Bring Back the Coca-Cola Sign...

While I was watching the Roswell circa 1942 video on YouTube!, I noticed that there used to be one of those old-timey Coca-Cola signs on the side of the building where Go With the Flow is currently.  I really think it would be cool to bring that back... or even put up a cool kayaking themed mural on that wall given that we are "a premier riverside community" and Go With the Flow is the top kayaking shop in the region.

Here's what it used to look like.. not sure who the man is but he probably never expected that his image would be blasted out on the interwebs in 2014.

Pedicabs Are Finally Here..

We first mentioned the possibility of pedicabs (aka Rickshaws) coming to Historic Roswell here on NUR way back in February of 2012.  That was when the city adopted an ordinance that allowed businesses to operate pedicabs in and around the Canton St area.  This is a fantastic addition to transportation options around our historic district.  It effectively increases the radius where someone living in the area would choose not to take their car to get to another destination.  I'm a supporter of anything we can do to get people out of their cars in the heart of our city.  I live here and walk as much as possible but this additional option will definitely make me reconsider taking the car for a few of the trips where we choose not to walk.

The pedicabs will begin operation this weekend starting on Nov 8th.  They will operate from noon until midnight Friday through Sunday.  The original map of approved operations shows that they will be allowed to go from Prospect Street on the north to King Street on the south and from roughly Liberty Lofts on the east to the end of Goulding on the west.  That is better illustrated by the map below.

I can't wait to try one out!

 

Town Hall | Roswell: Dining Out.. a RoswellNEXT Event

I wanted to make my readers aware of one of my other efforts that is going on here in Roswell next week.  RoswellNEXT holds periodic events around town that focus on issues and topics that matter to Roswell.  This month, on 8/22, we are hosting Town Hall | Roswell: Dining Out.  It will be a panel of five restauranteurs from Roswell and they will discuss the dining scene in Roswell and North Fulton.  It should be an excellent event.

Here's the info...

We have an exciting evening planned for our August installment of Town Hall | Roswell and if you are interested in the food scene in Roswell, and who isn't, you won't want to miss it.  RSVP Now

Town Hall | Roswell is a unique event that brings our city together to learn about and discuss issues and ideas that are important to the future of our city. This month, we are fortunate to have a top notch panel of local restauranteurs to discuss what's it's like to run a restaurant in what has become one of the best cities to dine out in the metro area.  

Our panel will include Ryan Pernice of Table & Main and the soon to be open Osteria Mattone, Marc Wegman of Adele's Authentic Cajun Cuisine, Jack Gerbilick of the Food Movement and Rich Clark of Hugo's Oyster Bar & C&S Seafood. Our moderator will be Steve Stroud of the Roswell Business Alliance.

You can expect to learn about what it's like starting a restaurant in Roswell, how Canton Street has redefined OTP dining, how food trucks are impacting business and what the best dishes in Roswell are.  Additionally, we will have some special treats on hand from some local restaurants to satisfy your appetite while you listen to all the talk about great food.

We will also be helping out a local charity with food donations.  Bring 10 canned goods and receive free admission.  Donations will go to the North Fulton Community Charities.

We are also cross promoting a fundraiser for another local non-profit, The Kula Project, that night where several local restaurants are donating 20% of their sales that day to the Kula Project's #ForTheFarmer campaign. Learn More

Event Details

  • Date & Time: August 22nd | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Roswell Historic Cottage, 972 Alpharetta St,Roswell, GA 30075
  • Parking: Free Valet @ the Roswell Historic Cottage
  • Admission: Members $5, Non-Members $15 - RSVP on our Facebook page - Pay at the door (credit accepted) 
  • Drinks: $5 suggested donation

We look forward to seeing you there! 

The RoswellNEXT Team

Mike Hadden | Aaron Gravett | Adam & Anna Braund | Chris Foster | Brendan Walsh | Beckie Hawkins | Thomas Shelton | BeAnne Creeger | Dan Shaughnessy


 

 

Town Hall | Roswell - Developing Our Future

There is a really interesting event coming up this week here in Roswell. It’s put on by RoswellNEXT, a local non-Profit that I’m involved with.  We are focused on engaging young professionals, entrepreneurs and visionaries in an ongoing dialogue on how we can work together to improve Roswell.  Our signature event is Town Hall | Roswell and our kick-off is this Thursday, 2/28 at 7pm.  If you enjoy this blog, you will definitely enjoy this event.

