Developers poised to begin work on City Center - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM

Developers poised to begin work on City Center

Commercial phase expected to take up to 18 months


ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Before long, Alpharettans should see a flurry of activity downtown.

Representatives from the consortium behind development of the commercial and residential phase of City Center said Monday night that work is set to begin soon, and they plan to tackle the project all at once.

Cheri Morris, president of Morris & Fellows, who heads the retail portion of the project, said work should begin within two or three weeks of closing on the property, which she said is “imminent.” The land sale has been delayed for more than six months, partly because of a lien on a piece of property the city has been working to clear.

When the city clears title to complete the sale, Morris said workers stand at the ready to construct a complex consisting of 70,000 square feet of restaurant and retail, a four-story office building with three floors of office over retail and 168 one- and two-bedroom apartment units atop commercial shops.

The major focus Monday night was how the city would handle major construction in its downtown. City councilmembers said they want measures in place to guarantee the safety of pedestrians and provide for free flow of traffic.

Morris said the early phase of construction will involve closing all but one of the roads within the City Center complex. Traffic will be allowed to flow on Park Plaza in front of City Hall. Park Plaza will also serve as the lone access to and from the 450-space parking deck near the library.

Councilman Jim Gilvin suggested the Public Works Department consider placing a temporary traffic light at Park Plaza and Academy Street to help accommodate traffic during construction.

Crews will also fence off much of the perimeter, a condition that could impede current foot traffic in the area.

City Councilman Chris Owens said he wants to ensure allowances are made for pedestrians.

“Safety of the public is paramount,” Owens said.

To that end, contractors will use heavy barricades to cordon off a path along Academy Street to provide safe passage for pedestrians. The walk from the deck, Owens said, should be no more than 200-250 feet longer than the current trek.

The first order of business will be construction of the office building, Morris said. Construction is expected to take 12 months.

“We have a tenant who is anxious to get started,” Morris said, adding that the unnamed tenant has signed a letter of intent to occupy all three upper floors of office space.

In addition, Morris said she has about 20 signed letters of intent from restaurants and boutiques to occupy the nearby shops once completed.

Plans call for the project to take about 18 months.

Will Casaday, vice president of development at South City Partners, said construction will be confined to the City Center and the surrounding streets should not be affected with lane closures. There will be a pathway along Academy Street to accommodate pedestrians, he said, but it will not require permanent lane closures.

City officials also directed the development team to coordinate with the city Planning Department to arrange for off-site parking for construction crews. Owens said he doesn’t want nearby businesses and visitors to find parking space taken up by work crews for 18 months.

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