Whole Foods 365 Renderings Released; Community Meeting Planned


SJ Collins has released a rendering of the coming development that will include a Whole Foods’ 365 grocery store as an anchor tenant.  There’s more information on the SJ Collins website, including the following site plan to give a better idea of the scope of the project.

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SJ Collins has scheduled a community input session next Monday, June 13th at 7pm at North Decatur United Methodist Church at 1523 Church Street.

Deanne Thomas, President of the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association, sent us a note that she sent out to area residents encouraging them to attend the meeting to highlight concerns about traffic and other impacts to surrounding neighborhoods.  (The development is just outside the Decatur city limits)

Here is Deanne’s letter in full…

To All,
Attached is the notice for S.J. Collins Enterprises, LLC’s June 13 Community Meeting for the redevelopment of the Nalley dealerships on Church Street between North Decatur Road and Milscott Drive–18 acres total. The proposed project includes a 35,000 sq ft 365 by Whole Foods Market (a new streamlined concept), 54,000 sq ft of restaurants and retail, and up to 300 luxury apartments. The meeting is at 7pm and will be held at North Decatur United Methodist Church, 1523 Church Street.

While the prospect of new businesses is exciting, this intensive change also has consequences that must be dealt with early on. This past week, board members of the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association and Sycamore Ridge and Sycamore Station Homeowners Associations met with the S.J. Collins development team. S.J.Collins’ presentation was followed by a lengthy discussion of two chief concerns: traffic impact and needed pedestrian improvements. Along with the impact to the Church Street corridor and intersections, key affected streets will be Sycamore Drive where entering/exiting Church Street is increasingly difficult to navigate for residents, as well as for emergency vehicles and visitors to DeKalb Medical; Forkner Drive and Medlock Road (between Church Street and Scott Boulevard) where there’s been a steady uptick in cut-through traffic over the past year; and Winn Way which is heavily used and in dismal shape to handle more volume. Additional cut-through traffic on interior neighborhood streets is also likely. Although the developers were polite in listening to our concerns, the tricky politics of this project being located within the City’s proposed annexation map was cited as a factor for declining to contact City of Decatur as an affected adjacent government. While we’re hopeful the S.J. Collins team will see the upside of tackling the above listed traffic issues, the responsibility falls on residents and government officials to ensure it gets addressed. 
This project is located in DeKalb District 4 and Super District 6 (Commissioners Barnes Sutton and Gannon). With the regrouping of the former Cross-Neighborhoods Committee to form the DeKalb Cross-Neighborhoods Council comprised of neighborhoods located along Scott Boulevard and Good Growth DeKalb, City of Decatur and northeast quadrant residents are no longer effectively represented on that committee for any new projects in the Church Street vicinity. As it’s the Church Street area neighborhoods and HOAs who are immediately affected here, we’ll need to band together to get results. A meeting of Church Street area representatives is being coordinated with the S.J. Collins team, and the results of that meeting will be shared soon after.
Please plan to attend the June 13 Community Meeting presentation as a good turnout by Church Street area residents is needed. Your help in getting the word to non internet neighbors would be appreciated.
Deanne Thomas
President, Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association

According to a brochure on the SJ Collins website, traffic counts for the area are as follows:

N. Decatur Rd – 29,906 ADT

Church St – 25,869 ADT

6 thoughts on “Whole Foods 365 Renderings Released; Community Meeting Planned”

  1. I just love how develpers show a major structure with 10 cars driving by. i haven’t seen so few cars on the road since the last ice storm came through.

  2. From the flyer on the S.J. Collins site, “Site offers walkability, encouraging consumers to move around site easily.” The site plan shows that about 50% of the development will be parking lots. This is about as much walkability as Kennesaw offers. Dear S.J. Collins, walkability does not equate to pavement.

    1. Perhaps you misunderstood them. By “walkability,” they mean if you don’t like it, you can take a walk…

    2. I suppose it’s because they have walkways through the parking areas. But there are minimum parking requirements retail developments like this have to have, so there will always have to be parking somewhere.

  3. Based on their web site, SJ Collins is all about building lots and lots of Whole Foods centers, as fast as possible. That’s their business plan. They have no creativity and no expressed interest in the communities in which they operate. I hope that excitement about a particular tenant doesn’t cloud our resolve in demanding top-quality development. They want access to this market and that’s fine but they should have to work for it. Take that garbage site plan to Johns Creek.

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