Bring Real Businesses & Jobs to Roswell

This is the sixth post in a series of posts this December that will chronicle the 25 things we would most like to see in Roswell. None of these are actually happening... at least in the way we'd like them to. Please enjoy and have a happy holidays!

Sure, we have business here and we do have jobs. We have the Find It All Roswell program to encourage residents to spend their dollars in their city.

But really... Roswell is the job void between the Perimeter area to our south and Alpharetta to our north. We missed the boat on a huge opportunity to build this city's tax base in the 90's but you can't blame the city for not seeing it coming. In a way, it's nice to not be Alpharetta. That city will quickly find that it can't sustain itself. This will happen when business start moving back closer to the region center as they chase the talent. That talent overwhelmingly prefers walkable, mixed-use, transit oriented development over the boring sprawl that they grew up in.

So, right now is the time to begin courting real businesses by livening up our city core even more. Dunwoody and Sandy Springs will always have a little edge on that front because they are closer in and a lot of infrastructure is already in place. Plus, I don't think we want that type of development here in Roswell. Towers are just vertical cul-de-sacs and we don't need any more of those either horizontal or vertical. Alpharetta has committed itself to the sprawl pattern and as referenced above will have its issues.

Roswell on the other hand actually has a real center with some appropriately sized blocks that could create a great mixed-use environment in the future. This type of environment is exactly what will attract the future creative college grads that our economy will thrive on. So, it is critical that we commit ourselves as a community to build in a more sustainable, mixed-use pattern around the core of our city to attract new businesses.

Now, there are some ideas out there to bring real business to the core of our city. I can't give much detail but I have heard of some very large, very interesting opportunities to bring big companies to Roswell in the core of the city. This could create an employment center that would drive the smart, new urbanist development that will be successful in the future.

Let's hope we start making the right decisions and that we put appropriate incentives and deals together to bring in great businesses.