Alpharetta city officials recently unveiled an initial conceptual plan to redevelop 22 acres in the heart of Downtown Alpharetta. The plans are a revival of a previous effort to reshape the face of this North Metro Atlanta city, including city hall. Last go round, the city attempted a partnership with private developers but difficulty in purchasing the needed property and the economic downturn scuttled those efforts. However, since last summer, Alpharetta has purchased 8 acres to complete the assemblage needed for a unified City Center with help from to depressed real estate prices.
The initial concept boasts a new City Hall and Fulton County library, a large city park and a parking deck. In addition, since some of the land assembled is east of Haynes Bridge Road, the city will realign the portion of Haynes Bridge Road that lies north of Old Milton Parkway. There is also room and intentions to sell or lease some land for private development on the portion of the land unused by the city. Since park money was used to purchase 5 acres of the assemblage, the city is committed to make the public park land at least 5 acres, which as currently envisioned will dominate the northeast portion of the new development. There are also plans to have a 1 acre town green fronting Main Street to greet City Hall visitors.
In early meetings, citizen feedback has been largely positive with the most concern being the 450 space parking deck. Currently, Alpharetta officials are hoping to finance the development thru a General Obligation Bond via referendum on a November 2011 ballot. The Bond would be equal to and replace an existing Bond due to expire soon; therefore, there would be no increase in taxes to Alpharetta residents.
Two more public meetings to discuss the current plan will take place at Alpharetta City Hall: July 14 at 6:30pm and July 21 at 7pm. The meetings are expected to last an hour or more, depending on time needed to answer citizen questions and allow for public comment. According to Alpharetta Mayor Arthur Letchas, “Now it is time to discuss details such as financing and timelines that have been identified and to hear from our citizens.” Letchas went on to say that if the public supports the concept, additional public meetings will be scheduled to get input on what the buildings should look like and the types of uses for future development on the land intended to be sold or leased to private developer(s).
This project and the intended relaunch of the Prospect Park development gives Alpharetta another shot at a welcomed facelift for what many see as the gateway to the city. You can learn more about the project and give your input to Alpharetta officials by visiting www.alpharetta.ga.us/downtownproject – and feel free to give us your thoughts here too!