Why We Love It..
Canton Street is an excellent example of what we are about here at NUR. It incorporates elements of mixed-use (residential, commercial, retail, restaurant, park) all along one walkable street. The key to it's success if having all of these uses in close (walkable) proximity of each other. It defines our City and is our centerpiece. It was recently won the 2011 Great Street award given by Georgia Planning Association. They dubbed it the "hottest scene outside the perimeter." I'd tend to agree with them.
The street is innately historic and has incorporated a great deal of adaptive reuse in the buildings. Former homes now host a wide variety of businesses and shops. Former businesses are now restaurants, shops and salons. Uses they were never intended to have but they work because they weren't designed to do just one thing forever. Do you think any of our suburban subdivisions will have this kind of success 80 years from now? It's probably unlikely. The nature of the place is what has made it successful.
The street is home to some of Roswell's most successful events such as Alive After 5 and the Roswell Criterium which bring a steady draw of visitors to the area. It is also home to one of the greatest concentrations of unique and tasty restaurants in suburban Atlanta.
Add to all of this, the fact that it is insanely picturesque and you have a successful street that is serving as an example to many other places in our region.
What We Would Change..
Hard to Say.. It's difficult to argue with its success. We'd like to do something with the parking lot at the intersection of Canton and Magnolia and figure out a way to get the old Antiques building outta there and bring a development to the street. Additionally, a parking deck solution might eventually be warranted but we're not 100% convinced that it's needed yet.