proposed location at the intersection of two main county arteries.

Porter also described the development as a necessary addition to the area.

“It’s probably been 15 to 20 years since there’s been a market rate development of apartments anywhere close to this,” he said. “You have to go to Smyrna to get something, or you have to go out all the way into Powder Springs to get something. There’s just nothing in this area.”

Recommended for you