UPDATED 3:30 p.m.: The marketing officer for Goodwill in Georgia said the company has no plans for a store at 495 North Main Street, and the property owner didn't have permission to use the Goodwill name.
Jim Caponigro said, "The only proposal that we have that's near Alpharetta is a store that we are building from the groun up, which is a LEED certified store on the corner of Winkler and McFarland. But that's as close to Alpharetta as any plans that we have."
The marketing vice president made it even clearer on Goodwill's future in the city.
"We are not looking at any other Alpharetta properties," Caponigro said.
A Duluth developer hopes to convince the Alpharetta Planning Commission that six acres of commercially zoned property on North Main Street in front of Winthrope Park subdivision is suitable for a thrift store.
The conditional use permit request for 495 North Main Street will be heard Thursday at the Planning Commission's meeting at .
Neighbors in the subdivision have opposed the store, creating an online petition to get support for their position.
James Kim of SRJ Enterprises told residents his company had tried to get the new Alpharetta Library branch located on the property, but the Atlanta-Fulton County Library system picked the downtown City Center property instead. The economy and vacant strip centers make building another small strip center on this property isn't a possibility.
What's proposed is a 25,000-square-foot store similar to a store in Canton. The property is zoned for a 42,000-square-foot shopping center, Kim states in his letter.
Some local residents want a park on the site, and Kim's December 2011 letter to the neighborhood lists this as one of four options they should consider. The letter states supporters would pay for the park through monthly homeowners association fees. And residents would be reponsible for any study to determine how a park may affect property values.
Alpharetta's Community Development staff is recommending denial of this conditiional use permit request.
A copy of the developer's December 2011 letter to residents and the staff report accompany this article as pdf files.
"Staff’s analysis finds that the requested conditional use would likely have a
greater impact on the area than intended for this zoning district and location. The 'mixed sales' component of the retail store generates more roadway trips than a basic retail store," the staff report states.
"In summary, staff finds that the traffic, noise, expected activity level, and potential code enforcement issues associated with the proposed use make it incompatible with the surrounding residential development adjacent to the site," the staff report states.
The Planning Commission recommended denial on March 5, 2009, for a Goodwill thrift store site at 762 N. Main Street. Residents near that property at the Cogburn Road/North Main Street intersection said they preferred the since-closed One Star Barbecue restaurant that served alcohol to a thrift store.
The property owner's representative said in his letter they can't wait any longer, and this is its last chance on the site.
"The community is littered with retail centers that stand unfinished or empty, and even foreclosed. We cannot wait until the surrounding market presents the ideal condition, because the existing condition in the area will not change in the near future," Kim's letter states. "The area presents us with an obstacle we cannot overcome, the presence of an old auto service station, older retail center across the street, machine & tool rental next to subject property, and vacant/foreclosed centers and lands."
and a consignment shop are across North Main Street from the proposed thrift store site.