Town Hall | Roswell is held every other month and each event focuses on a topic relevant in Roswell.  Each event will have a speaker or panel of speakers who will discuss that month’s topic.  We then follow up with a Q&A from a moderator and/or from the audience.  

This month’s topic is “Developing Our Future” and we are very fortunate to have an incredible panel.  Our speakers are:

  • Dave Schmit - Macauley + Schmit, Roswell Rotary, Roswell DDA, Roswell Comp Plan 2030 Chair, 2011 RBA Economic Development Award Winner
  • Steve Stroud - Executive Director Roswell Business Alliance, Stroud's Printing & Design
  • Steve Acenbrak - Director of Roswell Department of Transportation, Bike Roswell!
  • Lew Oliver - Whole Town Solutions, Vickery Village Town Architect, Two Time CNU Charter Award Winner

Event Details

  • Date & Time - 2/28 from 7pm - 10pm
  • Location - Roswell Historic Cottage, 972 Alpharetta St, Roswell, GA 30075
  • Cost - Tickets - Members - $5, Non-Members - $15, Drinks - $5

Come check it out if you are interested in learning more about Roswell and getting involved in helping build our city’s future.

2013 Outlook - What Will the New Year Bring for Roswell?

Here's a look into our crystal ball at what will happen in Roswell and around the metro area in 2013.  Up front, is a recap some of the bigger changes we've seen in and around the Historic District in 2012.  It's shaping up to be an interesting year in many ways.  Check out our recap, thoughts and predictions in each of the areas below:

2012 Recap - Keep up the Good Work Roswell!

Last year was another great year in and around Roswell.  Here are some of the more notable stories.

  • Groveway Hybrid Form-Based Code - The city passed the hybrid form-based code which was a huge move in the right direction for human-scaled development.
  • DPZ Master Plan - A MP for Historic Roswell was completed by the innovative and influential firm DPZ.  This MP wasn’t adopted officially by the city.  However, the ideas generated from the plan, in classic Andres Duany form, have generated momentum to change where there was none before.
  • TSPLOST Fails - The hopes for easy money and quick upgrades to infrastructure faded as the TSPLOST referendum went down in flames in July. Roswell lost out on a complete renovation of Holcomb Bridge/400 ($46M) and full funding of the Historic Gateway Project ($21M).
  • GM Jobs - General Motors is opening a software development campus in the old UPS Innoplex building off Mansell and will bring about 1,000 jobs. (not real 2012 news but it’s already announced)
  • Roswell NEXT - A new organization aimed at energizing young professionals, entrepreneurs and visionaries in Roswell was founded.  (Shameless Plug, I am a on the board of Roswell NEXT)
  • Historic Square Upgrades - Some nice additions were made this year by completing the sidewalk network in and around the square and also putting up traffic light masts that match others around HR at 120/9 intersection.
  • Code Studio Selected for UDC - This was a fantastic selection for our Unified Development Code.  New Urbanist firm, all about walkability and contextual development.  (translation.. they care about how things look and function)
  • Info Kiosks - We finally got some content added to them and they look great.
  • Little Alley Steak - The guys behind Salt Factory and INC opened their third concept and it’s fantastic. One request though guys, dress up the bathrooms.
  • Pure Taqueria - The Alpharetta based chain has opened a spectacular new location just north of the Historic District.  
  • Alive After 5 Canton St Closure - The world did not end! This was a needed change for the popular event.
  • Food Trucks - We approved a food truck ordinance and now they are regulars at Alive After 5.  Awesome addition.
  • Alive at the Square - The Alive After 5 party migrated south this year and was very successful at the Historic Square.  This spot allows for a little more space and is really good for families.
  • Pedicabs Approved - In a move that I’m not sure was necessary, a hypothetical business would be able to run pedicabs in the Historic District.  Eventually, this will be cool.
  • Bond Referendum Passed - This was a mixed bag but overall was good for walkability.
  • Fire Engine Red on Canton Street - In a controversial move, the new tenant of the former Pastis location, Mac McGee, painted the entire facade fire engine red.  I love it. Now can we get rid of those ugly black awnings with the block lettering?  Just a horrible look for Canton St.

