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Developer files
application for
Mill Street complex
Developer Peter Bright filed an application Thursday with the city's Historic Board of Review, seeking a certificate of approval on the Mill Street complex (shown below) that will eventually stand as a compromise between supporters and opponents of a structure that was to be 12-stories. This application calls for a 10-story tower near the North Loop with a six-story building near the train tracks. A dramatic archway will bridge the two buildings. 8/10/00

Click here for enlargement

Yet another highrise filed;
Council sets height limits
Just before the Marietta City Council set height restrictions on new buildings around Marietta Square, another application was filed on Wednesday asking for approval of a 12-story highrise on Mill Street. The application was made by Herbert Goldstein, and will not be affected by the restrictions because it was made before council's actions.

The city council now forbids any building to go higher than 85 feet. In addition, council also changed some of the procedures of the Historic Board of Review, which oversees construction on the square. The Board now can take 60 days to make a decision from the date an application is filed, rather than 30 days.

Also new is a clarification of the approval rules. Applications must be approved with a majority vote. A couple of previous applications for construction on Mill Street received certificates of approval because the Board was perceived as taking "no action" because of tied votes. 8/10/00

Attorney files suit
to overturn highrise OK
Attorney Ben Mathis made good on a promise and filed suit today, asking Cobb Superior Court to overturn a certificate of approval that was granted by the Historic Board of Review to developer Capital Cities Properties to build a 12-story highrise on Marietta Square. Mathis spoke during a hearing earlier in the summer and said he would file suit if a certificate was issued. 8/4/00

Gay rights leader
switches to fighting
highrise on square
Cherry Spencer-Stark, who founded a gay-rights group called the Georgia Equality Project, has changed her focus to a local issue. Ms. Spencer-Stark and thirteen others don't like the proposed ten-story highrise for Marietta Square and have filed suit to stop it.
Background story at AJC

Agreement reached:
Highrise on square
will be ten stories
[ July 7 ] All sides in the debate on whether to build a highrise on Marietta Square have reached an agreement on its future. The building at its highest point will be ten stories.

A press conference held late this afternoon in the Mayor's office announced the compromise, which essentially was agreed to Thursday night. Councilmember Philip Goldstein had called Patti and Van Pearlberg, asking for a meeting. The Pearlbergs had lead the opposition to a 12-story highrise, preferring a 6-8 floor building instead.

Mayor Ansley Meaders, developer Peter Bright and architects were soon included in the discussions, resulting in today's announcement.

The ten story portion of the building will set-back from Mill Street. The section closest to the street will be three stories, followed by a level of six stories, with the ten stories being on its western side. Denmead Street will be closed with the structure extending all the way to The Loop. The parking garage will be built on the northeast side of the site, behind the highrise.

Developer Peter Bright's company, Capital City Properties, Inc., will buy the property from Mary and Philip Goldstein for an undisclosed price.


Board gives developer Bright
go-ahead to build highrise
The chairman of the Historic Board of the Review has issued a certificate of approval to developer Peter Bright that gives his company, Capital City Properties, Inc., the go-ahead to build a 12-story highrise on Marietta Square. Bright's application was filed on April 7th and was heard by the Board on May 3rd. The vote at the meeting was 5-4 against the building, but because one member's term had expired, the board actually deadlocked 4-4, meaning 'no action' was taken.

Chairman Tom Browning was obliged to issue the certificate today because 'no action' was taken on the application within a 30-day period. According to Browning, the Board's bylaws call for a yes or no vote on applications and they have to be decided upon within 30 days of the filing date.

After the May 3rd meeting, Dempsey Kirk's vote was declared invalid because he had been sitting on the Board illegally for nearly two years. Mayor Ansley Meaders, as secretary, had failed to inform the Board that his seat had expired in 1998. The certificate of approval now allows Bright's company to get a permit from the city of Marietta to build the highrise.

