As many of you were aware, Equity Commonwealth (NYSE: EQC) had been trying for some time to sell it’s portion of Executive Park. Recently, Emory University purchased EQC’s 60 acres and announced that purchase earlier this week. Emory reached out to the LaVista Park Civic Association (LVPCA) a couple of weeks ago to let us know of the transaction and to let us know that they intend to honor the agreement LVPCA had with the prior owners and that was attached to the property. Emory bought the property subject to the zoning that has been in place for eight or nine years. Per my conversations with Emory administrators, they will be requesting some minor modifications to the current zoning and that is why many of you have seen the white notification signs scattered throughout Executive Park (EP).
Emory’s April 4 press release contained the following comments: “Emory takes a long-term, mission-oriented view when evaluating its real estate holdings. This significant parcel, which is in a location accessible to all of metro Atlanta, coupled with the fact that we have successful programs in Orthopedics, Brain Health, Medical Science Education, Continuing Education and Health Information Technology already located in the Park, presented an extraordinary, once in a generation opportunity for Emory and the region,” says Emory’s President James W. Wagner.
I believe that Emory will be as good a neighbor as we could have hoped for in EP. The truth is that such large in-town parcel was not going to stay undeveloped forever. In fact, it is surprising that it has remained as quiet as it has for this long. So…the long anticipated (dreaded?) redevelopment of EP is coming and the primary owner / occupant will be Emory University. I think we will be looking at more medical and office space and less (maybe far less) retail that the previous multi-use plans called for. I am told that there will be new multi-family housing as called for in the original zoning. They have already made a major announcement that a new training facility for the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchsise will be located in Executive Park in conjunction with Emory’s new Sports Medicine facility. http://news.emory.edu/stories/2016/04/emory_hawks_training_facility/campus.html
LVPCA will remain vigilant and will continue to honor our mission to “preserve the beauty, peacefulness, and residential character of the LaVista Park neighborhood.” We will work with Emory as much as possible to control traffic through our neighborhood and reduce noise and congestion where possible. We are continuing to monitor and, where possible, influence other developments in and around LaVista Park. Updates will be posted to Leaf Talk and / or broadcast to the LVPCA email list.