Marietta has an opportunity Nov. 5 that will impact the future of the city for generations. The Franklin Road redevelopment bond is a sound and prudent move toward not only stabilizing an area that is riddled with crime but also capitalizing on what is arguably the most prime commercial real estate location Marietta has. Compare the proximity of this area to that of the Galleria business center that has been a great success over the years. Franklin Road can be just at successful.
This bond has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. Sen. Isakson spent his career in real estate building a thriving brokerage and has a lifetime of experience to understand the positive impact of this bond. There could be no stronger endorsement.
What do we risk by taking zero action on Franklin Road? We have a well-run school system that is running at or near capacity in all seven elementary schools. The risk of having to add another school is extremely high as Marietta has added over 400 students this year alone. The construction cost, additional staff on payroll, and cost to operate and maintain an additional school would run well past $68 million in the years to come. Add to that an endless cycle of crime and blighted property and we have a problem that will not go away. It will only get worse.
The bond is a sound proposal, as the return on investment alone from redevelopment will have an enormous impact on Marietta.
Taking strain off of the schools, the fire and police departments from constant calls to handle problems with drugs and prostitution will not only save money, it will help all of these government services run much more efficiently. Efficiency saves money.
The Franklin Road location has the traffic infrastructure in place. It simply needs the push in the right direction and leadership to move it towards where it should be, the prime commercial location for Marietta.
Our Mayor, City Council and Marietta School Board have taken the initiative to move Marietta forward. We have the opportunity to keep Franklin road as a liability or turn it around and make it an asset with compounded positive returns.
From a risk/reward standpoint, this is an asymmetrical bet with the odds heavily in favor of redevelopment.