Square on US41 has traditional
buildings -- and a 10-story
highrise that fits well

Those who wonder if an 8-12 story building in downtown Marietta would fit right need to travel just a few miles down US41 to see another square that has one. This nationally-acclaimed community was designed by the creator of the equally-honored Seaside, Florida, who apparently saw nothing wrong with including a highrise.
Link to the story 6/29/00

Chairman says tied vote
gives highrise the
go-ahead to build
The highrise on Marietta Square will apparently get an automatic authorization to build because of what happened last night at the Historic Board of Review meeting. The board split on certifying the building for construction. Chairman Tom Browning told Cobb Online the 4-4 deadlock meant no action was taken, and that the Goldstein family now has the right to be issued a permit. Browning said it was his interpretation that the law allows any applicant to receive automatic approval if the Board does not act on a yes or no vote within thirty days of when the application was filed with the city. In this case, the Goldsteins should be allowed to get a permit to build after July 23, barring any complications.

Following the vote, Cobb Chairman Bill Byrne had argued the split decision meant a denial of certification to build, as did Mayor Ansley Meaders. Browning refused to debate with the two, saying "as far as I'm concerned, no action was taken. Whatever happens after this is of no concern to this board."
AT 8:01pm, 6-29

Clay's comments backfire
when it comes to
locals on the square
One of the speakers at last night's Board of Review meeting, Chuck Clay, hightlighted exactly what merchants on the square have been complaining about, that the locals don't shop on the square.

"It used to be that people could go to Murray Sussman's (a former jeweler) or buy clothes at the JoAnn Shop (now closed), but you can't do that anymore," Clay said, apparently pushing for more traditional businesses on the square.

Mr. Clay needs to visit the square soon, said some of the merchants after the meeting. There are at least two jewelry shops, Wilson Bros. and Jeweler On The Square, and two clothing stores, Aimee's and Shop To You Drop. 6/29/00

Preservationists had part
of Denmead Street closed
for Root House

While some local preservationists lament the closing of Denmead Street to make way for the new highrise, there may be some hypocrisy on their part. Years ago, they had the street permanently closed on its northern end to make room for the historic Root House. Denmead once ran from Whitlock Avenue to Lemon Street. Part of it is now a surface parking lot in front of the Welcome Center. Another section was closed over 20 years ago for Krystal's to use the land as a parking lot. 6/28/00

Goldsteins place 3-month
deadline on 'lesser floors'

If the Goldstein family gets its latest highrise application approved, all three height proposals will be included, with the final height being decided within 90 days. Here's how it will work: Plan A calls for an 8-9 story building with a garage being built at the present parking lot in front of the Welcome Center. If government entities cannot deed the land and/or give tax increments, the proposal jumps to Plan B which is a ten-story building with Denmead Street being closed and deeded to the development. If conditions placed on Plans A&B cannot be met within that 90 day time frame, the developer gets the go-ahead to build the 12-story highrise. 6/27/00

Highrise vote will
be taken Thursday

The Historic Board of Review yesterday scheduled a meeting for this Thursday, at 5 p.m., to elect a new member -- and probably vote on the highrise proposal. Cobb Online said last week that no date was scheduled, while the print media was reporting the meeting would be on July 13. The newest application from the Goldstein family has three different proposals, all dealing with the height of the building.
Highrise file 6/27/00


New highrise application
offers three proposals
Mary Goldstein filed a revised application for the proposed highrise on Marietta Square today. This time, three proposals were submitted with two of them lowering the height of the building. One plan calls for an eight-story section on the eastern side of the project, and nine-stories on the western side -- the section closest to the loop. The plan closes Denmead Street and widens the building northward with no room to build a parking garage. Instead, a garage would be built in the parking lot directly west of the Welcome Center and the train tracks.
Link to the story


Goldstein-Shea resigns
from 'highrise board'
Paula Goldstein-Shea resigned her seat on the Downtown Marietta Development Authority (DMDA) today without comment. Her departure leaves an empty seat on the Historic Board of Review, the committee in charge of determining the future of the proposed highrise on Marietta Square. DMDA members have a vote on that board.
Link to the story


Goldstein: I am
not a seat warmer,
I am a doer
Philip Goldstein in a letter to the media says he is committed to quality growth downtown and around the city, controversy or not. "I do not care to see the square lifeless. It appears some people's view of the square is that it should be dead, only to be shown off in a glass enclosed coffin." Link to the letter 6/21/00

