The Urban Design Commission unanimously approved Wednesday a $45 million project that will bring high-density, mixed-use rental and retail space to Inman Park.
The project at 280 Elizabeth St. calls for the construction of 204 rental units, a swimming pool, between 38,000 and 39,000 square feet of retail, and a 570-space parking deck.
Assuming they get the necessary construction permits, fulfill other city requirements and get the financing, the developers, Atlanta-based South City Partners and JPX Works LLC, said they could begin building by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
The project was controversial from start as several Inman Park residents, including Scott Ball, who spoke out against it at Wednesday's meeting, said the 3.4-acre lot was to small for the scale of the project and that it didn't fully conform with the city's setback requirements and height restrictions.
The subject property fronts Elizabeth Street and is bounded by North Highland and Lake avenues to the north and south, respectively, and the Inman Park Village project to the west.
Commissioners acknowledged the site had issues, but in voting 7-0 in favor, they signaled their belief that the developers and architects addressed them.
"It is a very complicated site," Commissioner Dan Rooney said prior to the vote, adding he was "impressed" with how they addressed the concerns.
Mark W. Randall, South City Partners' founder and executive director, told East Atlanta Patch the final plan for the project was a good compromise and the result of at least 18 meetings with Inman Park residents and city agencies.
He and Jarel Portman, JPX Works' principal, said getting community input and support was crucial because it wouldn't be good business to leave the community feeling as if it had been forced on them.
"This is really a representation of literally dozens of meetings," Randall told commissioners. “We feel like our design creates the last major piece to the core of the community."
The Urban Design Commission also approved another controversial Inman Park project to construct two single-family homes on a couple of empty lots on Euclid Avenue.
The lots will share a 10-foot-wide driveway easement that runs behind the property and exits onto Druid Circle NE.
Some residents on Druid Circle objected to the easement saying it would cause more traffic problems for their narrow, one-way street.