A couple items from around the region:

  • Beltline Eastside Trail - Opened in Oct and is AMAZING! We need to model the Roswell Loop after it.
  • New Falcons Stadium - Completely unnecessary.  Go Falcons though!
  • Ponce City Market - Going to revolutionize in-town living.
  • Avalon Site Plan Approved - Alpharetta eating our Lunch.
  • Alpharetta City Center Plan Approved and Funded- Alpharetta eating our Lunch part 2.
  • Sandy Springs City Center Plan Approved - This is a very nice master plan done by new urbanist firm Goody-Clancy.

Roswell 2013 

Food

Food Access - One of the biggest obstacles to making the Historic District a vibrant living spot is the lack of a walkable or bikable grocery store.  Last year, we thought there might be an announcement sometime in 2012 about a small(er) grocery store going in somewhere near the HD.  We did get something but it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting.  It came in the form of a request to demolish the property at 1056 Alpharetta Street.  The owners are looking to build a small gourmet grocery store called Baba’s Gourmet.  We don’t have any additional info aside from what is in the notes from the HPC request.  The new building will be a welcome addition and will improve the streetscape along that stretch.

insert photo Babas Gourmet Roswell Rendering

Restaurants - We have several exciting restaurants opening up around HR in the near future.  MacMcgee Irish Pub will be opening in the freshly painted former Pasti’s location on Canton St.  Soccer fans rejoice!  Borocco is building out space in the Chaplin’s shopping center.  I’m hoping this one is successful to add a little life to my immediate neighborhood.  On the other side of the square, the owners of McCray’s Tavern (Smyrna & Lawrenceville) are opening a restaurant in the old Relish/Pico spot.  I’m a little unsure of the name since the HPC modifications request is under McCray’s Tavern but the liquor license was applied for as The Mill.  Either way, that spot will be solid with the right concept.  Osteria Mattone is the new venture on Canton Street from the guys behind Table & Main which in my opinion is the best restaurant north of Buckhead.  I have a bold prediction that Oteria Mattone will jump into at least one of the top of Atlanta lists in 2013.  Just seeing the pics on twitter (@oteriamattone) from their food scouting trip in Italy is making me hungry.  

We reportedly have two of our home grown restaurants, Salt and Nine, making the jump up to Alpharetta with second locations.  Salt will be in the old KFC location on Main St and Nine will be in the former Bistro 52 location behind Mitties Cafe on 9.  Honestly, I don’t like either of the locations.  I think Salt will be successful due to the name recognition and the food quality.  The success in Roswell has partly been due to fact that they have an Incredible location in the most walkable part of our city.  We believe, Nine will miss the mark.  The food quality is suspect and that location doesn’t have the foot traffic that is required to sustain a restaurant serving marginal food.  

Locally Grown Food - Will 2013 be the year that we get a real community garden in the Historic District... maybe at Barrington Hall?

Farmer’s Market - The Saturday farmer’s market at City Hall formerly known as the Riverside Farmer’s Market did well in 2012 and we think the same will hold true in 2013.  Although, the fact that it is in a parking lot is a huge turnoff.  If they could somehow find a way to move it to one of the parking lots right along Canton Street, the visibility would be huge and potentially bring even more vendors.  The only other suggestion I have would be to move it to the circle in front of the steps at city hall.  Most people who shop at farmers markets are inherently interested in sustainability and it is counter-intuitive for those people to feel great about shopping in a parking lot.  Just saying..

Mobility

Sidewalks - We are slowly but surely connecting missing teeth in our sidewalk network.  We will connect Diesel to Canton St with a sidewalk along the north side of Norcross Street early this year.  Not that anyone really walks there but the gap in front of the self serve car wash on the west side of Hwy 9 just south of Holcomb Bridge will get a sidewalk either this year or next.

Historic Gateway ProjectOption 3a will be approved and the people at Creekview Village condos will go berzerk because they will lose their tennis court...  The anti-roundabout camp will come out in full force and there will be a prolonged battle to get this redevelopment project going.  The truth is, this design has the potential to be truly transformational for the HD.  However, one thing that is a MUST is on street parking.  We'll probably know this year whether GDOT will allow that.  If they don't, everyone should oppose this option as it won't work.

