300-plus properties could be affected by I-285 ‘top end’ toll lanes project

The state’s plan to build toll lanes on the top end of I-285 could impact a minimum of 300 properties all along the corridor, ranging from construction easements to full land takings, according to city of Brookhaven officials.

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, center, City Councilmember Linley Jones, left, and attorney Charles Pursley, a condemnation and eminent domain attorney, listen to a question during an April 18 community meeting about the I-285 Top End toll lanes project. (Dyana Bagby)

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and City Councilmember Linley Jones said they learned this number April 16 after meeting with a Georgia Department of Transportation official. Not all the properties are located in Brookhaven, they said at an April 18 community meeting at Brookhaven City Hall with roughly 50 people attending. They also said they did not know how many Brookhaven properties would be affected.

But the news was serious enough that Ernst and Jones invited an eminent domain attorney, Charles Pursley, to the meeting to outline rights homeowners have when GDOT may come knock on their door to say they need all or some of their property to construct the toll lanes.

There were no GDOT representatives at the meeting.

A GDOT map of where planned toll lanes are to be built along the top end of I-285 and including a portion of Ga. 400.

The 300-plus properties affected on the top end of I-285 are located between Henderson Road in the Tucker area in the east and to Paces Ferry in Vinings, just to the west of Buckhead, Ernst said. The top end of I-285 cuts through Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, as well as Doraville.

Residents of Dunwoody’s Georgetown community have raised concerns and demanded answers from GDOT about how their properties may be affected by the I-285 toll lanes, largely to no real answers. GDOT officials have said plans are still in progress.

The I-285 Top End Express Lanes project, estimated to cost close to $5 billion, would add two new barrier-separated express lanes in both directions alongside regular travel lanes and is expected to begin in 2023. The toll lanes are part of an $11 billion statewide “major mobility investment program” to reduce traffic congestion. GDOT is now conducting an environmental study for the I-285 toll lanes that will determine where sound barriers and right of way will be needed. The study is expected to be finished in two years.

In Brookhaven, residents living north of Murphey Candler Park in the areas of Brawley Circle, Ashwoody Trail and Berkford Circle are those who would be most impacted, said Jones, who represents District 1, including the properties abutting I-285.

“While the state of Georgia has decided that the top end 285 project is in the best interest of the citizens of Georgia, there is no question that it is going to be very difficult proposition for many of the citizens right along the top end of District 1,” she said.

There is nothing the city can do to stop the project, Ernst and Jones said. The only way the city can impact the project is to advocate for such things as quality sound barriers and to ensure adequate storm drainage.

Steve Zoeller has lived on Brawley Circle since 1993. He said for the past 20 years there has been ongoing talk about the state doing something to I-285 to accommodate more traffic. But he said during those years there would be preliminary public meetings.

For the I-285 toll lanes project, though, he said it seems like GDOT bypassed preliminary public input and is going straight to informing people what will be happening.

“GDOT can now make all their plans and then come to you and tell you what is happening,” he said after the Brookhaven community meeting. “The public got totally bypassed and this has been thrust upon us.

“I voted for Brookhaven to be a city to get representation for big-picture issues like this,” he added. “Now we’re not involved and we’re being told this is what you get.”

Steve Zoeller of Brookhaven points on a map to where his neighborhood is abutting I-285. Homeowners in the area are expected to be seriously impacted by the planned I-285 Top End toll lanes. (Dyana Bagby)

GDOT is also undertaking building two barrier-separated toll lanes along Ga. 400 in both directions in a project estimated to cost $1.2 billion and begin construction in 2021.

Ga. 400 south of the North Springs MARTA Station was recently shifted to the I-285 project and impacts won’t be known until late this year.

Ga. 400 and I-285 top end projects would include elevated lanes, between 30- and 60-feet tall. GDOT says building elevated toll lanes reduces taking of right-of-way land.

In Brookhaven, the elevated toll lanes are expected to be constructed near Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

GDOT officials have pointed to the recent toll lanes opened on I-75 and I-575 as being similar to what is planned on Ga. 400 and the top end of I-285. They say these toll lanes have significantly reduced commute times for motorists.

In Sandy Springs, more than 40 properties, including single-family homes, an apartment building and offices, could be taken by the state as part of the Ga. 400 toll lanes project. The information was made public during a GDOT public hearing on the Ga. 400 toll lanes in February.

The first GDOT public meetings to unveil design plans for the I-285 top end toll lanes are expected in December or January, Ernst said, describing it as the “big reveal.”

Ernst said GDOT is not revealing much information to the cities impacted by the toll lanes. He added he hoped the April 18 meeting was the start of residents coming together to decide what they want to advocate for to try to mitigate the construction.

At least one resident was happy the toll lanes were being built because of the promise they would alleviate traffic.

