Smyrna downtown reboot could cost $5.7 million

A proposed blueprint of the redevelopment for Smyrna's downtown corridor will be considered by the city's committee of the whole Thursday, Oct. 14. City Council is expected to take a final vote on the plan Oct. 18. (Provided by city of Smyrna)
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A proposed blueprint of the redevelopment for Smyrna's downtown corridor will be considered by the city's committee of the whole Thursday, Oct. 14. City Council is expected to take a final vote on the plan Oct. 18. (Provided by city of Smyrna)

Smyrna’s plan to transform the city’s downtown area may be about $1 million cheaper than expected.

The city’s Downtown Redesign Detail Task Force this week finalized details of the major redevelopment effort. The revamping, originally slated as a $6.7 million project, could come with a price tag just shy of $5.7 million, according to a design team hired to draw up the blueprints.

The city plans to remove the roundabout and iconic fountain at Centennial Park and replace it with an open greenspace area. King Street will also be extended several blocks north to Powder Springs Street, running alongside the new park.

Smyrna held three three public sessions last month to get feedback from residents on two preliminary options.

Pond & Company, a Peachtree Corners architectural and engineering firm, developed the concept for the downtown redesign last year. City Council approved that concept in June.

Pond incorporated 800 public comments into the architecture, design aesthetic and park-area amenities presented to task force members during a meeting Tuesday.

One of the centerpieces of the redesign was large sculpted letters spelling out the city’s name — a feature billed as an “Instagrammable moment.”

Andrew Kohr, an architect at Pond & Company, said the idea of the sculpted letters being installed in front of the library wasn’t popular with residents. The design team wants to instead mount the letters in front of an elevated stage just outside the Smyrna Community Center. The stage, four feet in height, would have a 3D mural painted on its base wall, serving as the backdrop for the letters monument.

One task force member said large letters and a mural at the bottom of the stage could be a distraction during concert events, but Kohr saw it as the best option to “activate” the Centennial Park area.

Greg Teague, president of Marietta-based consultant Croy Engineering, gave preliminary estimates for the makeover. He said it will cost nearly $2.4 million for site and roadway improvements and construction of the new water fountains and furnishings, and other additions will cost another $3.3 million.

Several task force members asked how often the extended King Street would be closed to vehicular traffic during special events, and wanted to know how that would impact traffic on surrounding roads.

Teague said his team plans to meet with Smyrna engineers this week to finalize a traffic study in the area. That study will be sent to Mayor Derek Norton and City Council members early next week.

Norton asked the task force to meet again Tuesday to review the traffic study.

Kohr will present the downtown proposal to Smyrna’s committee of the whole on Oct. 14. City Council is expected to consider the plan for a final vote four days later.

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