Building a Network - Work will continue on the plans for the Oxbo Rd realignment and Elm Street Connection to Oxbo.  However, no actual work will start for another couple of years.  We are very excited about this initiative.  Additional talk will occur about the Oak St extension through Waller Park to connect with Grimes Bridge.

Bridge over 400 - We will see some designs at some point in 2013.

Planning & Development

Historic Gateway Master Plan - The DPZ plan that was completed in 2012 will serve as a guide for other projects, see below, that will come out in 2013.  The DPZ plan will not be followed completely rather, it is serving as inspiration that was not there before.  

Unified Development Code - We have a top notch firm in Code Studio helping us put together our new UDC.  We think the public will get its first glimpse of a ‘finished’ product toward the end of the year.  This will revolutionize development in Roswell.  There will be several meetings that the public can attend throughout the year.

Downtown Development Authority - The DDA will finally bring a big project to the table.  Maybe something around Canton Street and Highway 9.  

Boutique Hotel - It is becoming more and more obvious as Historic Roswell becomes a more popular destination that we are severely lacking in quality lodging options.  Is 2013 finally the year that a big hotel group takes note and steps in to build the boutique hotel concept?  We think that’s still a few years off.  However, a more likely scenario is a B&B opening in the Canton St area.  

Civic & Community

Alive After 5 - The expansion to the Square was a big hit in 2012.  Especially for those with smaller children.  This year, the proximity to McCray’s tavern will make the Alive at the Square piece even more fun.  The Food Truck addition made a big deal and enabled people to go to the event and eat there rather than having to leave early due to restaurant overcrowding.  This event is a cornerstone for years to come. 

RoswellNEXT - This newly formed civic group will host 12 events for members and the public in 2013.  We think it will be a huge success and the Town Hall | Roswell events will prove to be innovative and informative.  By the way, they are having a fundraiser on Jan 31st.  For more information go to their website (www.roswellnext.org) or their Facebook page.

Charlie Brown Part Deux or Trois?- Nothing will happen that is large scale on the old Charlie Brown parcel on the southeast corner of 400 and HBR.  We will continue to hear of plans to bring MARTA to exit 7 and beyond but nothing beyond dreams will materialize.

Parks

Riverside Park Area - We thought this would move faster but we believe in 2013, plans will be finalized for two projects.. the extension of the riverside trail will be approved despite NIMBY andEnvironmental Concerns.  The design plans for the bike/pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River will be finalized and approved. 

Roswell Area Park Rebranding - An effort will be initiated to rename Roswell Area Park.  What in the world is an “Area” park anyway?  

Ace Sand Company - Something will happen with the property currently occupied by Ace Sand Company.  This has huge development potential and could be a great addition to our park system.

Retail

A Little Movement - We don’t need ANY more thrift shops.  I think we’ve reached saturation in that market.  There will be some strip center renovations finishing up in 2013 and we might see some announcements for more in the midtown area.  I’m thinking we will hear something about the Southern Skillet shopping center.  That’s purely a hunch but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.     

Employment

Large Employer Void - We didn’t expect any major announcements in 2012 but we got a huge one to begin 2013 with the news that GM was opening an IT center and hiring 1000+ high paying jobs at the former UPS Innoplex building off Mansell.  This isn’t the most New Urban location.  We would love to see an employer come into the Groveway area and infuse some jobs into the Historic District.  However, I think we are 18-24 months out from anything of that nature.  The RBA will continue to do great things

Small Business Incubator - We feel that the best opportunity for Roswell exists in cultivating smaller startups.  Alpharetta a lock on large corporate IT.  Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Buckhead have a stranglehold on large and mid-size companies.  The opportunity here in Roswell is to leverage the strengths of our neighbors and work to create smaller businesses that are not as prevalent in the neighboring areas.  We have an atmosphere that is much more desirable to that demographic.  But, we need to nurture it.  A full fledged startup incubator in Roswell would work but it would need the support of the city and partner organizations.  I don’t see it happening in 2013 but it could.