“I’m terribly sorry some of you may be losing your home or have already lost your home, that is awful … but you have to understand Atlanta is incredibly transient and has grown significantly,” she said. “The engineers who are building all of this are doing it for our future.”

Ernst said he and the council would continue to monitor the toll lanes project and advocate for the city and its residents.

“We will do what we can do to effect change,” he said.

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Jernigan Capital Invests in Atlanta Self Storage Facility

Self storage facility

Vinings, Ga.— Jernigan Capital Inc. has closed a $13.6 million investment for a proposed self-storage project in Vinings, the company announced recently. The developer of the project is Mequity LLC, an Atlanta-based real estate development company specializing in self-storage facilities.

The project is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2017 and to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. Development involves the conversion of an existing building as well as the construction of an additional multi-story climate-controlled facility. The proposed 103,561-square-foot asset will include 1,118 units and the buildings will be interconnected.

The facility is conveniently situated just off an exit to Interstate 285 and will serve the Vinings/Smyrna area, a rapidly growing suburb northwest of Atlanta.

Jerningan Capital is a REIT that provides debt and equity capital to private developers, owners and operators of self-storage facilities. The proposed development is the first co-investment for Jernigan Capital and Mequity.

Image via Public Domain Pictures website

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600 Vinings Estate

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600 Vinings Estate Features
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2 more small Ga. banks fail; making it 23 in past year

That toxic formula claimed two more small Georgia lenders on Friday: First Coweta Bank of Newnan and ebank of Atlanta.

They were closed by regulators, bringing the number of bank failures in Georgia to 23 over the past year, including six owned by one holding company. That is the most in any state.

First Coweta was seized by federal and state regulators after losing $14 million in the past 18 months, including $4 million in the second quarter. The bank’s four branches and most of its $155 million in deposits were acquired by United Bank of Zebulon.

First Coweta branches will re-open Saturday as United Bank.

Ebank’s lone branch and its $130 million in deposits were acquired by Stearns Bank of St. Cloud, Minn., which also took over failed Alpha Bank of Alpharetta last October. The ebank branch will reopen Monday as Stearns Bank.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. entered into loss-sharing arrangements with both United and Stearns banks on the bulk of the failed banks’ loan portfolios.

First Coweta, founded in 2004, quickly ramped up to capitalize on the then-booming real estate market. Its real estate loan portfolio more than doubled between 2005 and 2007 to $131.4 million.

But borrowers fell behind on payments as the housing market collapsed and recession set in. The bank reported $19 million in troubled loans as of June 30, and its capital cushion tumbled from $15 million in 2008 to $3.3 million earlier this year.

Ebank, based in Vinings, was founded in 1998 with ambitious plans to hook up with a nationwide ATM network to enable customers to use “smart cards” to access online accounts.

That initiative was unsuccessful, and in 2000 the bank shifted its focus to community banking. As of March 31, 90 percent of its $97 million loan portfolio was concentrated in real estate. Ebank lost $7 million last year and $1.2 million in the first quarter.

The FDIC estimates the failures will cost its insurance fund $63 million for ebank and $48 million for First Coweta.

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Jim Chapman Communities named Select Builder in awards program

From left, Jim Chapman, founder and CEO of Vinings-based Jim Chapman Communities; Keisha Hulsey, risk management specialist with 2-10 Home Warranty; Sean Morris, JCC vice president of operations; and Amy Kessler, JCC vice president of sales. Photo special to the MDJ.

Vinings-based Jim Chapman Communities has been recognized as a Select Builder in the 2018 Annual Builder Achievement Awards Program from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty.

The annual awards honor outstanding performance in the home building industry and winners are selected for demonstrating skilled craftsmanship and constructing inspired homes, while improving the quality of housing and developing relationships with their home buyers.

Company founder and CEO Jim Chapman currently serves as chairman of the National Association of Home Builders’ Land Development Committee, as well as second vice chair of the NAHB’s Single Family Builder Committee.

He was named 2018 55-plus Builder of the Year by the NAHB and served as chairman of NAHB’s 55-plus Housing Industry Council in 2016. He was elected 2018 president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and is the founding chairman of the ALL Home Program, a voluntary statewide certification created by the Home Builders Association of Georgia to promote accessibility and universal design.

For more information, visit www.2-10.com/builder-structural-warranty-awards and www.jimchapmancommunities.com.

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Property Details for 4100 Paces Walk SE Unit 2205

4100 Paces Walk Se Unit 2205, Atlanta, GA 30339
4100 Paces Walk Se Unit 2205, Atlanta, GA 30339

*School data provided by National Center for Education Statistics, Pitney Bowes, and GreatSchools. Intended for reference only. GreatSchools Ratings compare a school’s test performance to statewide results. To verify enrollment eligibility, contact the school or district directly.

