Brookhaven City Council Advances Children’s North Druid Hills Campus with Key Votes

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The Brookhaven City Council approved several related items that will enable Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to move forward with its planned North Druid Hills campus. The 72-acre campus will provide a healing center for families, reconnect several neighborhoods and urban centers and be a catalyst for more than $40 million of transportation improvements in the surrounding area.
“We are thrilled to be in Brookhaven,” said Children’s CEO Donna Hyland. “This partnership will allow us to do what we do best – get children better, faster – while also having a transformative effect on the health, safety and wellness of our neighbors in Brookhaven, DeKalb County and beyond.”
Plans call for a 446-bed replacement hospital, support buildings, physical plant, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics and more than 20 acres of greenspace. The hospital will be completed in 2025.
“Our partnership with Children’s allows us to accelerate several key projects of vital importance to Brookhaven, while retaining and growing one of our largest employers,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. “Children’s campus is going to change our community in a positive way, but this cannot compare to the life changing effect it will have on children from across the region and state.”
Council Actions

At its Dec. 12 meeting, the Brookhaven City Council took three key actions:

Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Brookhaven Development Authority, which had previously entered into a similar community investment agreement with Children’s, whereby Children’s will provide more than $45 million in direct investments that create the potential to leverage tens of millions more for vital transportation and infrastructure investments that will benefit Brookhaven, Children’s and the surrounding community.

Adopted a text amendment to its zoning code that allows medical uses inside the city’s industrial district. Most of Children’s master plan site is currently zoned industrial.

Annexed an additional 11.4 acres owned by Children’s into Brookhaven and approved a special land use permit for Children’s planned support building on a portion of that acreage. This building will be constructed before the hospital to allow Children’s current administrative staff – many of whom are now housed in existing buildings where the replacement hospital will be built – to vacate their current buildings so construction can begin on the new hospital.
Campus Plans

Children’s plans – informed by months of meetings with community members, patient families, physicians, nurses, employees and local officials – were shared with the public on Nov. 16.  
Anchored by the replacement hospital in the middle of the site, the campus will also feature the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, miles of trails and paths and support buildings along the I-85 frontage road. Plans call for 446 beds in two patient towers, with an attached medical office building and a consolidated AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Additional structures planned for completion by 2026 include a central energy plant that will allow for efficient and sustainable energy on site and ancillary parking decks.
Specific transportation investments planned include funding for significant road improvements nearby, including kicking off the process for replacing the I-85/North Druid Hills intersection; an improved access point from North Druid Hills Road; and improvements on several nearby arterial roads.
Additional plans call for a new connection underneath I-85 that will allow direct vehicular access to the campus. This connection will also enable surrounding neighborhoods, Executive Park and Cliff Valley Way, to have eventual access to the planned Peachtree Creek Greenway. New 14-foot wide sidewalks will also be built along the edge of the new campus.
All transportation and infrastructure investments will be carefully coordinated with local governments and relevant organizations.
Next Steps

Once finalized, campus plans will be submitted to the Atlanta Regional Commission as a Development of Regional Impact by January. Children’s expects the DRI process to take four to six months. Construction on the hospital will likely begin in 2020, once the support building is complete.