Some Dunwoody residents have dubbed it the “PVC farm”: 16.18 acres in the heart of the Georgetown/North Shallowford area, dotted with PVC pipes where townhomes were to go.
After concluding negotiations with Wells Fargo Bank, Dunwoody officials announced on Feb. 24 that it will acquire the property located at 4000 Dunwoody Park for greenspace.
“This is a monumental purchase for us,” city manager Warren Hutmacher said.
The city is expected to close on the property in April at a cost of $5 million. Dunwoody is planning to use its reserves to purchase the park, leaving $3 million, which city manager Hutmacher said is an adequate amount for the two-year-old municipality.
In addition to adding critical greenspace to the city, acquiring the property has the added benefit of preventing the land from being developed into a high density residential area, Hutmacher said.
During its master planning effort and the previous comprehensive land use plan, Dunwoody officials received extensive feedback from residents indicating this area has an overabundance of apartments and the property could better serve the community as a park or civic or institutional use.
“The city council and I are thrilled to jump start the revitalization of the Georgetown/North Shallowford area of Dunwoody and are relieved that this purchase will head off the inevitable development of the land for more apartments as well as help us move forward in our effort to eliminate our monumental deficit of green space,” Mayor Ken Wright said in a statement.
The Dunwoody Park property is bounded on the west by Chamblee Dunwoody Road and on the east by North Shallowford Road, and is a few blocks south of the intersection of the two roads.
Currently, the property is vacant, except for a small network of roads and infrastructure that remains from failed development. The developers, who lost the property to foreclosure, had planned to build approximately 280 townhomes on the land.
Wright said he is thrilled by the prospect of adding greenspace in Dunwoody.
“The addition of 16 acres of park land is a watershed moment for Dunwoody and a generational game changer for the Georgetown/North Shallowford community,” Wright said.
The park will be added to the city’s inventory of approximately 160 acres of greenspace.
On Feb. 28 the city council voted to authorize the mayor to execute a sales contract with Wells Fargo for the purchase of the property. Dunwoody is planning to hold at least two public hearings and to finalize the purchase of the land in April.
Dunwoody’s city council is planning to approve in June a resolution calling for a bond referendum to be held in November, when voters will have the opportunity to authorize the city to issue $56 million in bonds to invest in the acquisition and development of open space and park properties.
These monies could be used to develop this raw piece of land into a signature park for Dunwoody.