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Old 09-02-2015, 05:35 PM
Location: ATL -> HOU
4,129 posts, read 3,225,369 times
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That's an, um, interesting spot to say the least. There's little non residential development out there other than warehouses. I don't think they'd be doomed to no transit access ever. If it really is like a college campus then they could have buses going back and forth between the nearest transit station (whenever that happens) or just a park and ride somewhere. The HOT lanes spur off onto 316 just long enough to make it where commuters don't have to fight 5 lanes of traffic to get in or out. They could use that.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:57 PM
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Actually Gwinnett light rail plans aim to follow I-85, I'm not sure are there proposals to turn to Hwy. 316.

Understand Gwinnett and Cobb are aiming to build up edge cities, and density This is very necessary for the metro. That not just Atlanta but Gwinnett, Cobb, and North Fulton urbanize in key areas.

but I'm not sure is this development a best fit, I like the Idea of adding office space to Gwinnett but this is still very suburban.

Not mention pro sprawl "if Athens and Atlanta grow toward one another." what?...........
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:18 AM
Location: Atlanta
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Well this development is throwing me for a a bit of a loop and I can think of both positives and negatives to it.

Gwinnett's plans aren't anti-edge city, but they purposefully have tried to spread out job growth a bit with several nodes throughout the county that are sizable.... but not large. Some of these nodes include Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett Place, Sugarloaf/MeadowChurch, and Suwannee/McGinnis. Each of these places independently couldn't handle the traffic if they were as large as the Cumberland or Perimeter area, rather planners expect more people to go towards different nodes from different directions. Ignoring density, walk-ability, historical character, etc... this is actually a more euro-centric commute philisophy in an auto-centric setting. Whereas older North American Cities are more likely to be single-nodal.

The theory, which mostly works, is there is actually less congestion as cars drive in different directions from all different points during the morning commute. This technically still follows the same philosophy, but what makes this unique is it pulls it away from other infrastructure that has mainly been placed into the 85N corridor.

The next issue is... Gwinnett has designated 316 as a type of R&D corridor. It is suppose to be business oriented, but perhaps less dense than what is found on I-85. There are warehouses yes, but many of them are office/warehouse/flex space.

The premise was to encourage smaller companies to have more flexible space between their own development, manufacturing, operations, and sales. This in turn would help foster larger companies that use sub-contractors, as well as companies that want to do things in house on larger campuses. This leads Gwinnett to having a large presence from companies, like Cisco (old Scientific Atlanta) and Ricoh Electronics. Admittedly, this area has turned a bit more warehouse-y than was originally intended. The large mega distribution center for Publix really showed this. Part of Lawrenceville south of 316 were warehouse oriented from early days anyways.

So here is the conundrum, for this corridor to work the way they want it... there would need to be some office space. Places for companies to utilize business with other sites in the corridor, that aren't necessarily pure office space. This isn't exactly establishing an edge city, it's only 1.1m sq ft. Large for a few buildings not so much a district or the whole corridor.

But.... this is also pushing a sizable portion of job growth away from the I-85N corridor that has a better network of roads, sewer/water infrastructure, denser residential zoning, and closer to future transit growth.

What I suspect is happening, that I don't think has really been examined yet, is this is actually a very accessible location now and into the future. They built here to be near the new sections of Sugarloaf pkwy with a new junction at 316 just east of the project site. The future extension will go just north of it and also intersect with US29. So if the R&D corridor needs any amount of office space to succeed, this is actually the place to put it or possibly one other site north of 316/29 intersection.

What is awkward about this land lot is it is bounded by GA316 (no new curb cuts allowed, and shouldn't be), and several rivers. To make matters worse two large 90' utility easements criss-cross across the property for gas pipe lines. To further add to this there is a lake. They also are saving a large piece for GDOT right of way, so the 316/US29 intersection can be converted to an interchange. This means it is actually really hard to build on large portions of the property and it is really hard to create any kind of inter connectivity on the property. This is a large part why this campus is so spread out and many of the buildings are deep in the back of it.

The concern I have, from a more localized p-o-v and not fear of a regional sprawl p-o-v, is there are no secondary routes in and out. All traffic in and out of the development would be coming from a single intersection on US29. There is no access to other collector or arterial roads in the area, like Alcovy Rd, Cedars Rd, or Rockhouse/Bramlett Shoals Rds. Even if you look at the Technology park just north of 316 near the project site, the first thing you can notice is the inter-connectivity. People can access the site from different directions, which makes for more diffuse traffic patterns.

But the regional connectivity is pretty good. With Sugarloaf pkwy and 316, they can more than easily handle the traffic from this development. I'm concerned about access to those routes and other roads via one access point.

Expensive transit shouldn't chase this type of development. It is too small and too spread out and the rest of the area has a different character. What this could probably do is get the end of a bus line that terminates in the Lawrenceville area and terminate and turn around at this development. It is just down the street, but this is really to help a few of the lower paid workers of the development access it from Lawrenceville area apartments... not so much making it a commute choice.
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