Some children grow up, go to college and say goodbye to their hometowns, but that was not the case for East Cobb’s Josh and Julie Laskowski.
The married millennials recently moved into a new home with their 6- and 8-year-old children, near neighborhoods where they were raised. “When we completed college, my wife and I decided to live here since we knew that this would be a good place to raise our family,” says Josh, general manager of Indian Hills Country Club.
This story originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Living Northside magazine.
They aren’t the only ones, says Julie, who remembers when Sandy Plains Road was a two-lane street.
“I think that all the changes have been for the better,” she says. “East Cobb has some of the best high schools in the country, and now our generation wants to stay in the area to raise our own children. Our neighbors feel the same. Some were even my classmates from the third grade, and we help each other with everything, like an extended family.”
The East Cobb community
Where there were pastures and farmland only a few decades ago, the unincorporated community known as East Cobb is now a sprawling network of neighborhoods, shopping centers and restaurants. The transition from rural to suburban started in the mid-1970s when Parkaire Mall was built on the site of an abandoned airfield, and churches and new subdivisions gradually replaced horse farms.
Growth outperformed 1960s projections made by large corporations and the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta in anticipation of families relocating from other parts of the country, says Linda Field, office manager at the Catholic Church of St. Ann.
“A good part of our families are not from Georgia but from the northeast,” she says. “And East Cobb grew a lot faster than anyone could project.”
Located at the corner of Roswell Road at Bishop Lake Road, the parish was first called “The Bishop Lake Catholic Church.” The name was changed to the Catholic Church of St. Ann’s by the time its doors opened in 1981 with more than 600 families. Today there are 4,300 registered families, or about 15,000 people.
“Every time I drive down Bishop Lake Road, I feel as if I’m going to a cottage on the lake for a vacation,” says Fran Cramer, an original parishioner. IBM helped relocate her family from the New York area in the 1970s.
IBM also brought Beth O’Hara Abbott’s family to East Cobb from Connecticut in 1975, when her father accepted a transfer offer.
“Then later, my husband and I raised our family in the new subdivision Willow Springs,” Abbott says. “I love the area so much that after living in Colorado for awhile, we moved back here to retire.”
By the numbers
East Cobb’s population was 211,541 in 2015, with a median household income of $88,916, according to realtor.com. The largest age demographic is 40-59.
East Cobb’s boundaries are literally a matter of perception. Many consider its borders to run just outside of Roswell and over to East Piedmont Road in Marietta. Other residents say East Cobb also includes parts of Smyrna and Vinings.
County officials confirm it depends on who you ask, since it is not a city, county or voting district.
“It’s generally east of I-75 or I-575, and from the [Chattahoochee] river over to Shallowford Road,” says County Commissioner Bob Ott.
In 2017, East Cobb will officially cover more of northeast Cobb, commissioners say.
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