There are a few things going on in Groveway right now but I won't cover all of those today. Those are the Frazier Street Apartments, Souther Skillet Property and now the property at 900 Myrtle Street. Since the council will be voting on a stream buffer variance for a new development at 900 Myrtle tonight, I'll quickly comment on that one. Here's a rough view of the site with the 21 new residences laid out. I'm not sure what type of residences these will be (single family or townhome).
We are very excited to see actual residential development coming to Groveway but there are a couple concerns.
First, this property will be gated. I think we need fewer gates in our historic center and those that are already up should come down. Real cities don't gate their neighborhoods. Suburbs do and those places are called subdivisions.
Second, I can't tell which way the fronts of these buildings will face? If they are not facing the existing streets, it will be a shame. Much of the Groveway Code talks about how buildings front the streets and as most New Urban Roswell readers understand, buildings frame great places.
Third, this property sits in the middle of a gigantic block that stretches roughly 1400 feet from Norcross to Hill Street. If we are truly looking to create a walkable area in the center of our city, we need to cut that distance at least in half. Truly walkable cities have blocks in the 200-600 foot range. Those with 1400 foot blocks are almost wholly car dependant because people just won't walk that far. The developer should consider (if they aren't already) adding a mid-block pedestrian path on the north side of their property.
I guess there will be more to come on this one but as it sits right now, there are some unanswered questions that might lead to some concerns.
I just wanted to follow up here. Pretty much all of the concerns I had with the initial plan have been eliminated. The most recent site plan that I got a glimpse of shows a much better use of the space and really works to frame the public realm while creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere for the residents. When I have a site plan that can be published, I will as it will be some of the better development that we have seen. I really wish the Chattahoochee & Pine folks had put more thought into their site plan.