A retirement home could occupy a site near Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves (Class AAA; International League), that was once envisioned to be part of a large-scale development.
Coolray Field was originally built under the pretense that it would lead to a mixed-use development in the surrounding area, with third-party developers overseeing the creation of upscale offerings. Many of the components of that plan, however, have not come to fruition since the ballpark opened in 2009.
In the time since, there have been some talks about scaling back the plan, but the lack of development has been a source of controversy. Property owner Garland Roberts, who controls 19 acres adjacent to the ballpark, now says that he could sell his land to Mansions Senior Living, which would develop a retirement community on the site.
This development is a far cry from the mixed-use commercial and entertainment space that Gwinnett County officials envisioned when they agreed to contribute to the $64 million ballpark. However, some county planning commission members are open to the proposal at this point. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
In a recent letter to the county, Roberts’ attorney urged Gwinnett officials to “fulfill their legal obligation to work with the property owners to allow them the highest and best use of their property and approve these applications.”
The proposed retirement community will get a public hearing before the planning commission in December. [Chuck] Warbington, the chairman, said he had not reviewed the details of the project.
“I will say it seems to be a little bit more palatable than another apartment complex,” he said.
Paula Hastings, a planning commissioner who lives near the stadium, agreed. She said the neighborhood needs the kind of services for seniors the retirement community could provide.
“I don’t hate the idea,” she said.
Brand Properties has already developed The Views at Coolray Field, an apartment building that overlooks the facility. However, the county and developers are still trying to fill the remaining parcels around the facility.