Mixed-use project would replace food truck park in attempt to remake Collier Village

The 1850 Howell Mill Road, now home to the Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market, and pegged for a mixed-use redevelopment. Credit: Rob Knight

A major mixed-use development is planned for Buckhead’s Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market site at Howell Mill Road and I-75, a big step toward a longtime vision of remaking an area known as Collier Village.

The roughly 2.7-acre site at 1850 Howell Mill was once a hotel and, since 2012, has served as the permanent home of the food trucks business, which has also hosted music and a farmers market. Developers Songy Highroads and Healey Weatherholtz Properties (HWP) announced Aug. 18 they have acquired the site for a project involving a six-story multifamily building with more than 200 units and ground-floor commercial space. In the longer term, an office building would join the mix.

“Our goal is to help transform Collier Village into the walkable town square that is absent [from] this part of town,” said Quill Healey II of HWP, which is based just up Howell Mill and owns several other nearby commercial properties. “…It’s a long-term commitment and this is an important step that will frame the village as you enter from 75.”

Collier Village is a term for the triangle of commercial and apartment properties bounded by Howell Mill, I-75 and Collier Road in Wildwood on the borders with Channing Valley and Springlake. The name was popularized about 15 years ago in a City-approved community plan for redeveloping the triangle into a mixed-use center with an internal street grid and an “urban corner plaza” at Howell Mill and Collier.

An aerial view of the Collier Village triangle as it appeared in a 2013 planning document. The area is unchanged today in terms of roads and main structures. I-75 is the highway, with Howell Mill Road crossing it north-south to the right and Collier Road running east-west across the top.

Healey said the developers are familiar with that plan but are not working directly from it. He said they “thought the name was appropriate but have not looked at [the plan] in 10-plus years.” Their own long-term vision, he said, includes “great restaurants, workout places, an ice cream shop. Bike lanes and green space.”

A more recent planning process that could transform the area is the Atlanta BeltLine, whose Northwest Trail could run directly along the Howell Mill corridor there in one of several alternatives under study by Atlanta BeltLine Inc. and the PATH Foundation.

In addition, the area is on the northeast boundary of the Upper Westside Improvement District, a group of commercial property owners in the booming Northwest Atlanta area that formed in 2016 to tax themselves to fund projects related to public safety, transportation and beautification. Healey is vice president of the district’s board.

A map of the Upper Westside Improvement District, from its website. The Collier Village area is in its northeast corner.

“This might be among the last of Buckhead’s undeveloped mixed-use sites of its size,” said Foster Durkee, Songy Highroad’s director of acquisitions, in a press release announcing the property acquisition. “The area is already extremely high-profile, boasting tremendous energy.”

Healey said the first phase of the project would not require rezoning. Zoning variances are possible and in April, the developers filed with the City for a special administrative permit for the project.

The developers did not respond to requests for plans and illustrations, but described the residential component . “Design development and drawings and construction pricing are underway,” according to the press release.

According to the City SAP permit application, the residential building would be around 243,000 square feet and have “integrated parking.” The office building is estimated at 32,000 square feet. In the meantime, the developers say, the food truck park can operate “at least through the fall months.” The food truck park did not respond to comment requests.

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