Dirt moving – Expansion of Farmers Market begins
Recently shoppers at the DeKalb Farmers Market have noticed construction crews moving around on parcels adjacent to the store.
The planned expansion appears to be underway. When everything is done, there will be more than a million square feet of additional space, 2,800 more parking spaces and two new driveways: one on Ponce De Leon and one on DeKalb Industrial Way.
DFM’s expansion is so large it had to be vetted as a Development of Regional Impact by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Owner Robert Blazer, who is notoriously media shy, has not returned a message seeking comment. A woman who answered his phone said the project is on a three to five year timetable, but wasn’t clear if she meant the first phase of the project or the whole expansion. Previous news reports have said the expansion will take about 10 years and occur in four phases.
According to the DRI report, Phase 1 will be completed by 2015 and the whole project will be completed by 2023.
According to the DRI report:
- Phase 1 will consist of 361,972 square feet of warehouse and 186,703 square feet of retail. The existing retail area of 142,475 square feet will be converted to warehouse and wholesale area after the completion of Phase 1
– Phase 2 will consist of 223,530 square feet of warehouse
– Phase 3 will consist of 419,875 square feet of warehouse and 89,065 square feet of retail
– Phase 4 will consist of 98,774 square feet of warehouse and 53,186 square feet of retail
The woman who answered the phone said DFM is “Making it larger because we’ve kind of outgrown this building.” Site plans obtained from the city of Avondale Estates Website show the existing building would be expanded by more than 100,000 square feet. The additional space will be a combination of warehouse and retail, according to the old plans, and would eventually create a separate wholesale operation and give the retail space some additional breathing room.
Expansion of the Farmers Market will create thousands of new trips each day, according to the DRI report, and the report recommends several intersection improvements, like optimizing signal timing.
“Based on the traffic analysis completed by LAI Engineering, the transportation system will require multiple intersection improvements, particularly in later phases of the development,” the DRI report says. “ARC recommends continued coordination DeKalb County to ensure these improvements are made.
“ARC recommends revisiting the site layout to better position buildings for future site to street grid connectivity. Additionally, it may be possible to reconfigure the parking lot and detention basins in a manner that would allow for the basin to become an amenity and the parking lot mass to be broken up. By breaking up the mass of the parking lot, internal pedestrian site connectivity which provides a safer pedestrian experience may be possible.”