Cobb County: A New Marietta
Marietta Redevelopment Director Gary Mongeon is anticipating a lot of action out of this year's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum, which passed in September. As he puts it, "There's a ton of stuff going on in Marietta right now."
The SPLOST (along with state and federal funds) will provide approximately $600 million for transportation improvements (with state and federal contributions the amount tops $1 billion) that include opening up Powder Springs Road, Fairground Road, Roswell Road and Franklin Road to redevelopment. The Tax Allocation Districts redeveloping Clay Homes and Manget Street nearby will create about 550 new housing units, "completely transforming it from an area once 85 percent rental - some of the worst rental in the city - to what will be our finest urban residential neighborhoods, for an investment of about $150 [million] to $175 million."
In the Johnny Walker Homes/Powder Springs Road area, Mongeon says, with Wyndhaven apartments, "we'll see $130 million invested in that corridor, taking about 300 low end apartment units, and transforming them into 400 fairly upscale owner occupied units."
Mongeon says the recent Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional Marietta's code enforcement ordinances - meant to keep rental properties from disintegrating - has made the city's redevelopment efforts more difficult, but doesn't expect it to stop or even slow them down. "It's important, however, that as the state legislature takes action on eminent domain, they recognize that for every case where the public perceives the property owner treated unfairly, there are also cases where the public is demanding action to take care of property that is a public safety hazard. We need the tools to be able to do that."