The organization is under contract to purchase a 12.8-acre tract at the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Olde Towne Parkway, where it plans to build a four story, 80,000-square-foot medical office building, according to Russ Davis, director of marketing and public relations for Northside.
“A lot of Cobb County residents, especially east Cobb residents, utilize Northside Hospital for their health care already. And the trend continues to be providing services closer to people’s homes and where they reside, eat, work (and) play,” he said.
Before it closes on the property, which currently houses the Fountains of Olde Towne shopping center, Northside must request approval of an amended site plan from the Cobb Board of Commissioners, which will consider the application at its meeting Tuesday.
“The Fountains of Olde Towne site already is zoned commercial, and no rezoning of the property will be required,” Davis said. “Northside Hospital will submit a site plan amendment request to enable a medical office use. The project will comply with all applicable requirements in the current zoning category.”
Northside is working to develop plans for the site, Davis added, although a specific development timeline hasn’t been established.
Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the area, said the property does not need to be rezoned, but the new site plan must be approved by the commissioners because Northside will raze the current buildings and build something new.
“The current zoning allows it. The only reason they’re coming in is because the original site plan was, basically, site plan specific when it was approved,” he said.
Ott added the property has been on the market for “quite a while.”
Northside consulted with the community on the project, and the organization will continue to listen to the public’s ideas and share “project updates with them on a regular basis,” Davis said.
Indeed, Lee O’Neal, president of the East Cobb Civic Association, said his group is in favor of the development because it repurposes existing commercial space.
“It’s already commercial, as opposed to going to a green field space and just creating more commercial development in east Cobb,” he said. “They’re taking something that already exists and repurposing it to be more useful. That’s a good idea, as opposed to creating excess inventory of commercial space. They’re trying to invest in the community.”
Ott said he understands some members of the community have concerns about traffic and the height of the proposed building, and said he is working to address these apprehensions. For instance, he is having discussions with businesses in the area, including Northside, to minimize the planned facility’s impact on traffic.
Regarding the planned building’s height, Ott said the ground elevation of the property is below Johnson Ferry Road. So although the building will be four stories tall, only about two and a half stories will be visible from the street level.