In a final public discussion before a Sept. 5 vote, Patrick Kassin of Woodfield Development talked in detail about plans for a proposed apartment complex in Flowery Branch and its potential impact on traffic, sewer and taxes.
“We’re trying to do our homework,” he told a small gathering Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Flowery Branch City Hall. “Flowery Branch expects a really beautiful project … and we’re kind of going in with eyes wide open.”
Woodfield is proposing to build 334 apartments at 4496 Hog Mountain Road, next to Flowery Branch High School — plans that have drawn opposition on social media and at an Aug. 15 public hearing before the Flowery Branch City Council.
Past criticism, largely centered around traffic concerns, was tempered somewhat at Wednesday’s meeting.
A couple of residents talked again about the issue, particularly the project’s impacts on two-lane Hog Mountain Road leading to a busy Spout Springs Road.
Kassin said he believed congestion would be especially bad under current conditions but that future improvements should help alleviate the problem. He cited next week’s partial opening of Exit 14 at Interstate 985 and plans to widen Spout Springs Road and I-985 over the next few years.
“When the opening of Exit 14 happens, they’re estimating that … it will cause a redistribution of traffic for the area,” he said.
The project did get endorsements from several residents.
“I’ve seen folks come (to the city) for single-family home building, for apartments to be built, and listened to presentations about traffic … and so forth,” said resident Oliver McClellan. “And … this is about as good as it gets.”
“I appreciate that,” Kassin said.
Kat Hartman said she plans to move out of the area, “but if I was going to stay here, I would look at something like this. If I were to get a condo, I’d have a mortgage, plus an exorbitant (homeowners association) fee.
“But if I live in an apartment, I get all the benefits of an HOA fee — with the gym, pool and the common area.”
Woodfield is proposing several amenities in the apartment complex, including a clubhouse with business center, lounge and event kitchen, swimming pool, outdoor dining area, walking trails, and a tennis court or basketball court, according to city documents.
Also proposed is 20,000 square feet of commercial space facing Hog Mountain Road, including 10,000 square feet for a restaurant.
The complex, which would have average rents of $1,400 per month, is projected to build out by 2023, Kassin said.