Developer says The Felton Walk mixed-use project to cost more than $25M

New details emerge on proposed Tennessee Street development

By JAMES SWIFT
Posted 9/20/18

Developer Baha Kharazmi has worked on some big projects in the past — among them, a multi-tenant, multi-building office development along Holcomb Bridge Road in north Fulton County.But …

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Developer says The Felton Walk mixed-use project to cost more than $25M

New details emerge on proposed Tennessee Street development

Posted

Developer Baha Kharazmi has worked on some big projects in the past — among them, a multi-tenant, multi-building office development along Holcomb Bridge Road in north Fulton County.

But none of Kharazmi's previous projects are as ambitious as the one he has planned for Bartow County — a 55,000-square-foot, mixed-multi-use development along Tennessee Street comprising retail, restaurant, office and residential aspects.

"I've done residential and I've done offices separately, so we're just combining them together," Kharazmi, a representative of Tri Unity Holdings LLC, said. "Obviously, that's the next progression, that's the next step, to combine them all together and build something beautiful."

Kharazmi calls his vision The Felton Walk. As currently planned, the project — which sits on about eight acres of land, touching West Felton Road to the north, North Tennessee Street to the east and bordering the subdivision homes along Pointe Way to the west — would consist of five buildings ranging from three and a half stories to four and a half stories tall. 

One building would consist of only restaurant and retail space. The other four buildings would incorporate about 129 residential properties atop and in between other retail and office properties.

"They're all going to be condominiums for sale," Kharazmi said. "I think it is desired in the city of Cartersville. I'm going by my agents' recommendations that there is a big need, a big void in smaller residential [properties] in square footage, to own, [for retirees], for young professionals."

Kharazmi is no stranger to Cartersville. In fact, he and his business partners have held the tract of land for quite some time — they've owned the Cartersville Car Wash facility at 1138 North Tennessee St., as well as the property behind it, for several years.

"The car wash will be the last phase of the whole complex, so at some point, there will be no car wash," he said. "We will try to have a good barrier landscape between the [Citgo] gas station, so that when you get into the community it will stand on its own."

As for potential residents, Kharazmi said he's putting an emphasis on attracting tenants 55-and-older. And while there is still much to plan, he said he wouldn't be surprised if some of the non-residential developments at the multi-use complex cater to that demographic.

"We'll see what the project will bring but I think, honestly, we will have a high-end use for retail as well as medical and other uses," he said. 

The City of Cartersville's Planning Commission gave their approval to the project earlier this month. The Cartersville City Council will hear a second reading of the project's special use permit conditions — essentially, to allow residential developments at the site — on Oct. 4.

That public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at 10 North Public Square.

Pending the council gives their okay to the proposal, Kharazmi said architectural and civil engineering on the project will begin. How long that takes, he said, hinges on the city and public comments. 

"We've got to go back and forth to make sure we address every issue they have," he said. "My anticipation, it could take up to six months. But once all of that is taken care of, hopefully we'll be ready to build."

There are some issues that could impede the progress of the project. For starters, there's a gas line right where the mixed-use development would border the subdivision, which could complicate the process of putting up a barrier. 

"I personally want to make sure we do a heavily landscaped barrier, as well as some kind of fence that will keep people from going back and forth," Kharazmi said.

Additionally, the City of Cartersville could authorize a traffic study to evaluate possible transportation impacts prior to the development getting off the ground. 

And then there's the fact the portion of Felton Road the development abuts is, technically, county property. That means any new access points built near the road would have to gain another layer of local government approval. 

Still, Kharazmi said he's experienced no problems working alongside officials from either jurisdictions.

"So far, they've been great," he said. "I think they're as excited about the project as we are. We're just going to try to make that area a better area. And I think they see that and I think it's going to be a huge improvement to Tennessee Street."

Kharazmi said he's heard some concerns from nearby property owners — some of whom are worried about parking.

With almost 500 parking spaces planned for the development, however, he said that shouldn't be an issue.

"Most of the residential buildings will have their own parking right in the back and then there are some additional [spaces] which will be designated for them on the side of the buildings," he said. "Of course, everybody is concerned in every community in regards to traffic and what this project might do to the area, but that's something to be worked with the [Department of Transportation.]"

At this point, Kharazmi tabbed the total cost of the project to eclipse $25 million. Funding for the project, he said, is being procured through traditional bank loans;  regarding the possibility of obtaining city or county subsidies for the development, he said that's "something to be discussed at future dates."

The preliminary plan is to have the entire complex completed after three phases of development. That process, he predicts, should entail about three to four years' worth of construction. 

Regardless of when development begins and wraps up, Kharazmi said The Felton Walk is destined to have a major economic impact on the community. 

"It's going to create a lot of employment opportunities — 55,000-square-feet of retail, obviously, is going to hire a good many professionals," he said. "We'd like to see if we can hire as many local subcontractors as possible during construction ... I think that's going to trickle down and help out everybody in Bartow County."