Local developer with sights on Southwest Norwood asks for community collaboration

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A local developer with new plans for the Southwest Norwood Avenue property that was at the center of a widely contented and ultimately failed project proposal earlier is inviting the community to weigh in on a new plan.

Ken Allen is hosting a series of open meetings in August and September to gather feedback on developing the Norwood site. Earlier this month, he purchased about an acre from Horizon Community Church, the smaller of two parcels the church owns, with plans to buy the remaining 8.2 acres. 

“We know this property has a little bit of history,” he said. “We’re going in saying let’s listen.”

Neighbors, who formed the grassroots opposition group Norwood for Smart Zoning, spent eight months battling an Atlanta-based developer who had planned a 278-unit multistory apartment building site adjacent to the church, along Southwest Norwood Road near Southwest Boones Ferry. 

The developer withdrew a zone-change request and scrapped the project hours into a June city council meeting.

Allen also plans to develop housing on the property and is calling the community to help navigate during a series of events where he plans to discuss the limitations and potential of the site, present several development possibilities, gather feedback, and eventually present design options based on community wants and concerns.

Meetings are scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m.  Aug 29, Sept 14, and 27 at Marquis Café, 19805 SW Boones Ferry Rd.