Marietta is one Cobb County city with a downtown teeming with restaurants, retail and residential facilities. CONTRIBUTED

At Issue: What would you like to see in Cobb’s downtowns?

In the six cities of Cobb County, downtowns range from not much going on to lots of office, retail and living space. While Marietta, Smyrna, Kennesaw and Acworth have seen more development through the years, Austell and Powder Springs officials are seeking to do more.

Instead of spending time and money on studies, Austell officials are about to welcome the South Cobb Diner to 5850 Love St. in a renovated city building. Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins said the city has paid about $229,000 to ready the infrastructure for the restaurant, including plumbing and air conditioning. Many may be familiar with the restaurant’s parent company, the West Cobb Diner at 3451 Ernest Barrett Parkway in Marietta. Jerkins said the restaurant will lease the space from the city with possible plans to buy the property later.

While Austell does not have apartments or townhomes in the downtown area, other downtown areas do have nearby residential units. Powder Springs has duplexes and townhomes adjacent to the town square, but no dining options. Yet some Powder Springs officials, including Mayor Al Thurman, are considering consultant recommendations to build upscale apartments near downtown – though they may back away from that idea due to backlash from some residents at recent public meetings.

What do you think? Do Cobb cities have the right mix of downtown development? Are there too many or not enough residences, greenspace, restaurants, entertainment or retail offered? Are more studies and public meetings needed?

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