After sitting vacant for two years, a former Super Target in East Roswell could become a $75 million development with hundreds of apartments connected to retail and restaurants.
The Target shut its doors in January 2017, despite nearly 1,900 people signing an online petition to save the store. Metro Atlanta builder The Worthing Companies wants to put 76 townhomes and 350 apartments on the 30-acre property at 2640 Holcomb Bridge Road.
But not all residents welcome the plan for the project.
Conversation about the project spanned four hours at the Roswell City Council meeting Monday before Mayor Lori Henry banged the gavel to adjourn the meeting 11:55 p.m. The discussion took up so much time that a vote on the development and about half of the rest of the agenda was deferred.
More than 100 people attended the meeting. And most of the dozen residents who spoke to the council voiced worries about traffic and how much development East Roswell has already absorbed.
Worthing president Darin Collier told the council that even if the council members want him to build a tax-revenue-generating behemoth like nearby Avalon, “I’m not going to do it.” Collier said his company does “neighborhood nexus” projects. He said this project, named East Village Roswell, is modeled after Brookleigh in Brookhaven with its hundreds of apartments and bunches of restaurants.
The main City Council opponent of the proposed development was Mike Palermo, who said he felt the current plan didn’t flow well enough and that he didn’t want the property set up for failure again.
“Just because we have a large amount of money waved in front of us doesn’t mean we can’t accept a project that’s better,” he said.
Councilman Matt Judy said he appreciated the investment that the developer wanted to make in the community. “The applicant is taking a leap of faith,” Judy said.
Collier said he would be open to reworking the plan to add small things that the city wants.
Councilwoman Marie Willsey said she wants a new plan to include more narrow street lanes and extra greenspace because currently the property is “a sea of asphalt.”
For a moment, it seemed like Collier and the City Council were going to negotiate how to incorporate those things, but Palermo said they shouldn’t be making big decisions at midnight.
The City Council voted 4-2 to defer the vote two weeks, giving the developer and city staff time to work out the details. Councilmen Sean Groer and Matthew Tyser opposed the delay; both of them had shown support.
The revised plan is set to be presented to the council at a June 24 meeting.
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