ROSWELL, Ga. – The Roswell Downtown Development Authority will soon be the new owner of the Roswell Plaza Shopping Center, located at the corner of Norcross Street and Ga. 9. According to Monica Hagewood, chairperson of the DDA, the 4.3-acre property was sold for $4.8 million to the DDA. She expects the property to close by early next year.
The site of the former Southern Skillet restaurant, the shopping center has seen a decline in recent years as tenants left.
Being a prominent corner in downtown Roswell, redevelopment was only a matter of time.
“This is a critical piece of property for the City of Roswell in an area where we need redevelopment,” said Councilmember Rich Dippolito. “This is a parcel we all think about when we talk about redevelopment. It’s been a focus for everybody.”
The property abuts the newly opened Roswell City Walk apartment complex, and is close to both City Hall and Canton Street.
The sale was made possible by a $5 million loan from the city of Roswell. The money comes from the city’s solid waste fund. Officials said that fund was making less than one-half a percent each year on the capital. Under the DDA arrangement, the $5 million will earn considerably more, at 3 percent interest.
This is the first time the city has made such a loan, say officials.
“This site is potentially catalytic to preserving, enhancing and showcasing Roswell’s charming, historic character, while encouraging local commerce,” said Hagewood. “We are extremely excited about this opportunity for a public-private partnership with the common goal of preserving and elevating Roswell’s signature ambiance while encouraging sustainable economic growth.”
Hagewood said there are no concrete plans for the property.
“We would like to see mixed use but it must be financially viable and must serve the needs of the community,” she said.
Ideally, a developer will come in with a new project for that corner and buy the land. As a part of the deal, the DDA could include a public-private aspect, such as a parking deck.
“There are no definite plans,” Hagewood said.
The primary focus of the DDA is to promote business and employment opportunities in Roswell’s central business district. These goals are facilitated by the pursuit and creation of various programs, both public and private, that encourage redevelopment and growth within the district. They were the initial driving force behind the proposed City Green project, between City Hall and Canton Street.
For more about the DDA and its mission, visit www.roswelldda.com.