Council members Marcela Zapata and Mike Palermo were among those who discussed the economic outlook for the eastern end of town at the meeting. A representative of Roswell Inc., the city's economic development agency, was one of the panelists.
While some fret that East Roswell will become a sea of empty strip malls, Palermo seemed optimistic about redevelopment.
Connexion is a recently redeveloped shopping center on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.
He pointed to Connexion, a shopping center on Holcomb Bridge, as a redevelopment success story. Tenants include Kale Me Crazy, Starbucks, Taqueria Tsunami, Foundation Social Eatery and J's Wine. Circle Noodle and From the Earth Brewing Company are planned to open there in 2017.
The recent closings create “the opportunity for us to work together on encouraging more office space and destination type businesses,” Palermo said in an email.
The term “destination business” — meaning places that will attract people from other parts of metro Atlanta — was used a lot during the town hall.
Zapata showed attendees a video of a Wal-Mart that was transformed into a library.
Not because the area needs a library, he said, but to inspire everyone to “think outside the ‘big retail box.’”
“With imagination, with hard work, and good design, you can come up with magnificent things,” Zapata said.
Anyone living or owning a business in Roswell is invited by city officials to complete an East Roswell Vision Survey online during February.