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Smyrna-Vinings Weekly Weather Forecast

(Shutterstock)

SMYRNA-VININGS, GA — A quick heads up: Weather officials have issued a Wind Advisory for your area on Sunday, lasting from 1:52 pm to 7:00 pm. You can read more info from the National Weather Service here.

And below is your weather forecast for the week ahead, as reported by Darksky.

Sunday, February 24

Rain in the morning.

High 61, low 43Chance of rain: 100%Visibility: 5 miles5 mph winds, with gusts up to 24 mph
Monday, February 25

Mostly cloudy starting in the evening.

High 57, low 346 mph winds, with gusts up to 28 mph
Tuesday, February 26

Rain overnight.

High 62, low 38Chance of rain: 31%
Wednesday, February 27

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

High 58, low 50Chance of rain: 85%Visibility: 10 miles
Thursday, February 28

Rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.

High 65, low 49Chance of rain: 95%Visibility: 7 miles
Friday, March 1

Light rain in the evening.

High 68, low 54Chance of rain: 83%Visibility: 8 miles

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Smyrna-Vinings Weekly Weather Forecast

SMYRNA-VININGS, GA — A quick heads up: Weather officials have issued a Hydrologic Outlook for your area, beginning Sunday at 11:22 am and ending Monday at 11:30 am. You can read more info from the National Weather Service here.

And here’s a look at the week-ahead weather, as reported by Darksky.

Sunday, February 17

Light rain starting in the afternoon.

High 57, low 44Chance of rain: 100%Expected rainfall: Less than an inch Visibility: 4 miles
Monday, February 18

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

High 56, low 42Chance of rain: 71%Expected rainfall: Less than an inch Visibility: 10 miles9 mph winds, with gusts up to 24 mph
Tuesday, February 19

Rain starting in the afternoon and breezy starting in the evening.

High 42, low 38Chance of rain: 82%Expected rainfall: Less than an inch Visibility: 10 miles9 mph winds, with gusts up to 36 mph
Wednesday, February 20

Rain starting in the evening.

High 48, low 36Chance of rain: 97%Expected rainfall: Less than an inch 12 mph winds, with gusts up to 34 mph
Thursday, February 21

Rain in the morning and evening.

High 61, low 48Chance of rain: 100%Expected rainfall: Less than an inch Visibility: 5 miles12 mph winds, with gusts up to 34 mph
Friday, February 22

Rain in the afternoon and evening.

High 62, low 53Chance of rain: 100%Expected rainfall: Less than an inch Visibility: 6 miles12 mph winds, with gusts up to 34 mph

Lead photo via Shutterstock

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5 New Properties For Sale In The Smyrna-Vinings Area

SMYRNA-VININGS, GA — Looking for a new home nearby, but tired of browsing through the same old real-estate listings again and again? You’ve come to the right place! To save you some time, we’ve compiled a fresh batch of five new listings nearby.

Below is a list of the five latest properties to go up for sale in the Smyrna-Vinings area — including one in the Atlanta area with 1 bed and 1 bath for $138,000, and another in the Smyrna area with 4 beds and 5 baths for $587,900.

Like what you see? Just click on any address in the list to get additional photos and details. Enjoy!

Price: $138,000
Size: 1 bed, and 1 bath

Price: $225,000
Size: 1,175 sq. ft, 3 beds, and 1 bath

Price: $425,000
Size: 4,126 sq. ft., 5 beds, and 3 baths

Price: $425,000
Size: 3,088 sq. ft., 4 beds, and 4 baths

Price: $587,900
Size: 3,451 sq. ft., 4 beds, and 5 baths

Want more options? Keep scrolling for more listings. Or check out our Smyrna-Vinings area real-estate section for a complete list of local homes.

Photos courtesy of Realtor.com

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5 New Properties For Sale In The Smyrna-Vinings Area

SMYRNA-VININGS, GA — Looking for a new home, and want to get a better understanding of what’s available near you? Perhaps you could use some help in your search? Thanks to our weekly list of new properties in your area, you can be sure you’re not missing anything.

Here are the five latest homes to hit the market in the Smyrna-Vinings area — including one in the Atlanta area with 3 beds and 2 baths for $215,000, and another in the Atlanta area with 4 beds and 4 baths for $1.1 million.

Click on any address for additional pics and details. Happy house hunting!

Price: $560,000
Size: 2,980 sq. ft., 3 beds, and 3 baths

Price: $449,900
Size: 2,240 sq. ft, 3 beds, and 4 baths

Price: $215,000
Size: 1,075 sq. ft., 3 beds, and 2 baths

Price: $419,500
Size: 2,467 sq. ft., 4 beds, and 4 baths

Price: $1,100,000
Size: 3,828 sq. ft., 4 beds, and 4 baths

Still want to see more options? Keep scrolling for more listings. Or check out our complete list of nearby homes in our real-estate section for the Smyrna-Vinings area.

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Photos courtesy of Realtor.com

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