Savi’s New Plan

Savi Market has scrapped their earlier plan–the one they received variances to implement–and is now submitting a plan that proposes to demolish the existing building and build a new, Overlay-compliant building along Dresden Drive.  We welcome this move and think it is a good business decision as well as a good community decision.

Savi will still have to find enough parking to meet the Overlay and fulfill their business needs. The new site plan shows 26 spaces, while the Overlay calls for 35 to serve 6,900 SF of retail.  Savi can meet this with a cross-parking agreement with a nearby property.

Apparently, when Savi looked more closely at construction costs and accepted the fact they’d have to close temporarily during construction, they realized that building new was their best option.  We were being honest and supportive when we told them so.  We look forward to many happy years with Savi a local grocer and specialty food mart.  We expect it to be a community favorite.

Savi Variance Approved

Savi’s request for variance was approved at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Weds., March 14th, despite recommendations of denial from the DeKalb County Planning Dept. and BPCA, as well as opposition from the Board of Appeals member who represents the Brookhaven area.  This means Savi can obtain a building permit as long as they present private parking agreements that satisfy the parking requirements.

While we all love Savi and what it brings to the neighborhood, BPCA continues to be concerned about the parking shortage this plan creates as well as the precedent of new construction in the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District with parking allowed between the building and the street (even though it will be covered by the building’s second floor.)  This will not be a safe or comfortable area for pedestrians.

Time will tell as to its appropriateness in the Overlay district.  We are open to being proven wrong.  But we fear Savi’s expansion per the submitted plan will add up to less than its promise, will make for a confusing and congested parking situation, and even that it will create a difficult business problem for Savi’s owner given the sales density (especially on the second floor) that will be needed to support the new construction costs.

For another take on this and more details, see this article from the Brookhaven Patch.

Savi Expansion Updates

The DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals voted yesterday (8 Feb.) to defer the Savi Market variance request for 30 days so that “DeKalb staff, the owner and neighborhood representatives can meet to work out the issues that arise from this development”.  Specifically that means adequate parking.  We (BPCA reps Bill Draper, Jim Eyre and myself) had an amicable chat with Paul Nair (Savi owner) and Doug Dillard (Paul’s atty.) afterwards and they are going to explore a shared parking agreement.  Paul agreed that this issue is as important to his business aspirations as it is to the n’hood since investing $1 million in expansion/improvements means he needs lots more customers, and if customers can’t find convenient parking not enough will come.  So at heart it’s a business problem as much as a n’hood problem,  We all agree that we like what Savi brings to Brookhaven.