This is a rendering of the proposed development's multi-family housing section.
Photo: City of Kennesaw
Photo: City of Kennesaw

A $65M mixed-use development is set to take over Cobb shopping center

It looks like Electric Cowboy will have to ride off into the sunset.

That and basically every other store at the Kennesaw Crossing shopping center are set to be bought, booted and demolished to make way for a $65 million mixed-use development.

Kennesaw’s City Council unanimously approved the zoning and variances required to start the project on June 18, said Darryl Simmons, the city’s planning and zoning administrator.

The development would have a 140-room hotel, two office condo buildings of 9,750 square feet, about 22,000 square feet of retail space and 274 apartments with monthly rents between $1,000 and $3,000, according to plans Varner Developers filed with the city.

Simmons said this could be the first national hotel chain in the city limits.

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Kennesaw Crossing is currently anchored by the Western-themed chain nightclub but also has an antique shop, a Halal meat market and other businesses. Everything there will be flattened except for the Hooters on the southwest corner at Cobb Parkway and North Roberts Road.

The proposed project would increase the amount in taxes the city would receive from the 13½-acre property tenfold, Simmons said.

Projects to revitalize the shopping center have started and failed over the years, Simmons said, but this proposal was just what the city wanted for such a visible property.

“That’s a real key gateway entry into downtown Kennesaw,” he said.

The shopping center is about a five-minute drive to the historic downtown and surrounded by Southern Sky Brewing Company and Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

Right now, the city gets $32,000 in taxes and business license fees from Kennesaw Crossing a year, Simmons said. The proposed project would bring in $300,000 annually.

He said no public money will be spent to build the development. The city will improve the trails around the area to better connect them to the Noonday Creek Trail.

Simmons said the city made Varner agree to some limits for the project — like that there can’t be any tattoo shops, package liquor stores nor massage parlors.

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And to avoid an eyesore, he said, Varner must finish demolition in two years or the city will take over and place  liens on the hotel and retail portions for the amount it costs Kennesaw to finish the job.

As for what’s next, Simmons said Varner will create a formal construction plan and start demolition.

He said traffic was discussed in the economic impact plan —  “it always is with development in Cobb County” — and will need input from the county department of transportation.

“Once they get to a final site plan ... obviously the traffic and the access plan will be reviewed by our city engineer as well as Cobb DOT,” he said.

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