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Search for City Market architect can begin

SNELLVILLE –The Grove at Towne Center took another big step forward Monday as Mayor and Council unanimously voted to begin the search for an architect to build the development's City Market.

The City Market, dubbed the "Mercantile", will be a two-story, 24,000-square-foot market complete with a unique dining experience and room or small- and large-scale events in the second floor. The Mercantile will be built on the corner of Wisteria Drive and Thomas Snell Way, a new road in the development.

The move allows the city to interview architects for the Mercantile which will be the centerpiece of The Grove.

In September, the city, along with co-developers CASTO and MidCity, announced the approval of a City Market construction and leasing agreement. And last month, Snellville's Downtown Development Authority has officially acquired the former U.S. Post Office building on Oak Road. It is the final piece of property needed in what will become The Grove, located between Wisteria Drive, North and Oak Roads and Clower Street. The former post office will be demolished to make way for luxury apartments and a 749-space parking deck later this year.

Demolition for The Grove's $85 million first phase began with asbestos abatement this week and is slated to deliver in 2022.

The Grove at Towne Center will be a large scale, mixed-use town center property, comprising 18 acres between Oak Road, Wisteria Drive, North Road, and Clower Street, in downtown Snellville. The Grove at Towne Center's first phase – including the Mercantile - will include more than 50,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and entertainment space, and approximately 250 multi-family luxury apartments. In addition, the new Elizabeth Williams Library will be constructed and include a second-floor business development/accelerator space.

In other city business:

  • Mayor and Council voted to table rezone and land use permit that would have brought a 101-unit townhome development to Scenic Highway south of Henry Clower Boulevard until the developer can meet with neighboring residents to determine a better fit for the character of the area. The case will be reheard by Mayor and Council March 22.
  • The developer of a five-story hotel proposed for Highway 78 near Fountain Drive withdrew his request for a special use permit to build the project after it was rejected by the city's Planning Commission and raised concerns from neighbors citing increased noise, traffic and unwanted lighting. The developer now has the opportunity to change his plans for a better use of the property.