Would you trade $123,000,000 worth of jobs for 546 condos?

Well that’s what the Alpharetta City Council is poised to do on Monday, February 28. That is when the city will vote on the high density mixed use Peridot project that MetLife has requested.

I’d prefer the city show they can make one of the already approved mixed use projects work before approving any more but I have listened to the justifications for this project. I listened to City Council Members say the project would reduce traffic, bring jobs and pay for road improvements. It just seemed too good to be true. And as my Dad used to say,”if something sounds too good to be true,son, it probably is.”

So I decided to check the numbers for myself. Sure enough it was too good to be true. While City Council Members tout the benefits of the MetLife project they have failed to mention that the benefits would come at an enormous price. Based on the numbers provided by the developer the Alpharetta City Council will essentially vote whether or not we will exchange 1894 jobs worth $123,000,000 a year for 546 condos in a completely saturated market.

Are you skeptical? You should be. I couldn’t believe it myself. But facts are facts and you can check it out for yourself.

First you just need to look at the Alpharetta Community Development Department’s comparison of the current zoning for the MetLife parcel to the new zoning proposed for the Peridot project. You can find that analysis on page 10 here: http://bit.ly/fBri9t Notice that the major change proposed is a reduction of office space by 568,320 square feet and the addition of 546 condominiums covering 655,200 square feet.

Then take a look at the job projections that MetLife submitted for analysis by the Atlanta Regional Commission on page 17 and 18 here:http://bit.ly/ibZrVX  The developer’s analysis shows that office space is expected to add “1 employee per 300 SF”. That means a reduction of 568,320 square feet of office space would eliminate 1894 potential jobs from the parcel. So if you plug the salary numbers MetLife used on page 18 for the various occupations you will see that the lost salaries from that zoning change would be more than $123,000,000 a year!

Maybe Alpharetta’s Community Development Department doesn’t mind trading 1894 badly needed jobs for 546 condos in an already saturated market but I know a few Alpharetta residents that beg to disagree. I’m just not so sure any of them are on City Council.

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5 thoughts on “Would you trade $123,000,000 worth of jobs for 546 condos?

  1. Or……….

    You could click here:

    http://tinyurl.com/46ndj2y

    (Page 4)

    To find the list of 12-16 story office buildings that have been approved in Alpharetta over the past decade and have still not been built. That list doesn’t doesn’t include the two 10-story office buildings approved that night for Sanctuary Park.

    Talk about saturated.

    Or….

    You could go here:

    http://tinyurl.com/4fv6cn9

    To see a three page report from the same Atlanta Regional Commission, which says that — in 20 years — one out of five residents of the Metro Atlanta area will be over 60. The ARC further states that “condos, apartments, duplexes and quadraplexes allow older adults to downsize, reduce yard maintenance and live close to neighbors”.

    Granted, they may not be living in mixed use developments, but they’re sure as heck not going to be living in 4,000 square foot houses in a Windward cul-de-sac.

  2. I am really sorry to hear that you are intentionally supporting the elimination of 1800 jobs in the worst economy of my lifetime. I actually held out some hope that city council just didn’t realize what they were doing. But at least now the people of Alpharetta can see what you are doing to their city.

    You should make sure to run on that platform in your next election.

  3. Take a look at mixed use attempts in Sandy Springs or the Sembler project in Dekalb and other areas. The apartments/condos ALWAYS get built first. Many of these mixed use projects run out of money before the offices and shops are built. in the end you are left with toms of multi family housing and NO commercial stuff. BEWARE

    • …in the end you are left with tons of multi family housing…

      That’s the whole point — it is part of the transit-oriented development objectives.

      As Jimmy has said before, that’s fine if that is what the city is doing, but quit pretending that we’re not. Let’s lay all the cards on the table and have a community discussion about it.

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