SNELLVILLE – City officials took part in a strategic planning retreat Wednesday, continuing the effort to make the city’s Towne Center project a reality.
The joint strategic planning board retreat with the city’s Development Authority and the Downtown Development Authority brought project leaders together to discuss progress and next steps to create a walkable and livable downtown, something city officials have been working toward for nearly a decade.
“We are soon going to be making some critical decisions,” said City Manager Butch Sanders. “And this planning effort will keep all partners – the Downtown Development Authority, the Development Authority and Mayor and Council - moving forward together.”
After receiving information about the city’s demographics and commercial and retail stability, those who attended the meeting heard about development agreements, financing and the ins and outs of real estate acquisitions needed to make the Towne Center vision come true.
In the upcoming months, city officials will meet with developers and lenders to determine a financial strategy for the project, including finalizing a budget and identifying necessary funding sources. Project leaders will also create a strategic plan to secure available funding and address transportation issues. There is also a plan to have another in a series of Town Hall meetings early next year spotlighting the activities of the DDA as they reach out to business owners in the Towne Center area, keeping them abreast of the plan.
The city will also unveil a new social media and website strategy to keep residents informed about the plan’s progress in the near future.
PHOTO CAPTION: Snellville Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren speaks to those gathered at a strategic planning retreat of the Downtown Development Authority and the city’s Development Authority.