This is the initial sketch for the 400-unit proposed East Village Heights mixed-use development in 2600 block of Holcomb Bridge Road.
Photo: Courtesy the city of Roswell
Photo: Courtesy the city of Roswell

Roswell considers a 400-unit mixed-use development

A developer has proposed building a mixed-used project in Roswell with nearly 400 residential units and space for retail and restaurants. But some of the city’s eastside residents aren’t pleased.

The project would take up 75,000 square feet of the East Village Shopping Center, which used to be anchored by a Super Target, in the 2600 block of Holcomb Bridge Road. If approved later by the Roswell City Council, East Village Heights would have 323 apartment units and 75 townhomes along with space for retail lining the road, according to plans filed with the north Fulton city.

Collier told the Roswell Design Review Board during his presentation Tuesday that Super Target closing spelled doom for the shopping center.

“In what has been a familiar story for big boxes throughout the Sun Belt: Once Super Target left, that triggered a lot of … problems.” Collier added that “perhaps the final nail in the coffin is just happening right now; Marshalls is leaving.”

In Alpharetta, the closing of a Sears anchor at North Point Mall led that city’s elected officials in February to accept a 24,000-square-foot mixed-use development and overhaul of the dated mall area.

Retail experts say consumers crave experiences over items while shopping. Collier said sidewalks and making it easy for pedestrians to traverse your retail space are the top amenities people now seek.

“It’s not the pools, it’s not necessarily types of retailers, but if you can get people out walking and using your space, activating it from the outside, you will have a lot of success,” he told the design board.

Collier added that the project is in line with the other apartments and townhomes nearby. “It’s kind of fitting into the fabric that exists right here.”

But some residents say that’s the problem: there’s already too much housing.

“Holcomb Bridge is already jam packed as it is without 400 new units. You’re putting at least 300 cars on the road,” resident Jonathan Frank told Channel 2 Action News.

Jackie Deibel, Roswell’s head of planning and zoning, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that the project must go through the planning board and then be approved by city council before becoming a reality. She said that, if everything goes smoothly, it could be presented to council May 13.

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