SNELLVILLE – A standing room only crowd of about 250 citizens came to ask questions and offer their opinion of the city’s Towne Center project.
Following decades of discussion, city officials said they are ready to move forward with the project which will create a vibrant, walkable downtown area with new retail, civic and residential developments.
“Tonight is not the first step,” Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bender told the crowd at Snellville United Methodist Church. “It is a baby step in a 30-year process. We have some opportunities before us and we want to hear from you about what you’d like to see downtown.”
Over the course of the next two hours a panel of city officials explained the importance of creating a downtown destination, while residents asked how it would affect them.
Mayor Tom Witts said while he was on the campaign trail last year, a majority of questions residents asked were about the Towne Center and in the six months since he took office, the project has drawn renewed interest from developers who are eager to invest in the development. Witts said he and the council will make the Towne Center, a plan which has moved slowly for more than 10 years, a reality. He expects construction on the project to begin by November 2017.
“We are committed,” Witts said. “We are going to build a Towne Center.”
First, city officials must get the interested developers to invest in Snellville through a private-public partnership – the city provides the infrastructure and a bulk of the land, and developers build innovative properties that will attract business, residents and visitors.
Ideas raised by city officials and residents for the Towne Center included:
Residents were asked to complete surveys asking them what they would like to see in the Towne Center as well. The results will be documented and included in future talks. If residents missed the meeting, the can fill the survey out at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TownHallMeeting0516