Some links may no longer be available

Highrise application
resubmitted, council talks
about height restrictions
The Marietta City Council on Monday discussed putting height restrictions on buildings in its historic business district just hours after a third application was filed for a 12-story high-rise near the Marietta Square. The Goldstein family applied for the building days after the same plan was turned down for a second time by the Marietta Historic Board of Review. City Council member Philip Goldstein owns the 1.3-acre property on Mill Street, a block off the Marietta Square.
Link to the story

Supporter's Surprise Vote
Dooms Highrise On Square
Just when it looked as though the proposed highrise on Marietta Square would finally be approved, a supporter's vote ultimately doomed the project once again. The final tally was 4-3, with three members of the Board of Review not voting.
Link to the story 6/8/00pm

Defeat Took Pressure Off Mayor's Blunder
It's not a big issue anymore, but it could had been. One seat on the Historic Board of Review was declared vacant last night when it was discovered that Dempsey Kirk had been serving an expired term for over two years. The Mayor, as secretary, never informed the Board. Kirk was replaced by Wes Godwin who was believed to be for the highrise, tipping the scales in favor of construction. Godwin never voted because he was later declared to have a potential conflict of interest. But had the highrise been approved because of the Mayor's negligence, she no doubt would have had a
lot of explaining to do. 6/8/00pm

Highrise Approval Likely
After Member's Ineligibility
Historic preservationists thought they had outfoxed adversary Philip Goldstein last month by bringing community pressure to defeat a proposed high-rise near the Marietta Square. Little did they know Goldstein would figure out a way to reconfigure the board -- just before a new vote Thursday on a modified version of the 170-foot-plus building.
Access Atlanta

New Application Submitted
For Highrise On Square
A new application to build a mixed-use highrise on Marietta Square was submitted Tuesday. Mary Goldstein is asking the city of Marietta for approval to build a 12-story highrise on Mill Street that would be developed by Peter Bright. The plan has a slight design change than one submitted earlier in the spring. The height of each floor, especially on those for residential condos has been somewhat reduced, making the building a little lower. Mrs. Goldstein and her son, Philip, own the land where the highrise
would be built. 5/24/00


Highrise On Square
Proposal Defeated

This time it's official. By a vote of 5-4, the Marietta Historic Review Board yesterday denied a request by developer Peter Bright to build a 12-story highrise on Marietta Square. Mayor Ansley Meaders, who succumbed to pressure from her friends, and Cobb Chairman Bill Byrne cast the deciding votes against it. For Byrne, the vote was, in part, a political decision because he faces strong opposition in the Republican primary from former commissioner Louie Hunter. Hunter is running to take the chairmanship seat from Byrne and seems to enjoy support from many of the same neighborhoods that voiced opposition to the highrise.

The board asked Bright to consider building a midrise with about six floors, but he was uncertain such a structure could be financially feasible.


Mayor Backtracks, Gives In
To Her Friends On Highrise
Nevermind that the effort to stop the building of condos was organized by just a few people, Mayor Ansley Meaders apparently thought that was enough and decided to oppose the project. She had originally supported it at an earlier meeting. Those against it, a few preservationists of which some are believed to be friends of the Mayor, launched a pressure campaign to get Meaders to change her mind. Word is, she never considered disqualifying herself even though she has a social association with some of those opposed. Most of the protestors live in the old neighborhoods of this city of 53,000. Not much was heard from the other neighborhoods around town, and it's believed the mayor didn't seek out their opinions. 4/14/00

Mountain View Won't Be
Blocked By Highrise

We took a walk on Monday to see just where Kennesaw Mountain can be seen from the square. Not on West Park Square, nor South Park Square. Not from Church Street. The mountain can be seen from the southeast section of Glover Park, and the people in the government buildings seem to have the only great view.

For most of Marietta Square, there's no view at all. The good news for the developers of the proposed 12-story condo highrise is that after being built, the view of Kennesaw Mountain will not be obstructed because the sightline is more north, than northwest. Opponents of the development have claimed the highrise will block the sight of the mountain from the square. 3/27/00

Developer Plans 12-Story
Condo Project On Square

A Cobb-based developer is planning a 12-story highrise on Marietta Square, most of it being for residential condos. Capital City Properties Inc. is in negotiations to buy property on Mill Street from the Goldstein family for the project.
Link to the story 3/17/00

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