Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hear it roar

Two things related to Oak Grove thing ...

- Surely there is a compromise that can preserve greenspace and permit additional automobile traffic, the latter of which I feel is necessary based on the location of the development.

- Food Lion? Food Lion? What in the world do we have to do to attract a high-end grocery store here?

13 Comments:

Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

- Food Lion? Food Lion? What in the world do we have to do to attract a high-end grocery store here?

Well, to paraphrase the late Lester Maddox, if you want better grocery stores, you're going to have to have a better class of customer.

But really, Jmac, that is certainly an elitist, almost snotty remark. Regardless of what kind of store goes in there, how much are you going to patronize it? Given that the nearest "population center" to the proposed store is Arcade, I'll be equally elitist and snotty, and suggest that there's not much prospect for Earth Fare in that location.

However, if I were the ACC BOC and planning folks, I'd be more concerned that the streets in the residential portion are still unfinished, with exposed and protruding manhole covers.

I'd also be more concerned about the 5 outparcels that are designated for fast food stores. If there's anything the greater ACC area does not need is more Burger Whoppers. It there is anything that is "autocentric", it's a fast food joint.

What's going to be interesting is to see how the BOC's "vison" for land use plays out for a development on the outskirts compared to its blind adherence to the land use plan in the Boy's Club issue. Given that Oak Grove is a PD of sorts, and given that alternative, less restrictive uses are almost more "profitable", you have to raise the question of what is the incentive to complete a mixed use PD if the BOC is going to back off the every time someone yells "not profitable".

I'll have to admit I'm a little confused by the printed story. What's the difference between a parking structure and a parking lot-- I'm thinking a parking "structure" is a garage, which certainly can't be what the plans call for

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oak Grove is a great example of rhetoric meeting reality. The rhetoric of new urban development was a convenient tool used by developers to gain entitlement for higher density. Unfortunately for them few people actually wish to live in these developments when they are located in suburban and exurban areas. What you get in such developments are the costs of dense living (more noise, less privacy, no yard for kids & pets....) with few of the benefits.

Oak Grove can be built out as planned -- it will just take much longer than anticipated, and the potential profits will be much lower and/or non-existent.

DECON

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prediction: you know how we all now laugh at those "Brady Bunch" ranch houses from the late 60s and early 70s?

I give it 20-30 years, and we'll be similarly snickering at these Oak Grove-style developments.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

Oak Grove is a great example of rhetoric meeting reality.

That and the remainder of the post was very well said.

When a project like this tanks (check out the amenities at Milford Hills), and the developer comes in crying the blues, how come there is never any "give back" of the benefits. Oak Grove is still going to have the higher density on the unfinished streets, and now it looks like the same crappy development as some other parts of the county. If we are going to get a grocery store and parking lot and 5 more Burger Whoppers, shouldn't the developer have to "give back" some of the density, through additional greenspace or such?

Isn't there some point where you tell Beall, Hill et al. "hey, you were the smart money guys, you made the plan, you live with it."

Or to take it a step further, "you were wrong in the first instance, so why are you right now?"

This is another example of the proclivity of government, local, state and federal, to bail out people from the consequences of their own bad investment decisions.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Hey now, I live in Milford Hills!

Anyway, to attract high end businesses, you have to be PRO-BUSINESS. That starts with picking Heidi Davison up by her scruffy little neck, turning her around, and giving her a swift kick in the rear end all the way out of town.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

But really, Jmac, that is certainly an elitist, almost snotty remark. Regardless of what kind of store goes in there, how much are you going to patronize it?

Actually it isn't, and, depending on the store, I'd go there a good bit. You're talking to someone who drove an hour to Trader Joe's on Labor Day (overrated, if you ask me) and regularly heads to the DeKalb Farmer's Market.

EarthFare, in my opinion, is awful.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

regularly heads to the DeKalb Farmer's Market.

That would be "Your" Dekalb Farmer's Market, the last remaining bastion of "est".

If you are in that frame of mind, and want to shop the truly weird, try the international market in the old Bass Pro off Steve Reynolds Blvd. and I-85.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

Hey now, I live in Milford Hills!

So tell us how you are enjoying the clubhouse, walking trails, and other amenities that were promised in for this "conservation community".

I didn't know much about conservation communities/subdivisions until I watched them build Milford Hills. I learned that first you cut down all the trees, then you scrape up all the top soil. Even weeds don't grow in the undeveloped portions now because there is no top soil.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous chuck said...

I love it actually. But only because I HATE conservation.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

With all due respect, you guys have the wrong focus. Oak Grove is not failing -- it's failing to be as profitable as the developers anticipated, and largely because the entire market is slowing due to many, many challenges.

Also, the Planning Commission has always privately bemoaned some aspects of the Oak Grove plan. They have bemoaned the lax design standards (as they will tell you, nothing will stop Oak Grove from being stuffed full of cheap stucco houses), they have bemoaned the continual concentration of the developer on the higher-density aspects (apartments, grocery store), and they have registered concerns that the plans are too ambitious given their location (always predicated on a LOT of capital and relatively quick investment). This discussion is no surprise to them and some of them have predicted it for years.

re: Oak Grove's amenities...Oak Grove is already laid out and the green space is set up.

IMO, the Planning Commission should if anything revoke the more profitable uses, if they can -- they can't revoke the housing portion, since it's already platted. The live/work and live portions of Oak Grove are doing fine. I thought and still feel that the grocery store is a stupid idea given that appropriate locations for grocery stores are located a bikeable distance away (albeit with cruddy connectivity due to the DOT controlling the last few intersections).

Did any of you guys notice that Oak Grove appears to have defaulted on the loan for the parcel across the intersection from the development? That property, with Oak Grove listed as the owner, was sold on the courthouse steps some time ago. Which has led me to believe that the corporation simply overextended itself.

So...I think the Planning Commission should allow Oak Grove to sell the undeveloped property under its former zoning, while retaining the existing portion and at minimum an amount of greespace commensurate with the portion of the plan being retained. Or suck it up and go forward.

P.S. Milford Hills isn't doing poorly because of its conservation status -- it's going poorly because of widespread and pervasive fraud.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Milford Hills isn't doing poorly because of its conservation status -- it's going poorly because of widespread and pervasive fraud.

And becasue of neighbors like chuckie....

2:36 PM  
Anonymous chuck said...

And JMAC criticizes ME for not treating others with respect.

This has been another installment of "things that make you go hmmmm."

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

P.S. Milford Hills isn't doing poorly because of its conservation status -- it's going poorly because of widespread and pervasive fraud.

I'm not suggesting that Milford Hills is doing poorly because it is a conservation (in name) community.

What I am offering it for is an example of the "build it and run" practice, where a developer comes in and promises what the BOC wants to hear, builds out the most profitable part, and then reneges because "it's not profitable" or "changing market conditions".

Did any of you guys notice that Oak Grove appears to have defaulted on the loan for the parcel across the intersection from the development? That property, with Oak Grove listed as the owner, was sold on the courthouse steps some time ago. Which has led me to believe that the corporation simply overextended itself.

I'm not at all surprised. I don't know if the "official" developer is Denny Hill, Sr. or Jr. ( I don't even know of there is a Jr.) but if it senior, a review of his record should give one pause in relying on any long term promises for performance.

5:50 PM  

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