Housing

Housing in the Historic District - There will be at least three projects announced in 2013 that will bring new housing stock to the historic district.  These will be in the form of single family homes, townhouse and even apartments.  

Development Revitalization - Several developments will get new life.  We are guessing that there may be some action on foreclosed Vickery Falls development just south of Chaplain's on South Atlanta Street due to the prime location and the added focus on cleaning up the area around the square.  This could push out into 2014.  

Goulding Estate for Sale - The $8.75M, 16 acre Goulding Estate didn’t move last year as expected.   However, when it does in 2013, the land will be subdivided into ridiculously expensive smaller lots.  We think the the original building will remain intact and potentially become another event facility or potentially a B&B.  The bigger question is whether they will figure out a way to connect the road to the road to the west and build out our network, more.    

Around the Metro Area

The Beltline - We predicted correctly that the eastside trail would be a huge hit and when it opened in Oct of last year, it was an instant success.  News about additional funding for the Beltline transit component will come out toward the end of the year with a public-private partnership being the finance tool of choice.

The Stadium - The stadium will be approved and ground breaking will occur in early 2014.

Ponce City Market - Additional shops will open up in Ponce City Market.  The unfortunate decision not to offer for sale units will not hurt the overall speed of the development and may actually increase it.  However, this will prove to be the ultimate saturation of the apartment boom in that area.

Avalon Alpharetta - Ground breaking will occur in January.  The parking deck will come down quickly and we will see actual structural development in 2013.  It won’t be ready for showtime until late 2014 though.

Alpharetta City Center - The new configuration of Haynes Bridge Rd from Old Milton to Academy St opened recently making way for the new library.  We will see work start on the Library and City Hall in 2013 and the new road grid and parking deck will begin to take shape.  We love this project.

Sandy Springs City Center - The plans have been approved and we will see a small bit of development start in 2013 but the bigger changes will start to become evident in the next 2-3 years.  

The Atlanta Streetcar - Love it or Hate it, construction will be almost complete by the end of the year and we will see streetcars rolling through downtown again in early 2014.  

The Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal (aka The Gulch) - We will see the final renderings will be approved this year and work will start in late 2014.

Old Malls Will Close - We think at least two malls in the metro area will close completely this year.  Crazy we know but retail is getting crushed by Amazon and aside from the half-dozen high quality malls around the region, the mall is dying. 

Well, that's it!  If you made it this far, you're a true NUR fan.  Thanks and have a great (rest of) 2013!

NUR Weekly - TSPLOST, Parking, Restaurants, Blocks & Mixed-Use

I keep coming up with good ideas for this weekly digest so I had to add a section.  The last part is dedicated to fun stuff and may or may not relate to what we discuss on the NUR blog.  This week, Joan Durbin at the North Fulton Neighbor was on fire with several notable stories.

What’s Up in Roswell

Holcomb Bridge/GA 400 Improvements Tied to TSPLOST - North Fulton Neighbor

Here’s the gist from city council woman Betty Price:

Whether or not T-SPLOST passes, some interim improvements will be evident in the near future. With additional funding and guided by the recommendations of this study, whole-scale improvements can be made in the future that will revitalize this inadequate intersection, bringing with it a welcoming and functional entrance to Roswell from 400.  

Pay Parking May Come to Roswell Historic District - North Fulton Neighbor

My prediction...  People are going to hate this more than they hate looking for a space.  If you’re willing to walk 200 yards, there is NO parking problem.  Key Excerpt:

The locations are the lot next to Wells Fargo on the west side of Canton Street and a lot on the east side between Ga. Hwy 9 and Canton Street that used to be the old city fire department years ago. 

Roswell’s Red Light Cameras May be Relocated - North Fulton Neighbor

This is fairly controversial to some.  Here’s my 2 cents.  These cameras tend to reduce deadly ‘perpendicular’ or ’T-Bone’ crashes at intersections but increase rear-end collisions.  Generally, anything that causes people to pay more attention

Four Canton St Restaurants on Jezebel Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants for 2012

This is a great sign that Canton Street is doing all the right things.  Little Alley Steak, Inc Street Food, Salt Factory and Table & Main made the list in that order.  You’ll have to check out the magazine to see where they weighed in.

