The north metro cities of Roswell and Alpharetta have long been suburban enclaves of choice for many Atlantans. With access to the city via Ga. Highway 400, the once-bedroom communities have sprouted their own office parks and commercial centers to serve ever-growing populations. Now, mixed-use developments are popping up, echoing the transformations seen elsewhere in the metro. As the Connect 400 plans call for the extension of MARTA's Red Line northward along Ga. Highway 400, some developers are looking to capitalize on the corridor's potential. Given the mixed-use boom on the Gold Line toward Doraville, there's a good chance the train line will provide even more umph behind the planned projects. New Urban Roswell takes a look at five transformative developments, three of which are actually active, that could theoretically bring almost 7,000 residential units, more than 700 hotel rooms and 6 million square feet of office and commercial space to North Fulton and South Forsyth.
Last year, the mixed-use mecca of Avalon opened its doors in Alpharetta. A classed-up suburban version of Atlantic Station, the development was hailed as a hip new play-place for suburbanites who wanted a bit of controlled urbanity without schlepping down to Atlanta. With the second phase underway, the project will sport a hotel, more residences and a slew of new office space once all is said and done.
Announced this fall, the HALCYON development is the northernmost project of its type planned on the corridor. Across the border from Alpharetta in South Forsyth, the project could bring single-family homes, apartments and office space to a 135-acre tract of land. A large emphasis of the project will be green space and greenway inter-connectivity.
Announced just after Avalon debuted, the Riverwalk proposal apparently wants to one-up its rival. Setting the development apart was the incorporation of a meandering water feature through the project — an amenity not common in Atlanta. With flashy renderings and a dense vision for the 104-acre development, Duke Land Group has grand plans for the project.
While the three projects could be a big boon to the area, they pale in comparison to mega-concepts first floated in the mid-2000s. Both Charlie Brown and Prospect Park were pie-in-the-sky visions stifled by the recession. Also known as East Roswell, the Charlie Brown project was among the most ambitious ever seen in the metro.
As the land becomes more valuable along the corridor, it'll be interesting to see what new proposals crop up for these areas — and if the promise of that many more vehicles makes train lines seem alluring enough to actually build them.
· Mixed-Use Mania on GA400 [New Urban Roswell]