KENNESAW — The massive, 50-acre mixed-use development under construction at the corner of Cobb and Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw is set to welcome its first tenants in the coming months.

The retail side of Kennesaw Marketplace is expected to open in two phases during fall 2016 and spring 2017; the residential portion of the development is projected to open in 12 to 14 months.

When the $180 million development is fully opened, it will be one of the largest of its kind in Kennesaw, according to Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling.

“The more I think about it, the more I realize this could be one of the most important developments ever in Kennesaw,” Easterling said. “If you look at the quality of stores and restaurants, it’s got it all. It’s a great opportunity to transform the city into a real competitor.”

Jeff Fuqua is the principal at the Fuqua Development Company, which is building the Kennesaw Marketplace project. Fuqua agreed with the mayor’s assessment of the project’s possible effect on the city.

“It will have a large economic impact on Kennesaw,” he said. “It is expected to create 1,600 to 2,000 new jobs.”

The development, which began construction about a year ago, will feature a wide variety of retail stores and restaurants, as well as a multi-family senior-living residential facility with 190 units catering to residents 55 and older.

Most of the retail space in the development on the corner of Cobb Parkway and Barrett Parkway has already been leased, and “some of the retailers will open in the fall and the rest will open in the spring,” Fuqua said.

Kennesaw Marketplace will be anchored by a Whole Foods Market and include regional sporting goods stores, restaurants and other specialty retailers.

The 50-acre development is on the former site of a trailer park and an old granite mine, which presented some issues.

“It has been an extremely difficult project to develop,” Fuqua said. “The site was all rock and part of it was an old granite mine with a 60- to 80-foot deep crater in the middle. We had to fill the hole, which made this a major construction feat. That’s why it sat there for 50 years because it was a very difficult place to develop.”

The developer also had to consider the area’s transportation and traffic infrastructure.

“We’re building a half-mile long road in the middle of our property that will relieve traffic from the intersection,” Fuqua said. “So, if you don’t want to go to the intersection, you can cut through the road we’ve built.”

Fuqua said the company has also built a structural bridge across Noonday Creek that will eventually extend to the adjacent property.

Fuqua Development Company, headquartered in Atlanta, has also partnered with the Atlanta Braves on the retail portion of The Battery Atlanta, the mixed-use development under construction next door to SunTrust Park, the team’s new stadium in Cumberland.

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