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In Historic Roswell, death knell tolls for aged strip center as ‘Southern Post’ materializes

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Expected $80M project would echo architectural facets of nearby Canton Street, city’s historic core

A collage of a various architectural features including brick walls and walkways.
A collage of expected architectural elements at Southern Post.
S.J. Collins Enterprises rendering via Roswell Downtown Development Authority

Days are numbered for a crusty strip shopping center near the heart of booming Roswell.

A joint venture between active local developer S.J. Collins and Armada Hoffler Properties is pushing forward with plans to redevelop the shopping hub affectionately known to locals as the Southern Skillet Plaza, an homage to a celebrate breakfast joint.

Developers expect to finalize purchasing the property from the City of Roswell in the fourth quarter of this year and launch construction on the $80-million build in early 2020.

Now called “Southern Post,” the project is expected to rise two blocks east of the OTP’s city famed Canton Street, which has blossomed as a regional attraction with a reputation for remarkably stringent development standards.

A rending of a large brick strucuture with shops at the base.
An earlier rendering of Southern Post.
S.J. Collins Enterprises

Southern Post, as planned, will bring 240,000 square feet of varied uses to what’s largely surface parking now. The architecture is meant to echo Roswell’s historic core—with modern flair by way of a glass tower feature and other components.

Plans call for 80,000 square feet of loft office space, 125 luxury apartments, and 40,000 square feet of retail meant to cater to pedestrians.

Louis Haddad, Armada Hoffler Properties president and CEO, predicts the “transformational” development will infuse urban energy into the historic area.

“We expect to have significant pre-leasing commitments from office and retail tenants by the time we break ground early next year,” Haddad noted in a prepared statement.

The City of Roswell bought the aging plaza in 2016 and has been vetting developer ideas since.

A photo showing an empty parking lot and old shopping center.
The vacancy-riddled shopping center, as seen last fall.
Google Maps

Townhomes at Southern Post were expected to cost between $650,000 and $850,000, a project leader recently told the AJC, but today’s announcement suggests the townhome component has been nixed.

Closer to Atlanta, S.J. Collins is developing the mixed-use Parkview on Peachtree project in Chamblee and the large-scale Interlock venture, which is transforming a section of Howell Mill Road.

An aerial photo of green trees and Roswell Georgia.
The site’s location relative to Canton Street, a regional attraction.
Roswell DDA
A collage of different architectural elements.
Facets of the design include exterior stairwells and an elevated walkway connecting buildings.
Roswell DDA