Proposed redevelopment near Atlanta Beltline has neighbors saying it's too big

A prime piece of real estate next to Piedmont Park and the Beltline is about to be redeveloped and that has people who live near the property upset.

Amsterdam Walk is currently a shopping plaza, but could soon be turned into a mixed-use development with shops, restaurants and hundreds of apartment units.

"We want a better Amsterdam Walk, but it should be at a scale and scope which is appropriate for this space," said Charlie Kaften, a concerned neighbor.

According to the master plan, the mixed-use development would feature five buildings with shops, restaurants and 900 apartment units along the east side of Piedmont Park next to the Beltline. One of the buildings would be 17 stories tall.

"We welcome the apartments and the condos and the shops and the restaurants," said Sandra Givelber. "That's all great, but just the scale of it is massive, and it just does not fit in with the neighborhood."

Concerns about traffic on Monroe Drive

A traffic study found the project would add about 4,000 cars per day, but Givelber and Kaften believe it is flawed, and a new study should be done. They say Monroe Drive is already a problem and a big development would make it worse.

"I worry that if we allow this high rise, that it will open the floodgates and all of a sudden other properties will pop up with high rises," Givelber said. "We don't have any now in either neighborhood."

Courtesy: Portman Holdings and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Portman Holdings response regarding Amsterdam Walk redevelopment

Portman Holdings is behind the project and sent this statement to FOX 5 News: 

"We understand the importance of this property, and we plan to create something special that adds to the character of the neighborhood. Portman has a long track record of creating infill developments in urban environments, but more importantly, we know Atlanta. We will continue to listen to the community and work to fulfill the vision of our longstanding partner, the Atlanta BeltLine."

Kaften says the current plan does not work.

"We have suggested smaller scale models and designs," he said. "There's not only one way to redesign Amsterdam Walk."

Courtesy: Portman Holdings and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

This is far from a done deal. It still needs to pass several hurdles, including a vote by the Atlanta City Council.

There are several community meetings planned. They are set for April 17 and April 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Red-Light Café in Amsterdam Walk.