Special use permit expires for CCD shopping center
Plans to build a 175,000 square foot shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 West near Planterra Way have run out of time.
The special use permit that allowed the property to exceed the city’s big box size guidelines officially expired June 19. That means property owner Capital City Development must regain that approval or otherwise develop the site as allowed under its general commercial zoning.
The permit, which expired on the two-year anniversary of its issuance, allowed CCD to build up to three buildings with a maximum size of 50,000 square feet each. The largest store otherwise allowed without a permit is 32,000 square feet.
The previous city council, on a 3-2 vote, also authorized the purchase of much of Line Creek Drive for $500,000, but CCD never followed through on the purchase, city officials said. That ability will not expire for another three years.
The roads were necessary to allow CCD to skirt the city’s setback ordinance, which by its location would have forbidden the building of any large retail stores due to city road setback rules.
Meanwhile, the property’s immediate future is in question as it has been in foreclosure proceedings and is scheduled for sale on the courthouse steps July 6, according to a published legal notice.
The total loan on the property of $18.975 million was made by Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) bank, according to the legal notice, and the loan has been determined to be in default, the notice said.
In the wake of the failed plans are homeowners in the adjacent Cardiff Park subdivision who had won significant buffering concessions from CCD among other items. A significant number of Cardiff Park residents, joined by some from the nearby Planterra Way subdivision, appeared before council to urge approval of the special use permit.
CCD previously won approval, on the third try, for a traffic light at Hwy. 54 West and Line Creek Drive to serve the development from the Georgia Department of Transportation. It is not known immediately if that approval has an expiration date or if it was tied directly to the site plan submitted by CCD.
CCD’s Doug McMurrain late last year asked the city council to modify the plan to one of the larger stores to reach 65,000 feet. At the time he contended that Kohl’s Department Store wanted to locate in Peachtree City.
Since then, Kohl’s is exploring a location across the county line a short distance away on Ga. Highway 54 in the Fischer Crossing shopping center now under construction in Coweta County.
Mayor Don Haddix, who with current Councilman Doug Sturbaum was one of the two votes against the special use permit for CCD, said he has targeted CCD’s expiration date ever since it was approved on the 3-2 council vote.
Haddix said the economy surely played a role in the inability of the site to be developed. Meanwhile, just across the county line, construction is well underway at the FIscher Crossing shopping center, which includes a Sam’s Club and a new movie theater, the latter of which is set to be open by Thanksgiving.
At least some Peachtree City residents will zoom across the county line to shop at the new shopping center, which will most likely result in some loss of sales tax revenue for the city and Fayette County. But Haddix contends not many residents will shop there because, for example, few people in Peachtree City buy items in bulk as they are sold at the Sam’s Club.
Others in Peachtree City refuse to go shopping further west on Hwy. 54 than its intersection with Ga. Highway 74, Haddix added.