MARIETTA — A symposium targeting the redevelopment of south Cobb near Six Flags Drive and Franklin Road in Marietta is scheduled for September with U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) scheduled as the keynote speakers.
Corker was the mayor of Chattanooga during that city’s downtown renaissance, said Cobb Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Amy Selby.
Co-unty Chairman Tim Lee said the Six Flags Drive and Franklin Road areas were selected for the first of what is expected to be an annual forum because they have the potential to present the biggest returns on investment for redevelopment opportunities due to their proximity to the interstate.
“It just so happens that there are opportunities because they’ve had some problems in the past because of law enforcement issues, high transiency rates, quality of life and code enforcement problems,” Lee said.
The idea for the symposium came from lobbyist Michael Paris, president and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth. Paris’s group is hosting the event along with the Cobb Competitive Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) nonprofit on Sept. 16 at the Marietta Conference Center.
The event will be open to the public and members of the business community who have an interest in the development of the county should attend, Selby said.
The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority’s board learned about the session Monday during its monthly meeting from the county’s planning division manager, Dana Johnson.
Board member Doug Stoner, a Democrat who was ousted from his state senate seat last year by Republican Hunter Hill, asked who would be the target audience, to which Johnson replied elected officials and developers.
Board member Ed Richardson, owner of Richardson Management Group in Smyrna, asked who they are targeting to assist with fundraising for the symposium.
“It’s a two-pronged approach,” Johnson said. “One is different companies that are involved in some aspects of redevelopment, like engineering companies, in addition to some of our local governments because it’s also an opportunity for our local governments to highlight the properties that they would like to redevelop back to the private sector.”