4th Annual Trilogy Trolley Crawl Tix on Sale

 

Top 5 Articles of the Week

What is a Block? - Better Cities and Towns

The block is something that confuses most people.  This article takes a stab at defining it and does a pretty good job.  Here’s how they define one:

the definition of a block should be based on the legal structure of urbanism. Therefore, a block is legally defined as private property surrounded by public rights-of-way. By this definition, a block is one of the two fundamental units of urbanism (alongside the right-of-way) reflecting the two types of property (private and public, respectively).

The article also uses an example from up the road in Alpharetta to illustrate the absurdities of suburban ‘blocks.’  They managed to find one has a perimeter of 12 miles!  We need more connectivity and smaller blocks. 

Don’t get Mixed Up on Mixed-Use - PlaceShakers

Mixed-use is one of those terms like sustainability.  It is over used and often used out of context.  This article lays it out pretty well:

Today, the most common misunderstanding I find about mixed-use is that most people think it equates, on any street or in any context, to a shopfront with housing above.

In short, mixed-use makes for three-dimensional, pedestrian-oriented places that layer compatible land uses, public amenities, and utilities together at various scales and intensities. This variety of uses allows for people to live, work, play and shop in one place, which then becomes a destination for people from other neighborhoods. As defined by The Lexicon of the New Urbanism, mixed-use is multiple functions within the same building or the same general area through superimposition or within the same area through adjacency… from which many of the benefits are… pedestrian activity and traffic capture.

How to Get a Trader Joe’s - Smyrna is signing a petition - Smyrna Patch 

I’d love it if it were just this easy to get a grocery store where you want it.  I’m sure we could collect a lot of signatures to get one here in Historic Roswell.  This commenter said it best:

Ultimately Smyrna has to prove we have the demographics to ensure Trader Joe's can survive. It's not about where we want it and why. Will Trader Joe's consider Smyrna and why?

Cops Set Up Sting to Keep Pedestrians Safe - AJC

Read this article, you just might learn something that will keep you out of trouble when walking or driving.  Here’s a stat that I wanted to be sure got out there.

...four people are hit by cars each day in the metro Atlanta area. (Sally) Flocks said between 70 and 80 pedestrians are killed each year in the metro area and more than 20 percent within 100 feet of a transit stop.

Alpharetta Downtown Development Picks Up Speed - ABC

Keep moving forward Alpharetta!  This will be a big boost to walkability in North Fulton.  I thought this excerpt was noteworthy:

In the past decade, other suburban cities including Woodstock, Norcross and Suwanee have tried to reinvent their downtowns by launching major projects.  Those ideas reflect principles of New Urbanism, a countermovement to the development patterns in the 80s and 90s across metro Atlanta that to suburban sprawl. New Urbanism aims to create public spaces, such as a city center, where people can congregate in parks that are near shopping, restaurants and entertainment.

Unfortunately, Roswell didn’t get a mention in the article but we are doing great things and our historic district has arguably been more successful than any of the towns that were mentioned even though they pursued very high profile projects.

Fun Stuff

Church vs Beer Map - Guess Where Georgia Is

Beijing’s Olympic Ruins - Much worse than Atlanta’s Ruins

Top 10 Best & Worst Cities to Live - This ranking used a very interesting methodology.  Number one on the list, Hong Kong.  Last on the list, Tehran.  Best US City, Washington DC.  

What the World Would Look Like Covered in Lego - Simple and Fun.. I’d love to drive under this bridge..

City Hall Square - DPZ Concept

We saved the most innovative of the DPZ proposals for last.  Now, to be up front and honest with everyone, it is my second favorite of the three proposals.  The New Canton Street proposal is actually my favorite but this one is a close second.

This proposal creates a true civic square that functions as the heart of the city anchored by all of the traditional institutions of government and culture. It would slow traffic down but still allow it to flow. Remember that 30 mph is the ideal speed for traffic volumes. This design could maintain that. The proposal would create an incredible location for the new Walk of Valor memorial. Additionally, it would provide a home to the new Fulton County library that is being considered and a new courthouse for the city. The Arts Center would anchor Canton Street and create an amazing cultural amenity that all could see. This is a signature project for Roswell. It could transform the face of our city.


