315 W. Ponce Development May Be Big…

…but it doesn’t seem all that dense in comparison.

Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne has crunched a lot of numbers for us and compares the 315 W. Ponce project with other well-known past Decatur condos in terms of scale and density.

  • 335 W. Ponce – 70 units- This site is exactly one acre. Density is 70 units per acre and abuts the R-60 zone.
  • Artisan Phase I – 77 units – Phase I and II are both located on the same 1.9 acre tract. This tract was zoned for 70/acre, and with the 20% density bonus for affordable units the total approved unit count was 162 which works out to about 85 units per acre with the density bonus. The demand for larger units resulted in smaller units being combined so the final product is about 77 units instead of 105 units in Phase I and about 50 units in Phase II instead of 57 bringing the total to 127. The final density of the project as developed is around 67 units per acre. While the number of units did decrease, the size and scale of the building remained unchanged.
  • Artisan Phase II – 50 units – Same as above
  • Decatur Renaissance – 168 units – Harold A. Dawson/Lane developed this 2.67 acre site. The City calculated the site including the existing office building and parking deck associated because it was considered one site — similar situation to the 315 W. Ponce project. It works out to 63 units per acre. The height variance was important to us because it was so close to the out of scale office building and we wanted to blend the height difference to help “hide” the earlier grandfathered structure. Because it fronted Ponce we had the ability to encourage the taller structure.
  • Townsquare Condos – 105 units – Developed by Ultima Properties with 105 units on 1.9 acres. As built, it is 58 units per acre but the property is zoned for 70 units per acre. This project was originally approved for more units and therefore a higher density but they ended up combining some smaller units into larger units to respond to market demand so the unit count went down to 105. While the total unit count went down, the size/scale of the building remained the same.
  • Although the 315 W. Ponce site is zoned for 70 units per acre, the developer isn’t close to that density. The site is 4.9 acres so the project is actually closer to 44 units per acre making it less dense than every example above.

Geez…I didn’t realize the site was so much larger than the Artisan’s!  But if I think back to that large, grassy, fenced parking lot…it actually begins to make sense.