Roswell project designed for pandemic’s changing lifestyles

A rendering of the Southern Post development coming to Roswell. Courtesy of S.J. Collins Enterprises
A rendering of the Southern Post development coming to Roswell. Courtesy of S.J. Collins Enterprises

The developer of a $100 million mixed-use development coming to Roswell has made a few tweaks to accommodate lifestyles changed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re working to fine-tune amenities,” said Jeff Garrison, a partner with the developing firm on the project, S.J. Collins Enterprises.

Overall, the live, work, play model in housing is proving to be more favorable than high-rise office buildings to people concerned about pandemic safety measures, Garrison said.

S.J. Collins broke ground in January for the Southern Post development on Alpharetta Street near downtown Roswell’s Canton Street. Construction will restart next spring after being halted by the pandemic, Garrison said.

Southern Post will have 95,000 square feet of office space reaching four stories, 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail, 128 apartment units and nine townhomes. A five-story boutique hotel by developer Mattis Partners will also be on the site.

Garrison said Southern Post’s designs, before the pandemic, already had the open-air, less compact feel that people who work from home or in the office now increasingly want.

“We develop all over the East Coast,” Garrison said. “During COVID, we thought no one will want to put money into these type of projects. The opposite is true."

S.J. Collins has taken on five new projects since June, Garrison said, and adjusts their model to what the community wants. Southern Post is similar to the firm’s larger west Midtown development, The Interlock but the Roswell project will have considerably less residential. The second phase of the $450 million development at Georgia Tech is scheduled to begin in January. The project includes 350 apartment units and 77 homes for sale.

“Communities know what they want and need and where they are going to spend their money,” Garrison said.

While streets are less crowded during the pandemic at rush hour, residents leave home during the course of the day to shop or grab a bite to eat, Roswell Director of Transportation Muhammad Rauf told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September.

Southern Post will have exterior staircases and where possible, restaurants will add take-out windows.

The parking deck design allows people to walk from the level they are on into their office and are spaced well for social distancing, Garrison said.

“We literally put ourselves in the mindset of the officer user,” the developer said. “'How do I park without being within six-feet of anyone?'”

Retail and office tenants would move into Southern Post a little over a year and a half after construction starts, Garrison said, adding that the apartments will be complete about two to four months later.

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