The City of Woodstock released concept plans for the first phase of its City Center project in downtown today. This phase of the project includes the redevelopment of +/- 4-acre site at the southeast corner of East Main Street and Arnold Mill Road, which includes the former site of Morgan’s Ace Hardware and other vacant parcels owned by the city and the Downtown Development Authority.
The concept plans show improvements for public infrastructure to include re-alignment of Chambers Street and the elimination of a portion of East Main Street to improve access in and out of the existing commercial district. The site will also feature a six-level, 647 car parking deck with entrances on three separate levels, allowing for efficiencies in access and circulation within the structure.
The private development partner, Morris and Fellows, was selected through a request for qualifications in 2015 for the entirety of City Center. The firm was the original commercial partner in the adjoining Woodstock Downtown mixed-use project developed in the early 2000s. Morris and Fellows agreed to a letter of intent in February and will manage construction of the public infrastructure and build privately owned buildings that feature additional retail, restaurant, and office opportunities as well as a boutique hotel with community event space. The privately held land will be purchased from the city for $1.5 million.
“I have not worked with any city that has capitalized on a private development and continued to invest in placemaking and community-building as well as Woodstock has done since the original project we were part of.” stated Cheri Morris, President of Morris and Fellows. “We are excited to partner with the city on the next transformational phase of downtown Woodstock and provide additional opportunities for businesses and consumers to join the already successful downtown.”
The City Center project does not exist in a vacuum and the city is in various stages of over $5 million of other infrastructure projects that improve vehicular and pedestrian access to downtown. These include the Hub Transformation project and the recently awarded Arnold Mill Streetscape project.
The CIty Council decided to take the lead on the vision for this site due to development proposals that were incompatible with the existing fabric of downtown. The city closed on the 2.2-acre Morgan’s Ace Hardware property following their relocation in late 2021 for $3.8 million.
"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," said Mayor Michael Caldwell. "I am excited to see our city’s skyline transform and for the exciting benefits this will bring for every Woodstock resident and visitor."
Portions of the infrastructure related to City Center are anticipated to begin in the next six months with project completion to take three years. The city will be releasing a website for information on this project shortly, which will include leasing information and project updates as they are available.