Developers reapply for Ashby High Rise permit

September 29, 2011 3:14:16 AM PDT
The highly opposed Ashby High Rise is back. Two years ago, these plans for a massive residential complex in the middle of the museum district caused an uproar in the neighborhood. It was slated to be built on Bissonnet and Ashby until the opposition got too strong. Now, we're learning construction could soon be under way. It's been an ongoing fight that has rallied this neighborhood, and while there hasn't been as much publicity lately, news that the developers are giving it another try has neighbors gearing up for Round Two.

"As far as I know nobody supports the project," said Jim Reeder, co-chair of the Stop Ashby High Rise Task Force.

A development project that's been dubbed the Ashby High Rise by homeowners is not wanted. The plans at Bissonnet and Ashby would shadow Reeder's home.

"It's a block and a half right here from our house, and we are very familiar with what the plans are and the impact it would have on the community from a traffic standpoint as well as a scale standpoint," Reeder said.

It was a project that rallied the Southampton and Boulevard Oaks neighborhoods when it was first proposed several years ago, prompting protests along the streets, signs in every corner of the neighborhood and large turnouts at City Council meetings.

The plans had been stalled after City Council blocked the traffic flow plan, but the developers are not giving up.

Matthew Morgan with Buckhead Investment Partners confirms the company resubmitted the building permit that was originally approved in 2009. If the city approves the plan, they could break ground with 180 days.

Due to pending litigation, the developers declined an on-camera interview on Wednesday. That lawsuit filed by Buckhead Investment Partners against the city after being denied a permit multiple times is pending in U.S. district court.

As the developers give it another try, the neighbors say they aren't giving up the fight.

"I don't think it's going to happen this time around. I think the community is as devoted to defeating it as they ever have been," Reeder said.

That pending lawsuit isn't scheduled to be heard until 2012, but the developers say that won't stop them from trying to get to a groundbreaking.

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