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New City Center to be built in heart of Woodstock


City planners envision a flatiron building towering above Main Street. This unique architectural style originated with a New York highrise built in 1902.

photo by woodstockga.gov

 

Desiring to expand the downtown community, local leaders have championed the development of a new City Center. This complex is designed to serve as a destination hub for people both in and around the local community to gather and share in the city’s diverse retail and restaurant scene.


“The Woodstock City Center project represents a generational opportunity to add retail, office, hotel and critically important parking and infrastructure to one of the most popular downtown destinations in Georgia,” Mayor Michael Caldwell said. “I am excited to see our city’s skyline transform and for the exciting benefits this will bring for every Woodstock resident and visitor.”


The project will be sited on a four acre plot at the intersection of Main Street and Arnold Mill Road, which includes the previous location of Morgan’s Ace Hardware. This revamped public infrastructure is intended to optimize traffic flow with a 647 space parking deck and realigned roads that will enable easier passage through the downtown corridor.


“There are two components to the project; one is public infrastructure, and the other is a private development that surrounds it,” Brian Stockton, Director of Economic Development, said. “The private developer [Morris and Fellows] is looking to build around 50,000 square feet of office space, 24,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and then a hotel and convention center.”


This private development agency was one of the city’s original commercial partners during the early 2000s. That initial phase of construction saw the transformation of a quiet railroad town into what is now one of Cherokee County’s fastest-growing cities. Morris and Fellows will be renewing their commitment to the community as they oversee Woodstock’s next phase of development.


Plans are underway for the construction of a flatiron building which will sit upon the triangular plot of land at the intersection of Main Street and Rope Mill Road. This uniquely shaped structure will contain luxury condos on its upper floors with restaurant and retail space on its lowest floor.


Even as the city grows, small businesses remain integral to the downtown atmosphere. However, the recent closing of the beloved coffee shop, Copper Coin, reflects the struggling state of many of these local companies.


“Big corporations are going in, buying up property and then renting them out for two or three times what they would normally rent for,” Mrs. Anna Johnson said. “That’s one of the problems that’s causing small businesses to close.”


This increase in rent comes as a direct result of landlords attempting to pay down mortgage debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With inflation also on the rise, small businesses may be less likely to have the bandwidth necessary to withstand these increased rent prices.


However, downtown’s future developments are expected to spark a new wave of visitors from outside the city. This promises to bring about a second wind for the local economy and downtown as a whole.


“Woodstock City Center will complement the existing shops, restaurants, parks, residences and other amenities in the downtown corridor,” said Cheri Morris, President of Morris & Fellows.

 

A hotel is set to occupy the currently vacant space along Arnold Mill Road. This plan was made to allow for the continued expansion of historic Downtown Woodstock.

photo by woodstockga.gov