Thursday, July 16, 2015

Atlanta Developer Submitted Plans Last Month For Environmental Permits For Expanded Epps Bridge Centre

Tributaries To McNutt Creek

Atlanta Developer Frank Bishop filed paperwork with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late last month for Phases II and III of Epps Bridge Centre, to be built in the wooded area across the Oconee Connector from his existing shopping center.

Bishop filed the paperwork with the Corps of Engineers because he plans to alter streams and wetlands on the property and needs permits from both the state of Georgia and from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers before he can begin construction.

He also will need to rezone the land, now zoned for agricultural use.

The paperwork Bishop has submitted to Corps of Engineers shows him using 48 acres of an 114-acre tract owned by the Evelyn and Frank Gordy Family.

The proposed expansion of Epps Bridge Centre comes as most of the space in the core of that shopping complex has come under lease.

Bishop confirmed today that he has a “fully executed lease” with clothing discounter Ross for 25,000 square feet of space under construction between Marshalls and the building being constructed for Party City and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Roadway Key

The documents Bishop submitted show a completed Parkway Boulevard, which now ends at Kohl’s.

Click To Enlarge

The county let a contract for design work on that roadway last September, with the plan to extend the existing roadway to the Oconee Connector opposite one of the existing entrances to Epps Bridge Centre.

The county has been in discussion with Bishop about that roadway, estimated to cost $4 million, and the Oconee County Board of Commissioners met in executive session with Bishop in April.

Bishop was able to open Epps Bridge Centre in the corner of SR Loop 10 and Epps Bridge Parkway only after the state, with county assistance, built the section of the Oconee Connector from SR 316 circling back to Epps Bridge Parkway.


Bishop told the Corps of Engineers that he plans to mitigate impact on perennial streams, intermittent streams, ephemeral streams and wetlands areas via the purchase of 2.73 wetland credits from the Goat Farm Mitigation Bank, in western Oconee County, and of 11,070 stream credits from the Greensboro Mitigation Bank.

Bishop developed the Greensboro bank in Greene County when he needed credits for the first phase of Epps Bridge Centre.

The streams that the expanded Epps Bridge Centre will impact are tributaries to McNutt Creek, which forms the border between Oconee and Clarke counties.

When Bishop built Epps Bridge Centre, he moved an extensive amount of dirt and piped and filled sections of streams, including some that flow to the property on which he plans to build the new phases of Epps Bridge Centre.

Joint Permit

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a joint notice with the state of Georgia regarding Bishop’s request for the permit under Section 404 of the federal clean water act.

According to the notice, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, intends to certify this project at the end of 30 days from the June 26 issuance of the notice.

That action would be in accordance with the provisions of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, as required for a Federal Permit to conduct activity in, on, or adjacent to the waters of the State of Georgia.

July Deadline

The federal decision on the 404 permit would follow.

Anyone wishing to comment or request a hearing should write to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, Attention: Joseph N. Rivera, 1590 Adamson Parkway, Suite 200, Morrow, Georgia 30260-1777 by July 25.

The writer should refer to Frank Bishop by name and use the application number SAS-2015-00333.

The permit states that the impact will be on 1,760.3 linear feet of perennial stream channel, 168.7 linear feet of intermittent stream channel, 310 linear feet (0.021-acre) of ephemeral stream channel, and 0.364-acre of wetland areas.

Plans Show Large Anchor

The plans that Bishop submitted show one large anchor with a number of smaller buildings. Bishop has dangled the possibility of bringing Cosco to the county as a way to encourage construction of the extension of Parkway Boulevard.

That roadway would split Phase II and Phase III of the expanded shopping center.

The new phases would add 370,490 square feet to the 450,000 square feet in the existing mall.

That mall with its out lots sits on 68 acres of land.

Ross In Spring

Bishop told me in an email message yesterday that Ross plans to open in the Spring.

Bishop so far has had less success with the out lots for the shopping centre than with the shopping center core.

So far, he has found tenants or purchasers for only four of the 12 out lots.

The shopping center core also has a number of small spaces that are unleased.


Anonymous said...

"Bishop filed the paperwork with the Corps of Engineers because he plans to alter streams and wetlands on the property"

HECK NO! Alter streams and wetlands here in our Oconee??!! This Atlanta developer can head right back down 316.

Anonymous said...

Do the streams that are to be mitigated flow thru the golf course? If so don't they have the rare endangered salamander in them that caused SR 316 intersection with loop 10 to be rerouted to its present location instead of thru the golf course as was originally proposed? Or are these different waters that don't interconnect?

Anonymous said...

"The county has been in discussion with Bishop about that roadway, estimated to cost $4 million, and the Oconee County Board of Commissioners met in executive session with Bishop in April."

It's legal for a developer to meet with elected officials in closed session? That can't be right!?!

If Bishop wants Oconee to spend tax dollars on roads that specifically benefit him financially, he needs to make his case in open season. You too Melvin Davis!!

Lee Becker said...

The streams do not flow through he golf course. They flow from the Gordy property to McNutt Creek.