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Snellville approves open containers in new downtown district

Snellville approves open containers in new downtown district.

Snellville has created the Towne Center Entertainment District, an area anchored by a forthcoming mixed-use development that will become the city’s new downtown.

Residents and visitors will be able to stroll around outside there with an alcoholic beverage in hand, thanks to a measure approved by Snellville City Council on Monday night.

The Council approved multiple steps toward making Towne Center a reality on Monday, including a $1.1 million contract to begin work on a greenway and a $15,000 contract for Winter Construction to develop a plan for the building of a 750-car parking deck.

The entertainment district, also approved Monday, is bordered by Wisteria Drive, Main Street East and Ga. 124. It surrounds but does not include Snellville City Hall, Snellville Police Department headquarters and the Snellville Senior Center. Towne Center, anchoring the entertainment district, is expected to have multiple restaurants, which will be able to sell alcoholic beverages for outside consumption as long as they follow city guidelines.

Beverages must be in a paper or plastic cup that is 16 ounces or smaller, and only one drink per person may be sold at a time. Open container laws still bar people from taking their drinks outside of the entertainment district or into cars.

The Towne Center project has officially been in the works since the city signed onto a public-private partnership for the $85 million development last August, but the seeds of the idea can be traced back to 2003. The residential aspect of the project — 250 apartments — is expected to begin construction in the spring of 2021.