City presenting plans for $68M Franklin Road redevelopment
by Rachel Gray
October 04, 2013 12:51 AM | 5464 views | 3 3 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(MDJ Staff/Kelly J. Huff)
(MDJ Staff/Kelly J. Huff)
MARIETTA — The city will play host to two town hall meetings over the next two weeks to present plans for projects tied to the $68 million redevelopment bond that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The term of the bond is projected to be 20 years. The period could be less depending on the interest rate at the time the bond is issued, said Beth Sessoms, the city’s economic development director.

If the bond passes, individuals will see their property tax rate increase by 2 mills, which means an owner of a $200,000 home would see a tax increase of $160 per year for 20 years while the owner of a $400,000 home would pay an additional $320 per year.

The city this week posted information on how the bond proceeds would be spent, including a fact sheet, detailed maps of the redevelopment zones and conceptual drawings.

If the bond passes, $64 million would be spent on the acquisition and demolition of 10 to 12 apartment complexes bordering Franklin Road between Cobb Parkway and Interstate 75, to create 179 to 190 acres of cleared land. The goal is to entice developers to buy the sites and improve road infrastructure in the area.

Last week, the City Council placed a 386-unit Franklin Road apartment complex under contract for $7.9 million.

The city has until Dec. 31 to close on the 25.2-acre Woodlands Park Apartments, at 861 Franklin Road.

Next Thursday, on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., the first town hall on the bond will be at City Hall. The following Thursday, on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., the second town hall will be in Marietta High School at 1171 Whitlock Ave.

The mayor’s vision

Downtown Marietta Development Authority board members asked Mayor Steve Tumlin questions about the bond at their Sept. 26th meeting.

The projects will focus on creating a commercial space, Tumlin said, since Marietta is already experiencing single-family residential growth.

Tumlin told the board he does not want the city to miss out on any opportunities, so the project is “not limited” to any specific development, but could include a sports complex.

Councilman Philip Goldstein, who also attended the DMDA meeting, said demolishing certain underperforming apartment buildings around Franklin Road will strengthen the ones that are not purchased by the city.

The apartments that remain could absorb any residents who are displaced and increase their occupancy rates, which will strengthen the viability of those residential businesses, Goldstein said.

Tumlin said razing apartment complexes is not an effort to push anyone out of Marietta, but to improve the living situations for everyone.

“That is my hope,” Tumlin said.

The redevelopment bond information on the city’s website includes details on how $4 million would be spent for streetscape improvements to Whitlock Avenue from Oakmont Drive to Kirkpatrick Drive.

The landscaping, sidewalks, pedestrian lighting and intersection improvements will run from a block west of North Marietta Parkway to a block east of Marietta High School.

One focus will be at the northwest corner of Burnt Hickory Road and Whitlock Avenue to address drainage concerns and enhance the shoulder.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
P.F. Dybbuk
October 05, 2013
Buildings don't cause crime, people cause crime. If you tear down Franklin Road, it will just cause the residents to scatter over to Delk, Powers Ferry, Bentley, Terrell Mill, Cumberland, South Cobb, etc. and bring those places down. This initiative is just a gift for developers disguised as community development.
October 04, 2013
I think that it is great that the City and the Mayor are putting on these informational meetings. Hopefully getting all the information out there will ease the concerns of those against it. I think it is a good thing for Marietta and hope that passes easily.
Joseph Pond
October 04, 2013
Just say NO to this boondoggle. The City is stepping way outside of its charted boundaries. If it is such a great development idea, let Goldstein & Tumlin acquire private funding to proceed, not a huge public slush fund. “That is my hope”
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