Marketplace request requires state review in Locust Grove

A new rezoning request for mixed use development triggered a development of regional impact (DRI) review in Locust Grove. The project is located on Marketplace Blvd near the existing Walmart shopping center.

The applicant and property owner, AHAD Properties, LLC of California, is requesting a rezoning from C-2 (general commercial) to PD (planned development). The company is represented by Lang Commercial Real Estate of Springfield, GA. The property consists of 37.95 +/- acres.

Proposed uses include 540 residential units and up to 100,000 square feet of commercial space. In the applicant’s letter of intent, they state the proposed uses create a transition between light industrial uses to the north and the city center. Furthermore, the uses are consistent with the city’s LCI plan for a mixed use town center.

Because of the project’s number of units, it triggers a DRI review by the state and Atlanta Regional Commission. The DRI review makes recommendations on site design and transportation impacts. It does not decide if the project can build. Afterwards, the Locust Grove city council must make the final decision whether to rezone the property.

The DRI includes a 30-day review period after ARC receives all necessary documents. The last document is generally the traffic impact study (TIS). The applicant must complete a TIS at their expense and submit it. The council cannot take up action on the rezoning request until the DRI review is complete.

If the council approves the request, then the project could build the first market apartments in Locust Grove. The city presently has two senior living apartment buildings and the council denied another request in fall 2020.

The project’s build time, if approved, is estimated at 18–24 months.

Marketplace Blvd

Construction is underway on a new Moe’s Southwest Grill alongside Marketplace Blvd and plans approved for an Express Oil Change. On the opposite side of the Walmart shopping center, phase II of the Marketplace at Locust Grove Shops continues to pre-lease. Future tenants include Petsense and Planet Smoothie.

The city is concurrently acquiring easements before letting for construction a new traffic signal at state route 42 and Marketplace Blvd. Georgia DOT has already approved the signal’s installation. The city and state are also working together on an upcoming study. The study will recommend locations for future grade-separated railroad crossings and identify preferred improvements to the Georgia 42 corridor between Bethlehem Road and MLK Jr Blvd. Finally, minor improvements and modifications at I-75 and Bill Gardner Parkway, such as adding a turn lane, are under state review. The city can proceed forward with construction afterwards.

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