Now, if your concerned with what to do with the old library and the performing arts center, I have a great idea. It could serve as an incredible foundation for a Roswell Charter School campus that would give our city center the school it is lacking. I feel there are better locations that are more central to the neighborhood (Oak St & 9 Intersection) but this would be a real opportunity that could happen in tandem with the City Hall Square. Check out the presentation below to see the vision unfold.



All images courtesy of Duany Plater-Zyberk

A Busy Spring in Roswell

I've been meaning to write this post for a couple weeks but to my surprise, my MacBook Pro decided otherwise.  After a trip to Texas, the MBP is back and I can start writing again.  So, NUR isn't really an events calendar but I do like to point out important things going on around town.  We have a number of great and fun things coming up in the next couple of months though.  We'll kick it off with a couple that have already happened this spring and then list out our best bets for the rest of the spring:

  • DPZ Charette (3/29-3/30) - The charette workshops and presentation to kickoff the master plan for our historic district were phenomenal.  The ideas that came up summarized here were fantastic and we will be seeing refined versions of them throughout the spring.
  • Groveway Hybrid Form-Based Code Passes (4/9) - This past Monday, the city council took a bold step forward for Roswell by passing the community based code by a 5-1 vote.  This is revolutionary for Roswell.
  • Earth Day Kids Fest at The Chattahoochee Nature Center (4/14) - This is a little earier than the normal 4/22 Earth Day celebration but it should be a fun event for the kids at the excellent CNC.  For info click here.
  • 2012 Alive After 5 Kickoff (4/19) - It's BAAACK! The amazingly successful Alive After Five event is back for another year of food and fun.  This is another one that we are looking forward to.  Hope to see you out there.
  • The Georiga Trust Spring Ramble and Annual Meeting (4/20-4/22) - This promises to be a great event.  It's fairly pricey but I hear it will be worth it.  A number of interesting tours and events have been planned by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.  There aren't many better settings in Georgia for that topic.  There will be hundreds of visitors over the 3 day event.  Check out their website for more info.
  • Historic Gateway Public Meeting (4/26) - This public information open house will allow all residents to check out the next refinement of the plans for Hwy 9 from the river to the square.  I believe there will be some DPZ influence in this vision as they were not shy about letting the audience at the Duany speaking engagement know that they weren't fans of the preferred one-way pair alternative.
  • March for Babies (4/28) - This is a charity event for the March of Dimes. The march is a 10k (6.2mi) route around Historic Roswell.  The organizers believe it to be the most scenic walk in Georgia.  There will be hundreds of people on the walk enjoying our city.  This is a great advertising opp for local businesses and restaurants.
  • Roswell Criterium (4/29) - This is going to be a fantastic Roswell promotional event.  The one mile course loops around the historic district and brings a number of spectators.  We can't wait to get down there and enjoy the events. Check out the webiste for more details.
  • Roswell Colors Festival (5/12-5/13) - This is a great way to grab that special mother in your life something unique and special.  It's also fun to check out the historic town square and walk around to the historic homes.  We'll definitely be walking across the street for this one.  They may even have the sidewalk project around the square wrapped up as they have been making some great progress.
  • Roswell Memorial Day Celebration (5/28) - Georgia's largest Memorial Day celebration will take place on 5/28.  For more information check out the event website.
  • TSPLOST Vote (7/31) - This isn't really a spring thing but it's big enough that i wanted to add it to the list.  Put simply, this vote is pivotal for our city and region.  I'm a fan of the tax.  It will attract development that will increase options, reduce congestion and begin to reverse the decay of our mobility system.  Here's what we believe is in it for Roswell.

That's not everything but it's a good preview of what's going on around Roswell.  If you want to get out of Roswell, don't forget about the Dogwood Festival, Inman Park Festival or the Sweetwater 420 Festival which are always fun events.  

The Walk of Valor

I really don't know too much about this other than what I've read on the City of Roswell website and through this Roswell Neighbor article.  However, from what I can tell, this is going to be a fantastic addition to our city's already great monuments in the public realm.  Kudos to the Roswell Rotary Club.

 

 

#3... Canton Street

image: Roswell Historical SocietyWhy 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.