Letter from the Executive Director

For more than 20 years, the CID has implemented the latest concepts in local and regional planning to improve safety, travel and greenspace throughout our district. During this time, we have overseen the transformation of the form and function of the area.

As a result of improving everyday life and commerce for residents, visitors and business owners, we have encouraged growth and fostered regional impact. Last year, district property owners announced new developments, such as 1875 @ Barrett and Edison Chastainas well as redevelopments of existing parcels like Chastain Center. These developments not only enhance the aesthetics of Town Center, but they also reflect the unique character that makes our area vibrant.

In 2019, our primary objective was completing our trail and corridor studies. By analyzing our present needs, we can now plan enhancements that will have a broad, significant impact on Town Center’s future. We also continued advancing the South Barrett Reliever, a vital infrastructure project that will invite all types of transportation to move freely throughout our district and make it more accessible. In addition, we developed community-centered initiatives that plan and build upon shared spaces to spark social engagement, such as Phase 2 of Aviation Park.

No matter what project we pursue, collaboration is at the core of what we do. We prioritize our partnerships with agencies, organizations and leaders who make our work more efficient, effective and prosperous than we could have alone.

Throughout all of these efforts, there is one common thread motivating us. Forging connections—whether by facilitating movement from place to place, encouraging engagement with our environment, or initiating collaboration with partners—is what inspires us to find new opportunities and creative ways to reach our goals. Connections guide our process and drive what makes our work successful: acknowledging how far we’ve come, concentrating on our current needs, and pursuing the possibilities ahead. Our improvement efforts, from planning to execution, all stem from connections—to our past, our present, and our future. 

By harnessing powerful ways to connect, we have set our sights on a bright future, as well as the path toward it. We will pursue this direction now and throughout the next 20 years. On behalf of our board, staff and the members we serve, thank you for your continued commitment to our collective work.

Sincerely,

Tracy Rathbone Styf
Executive Director, Town Center CID

 

Eye-catching new developments went vertical last year, sparking a trend of more high-end properties lining up in 2020.

6.25 Square Mile District

8.55 Miles of Trails

5.7M sq ft Office and Retail Space

$1.8B Real Estate Value

Home of Kennesaw State University and the Cobb County International Airport

A combined $2.5B+ economic impact

Top Growing Industries

Health Care and Social Assistance  | Professional Scientific and Technical Services  | Accommodation and Food Services

The Town Center CID is made up of more than 275 commercial property owners who pay a voluntary tax to fund projects that make a positive impact in our community. With these stakeholders in mind, we study, plan and execute enhancements to the district’s infrastructure, greenspace and quality of life. Through smart and sensible improvements, we create safe, attractive and valuable spaces where people want to be.

18

ACTIVE PROJECTS

$167.3M

FUNDS LEVERAGED*

*Since 1997

$57M

INVESTED*

*Since 1997

South Barrett Reliever Phase 3

Improving Movement Through the District

The South Barrett Reliever’s third phase will be a considerable step toward alleviating east-west traffic through the district. With a fully realized stretch across I-75, the Reliever will help drivers avoid the busy highway interchange and improve connectivity to Town Center’s prime areas of growth.

What’s more, corridor improvements such as bike lanes, lighting, landscaping and crosswalks will invite more pedestrian activity. These additions reflect the CID’s overarching goal of facilitating interest in alternative transportation options. By taking a closer look at the potential of our projects, we can provide new opportunities to walk and bike through the district in an effort to reduce traffic.

Procured partial funding for Phase 3, which has an estimated total cost of $33.5M

Progressed on Right of Way acquisition for an estimated cost of $7.4M

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Submitted final field plan review to GDOT

Every year more than 10 million cars drive on Barrett Parkway. When Phase 3 of the Reliever is in place, we expect that traffic to reduce by 22%.

2020 Pick-Up Points

  • Finalization of Right of Way acquisition
  • Completion of final engineering
  • Beginning of lighting design
  • Acquisition of additional funding
  • Launch and completion of the Phase 4 Feasibility Study

Placemaking Enhancements

Keeping Our District Beautiful

Throughout the year, the CID coordinated dozens of repair and maintenance projects with Cobb County DOT and Georgia DOT. This collaboration is essential to meeting the immediate needs of our district’s daily drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Improvements to safety, surface and signage help prepare our roadways to be a platform for innovative communication and operational technology. By staying on top of needed enhancements, this work sets the stage for large scale efforts and investments in our future.

2019 Infrastructure Projects

Big Shanty Road

Cobb DOT is constructing 10-foot-wide sidewalk with curb and gutter on south side of Big Shanty Road, from Chastain Meadows Parkway to Bells Ferry Road. This project was funded with TE funds. 

Completion date: Spring 2020

Bells Ferry Road

Cobb DOT is constructing an 8-foot-wide sidewalk with curb and gutter on the west side of Bells Ferry Road, from the Noonday Creek/ Bells Ferry Trailhead to Big Shanty Road.

Completion date: Spring 2020

I-75 Bridge

GDOT is rehabilitating the I-75 north- and southbound bridges over Barrett Parkway, including bridge joint replacement, deck overhand repairs, replacement of anchor bolts and painting of the superstructures.

Completion date: Summer 2020

Cobb Place Boulevard

Cobb DOT repaved Cobb Place Blvd. from Barrett Parkway to Barrett Lakes Blvd.

Completed: Fall 2019

Barrett Parkway Repaving

GDOT is currently repaving Barrett Parkway from Cobb Parkway/ US41 to east of I-575. The project includes new lane striping and pavement reflectors.

Completion date: Spring 2020

Barrett Parkway Handicap Ramps

GDOT is currently replacing handicap ramps along Barrett Parkway where repaving has occurred. This replacement will bring all of the handicap ramps up to compliance.

Completion date: Spring 2020

Vaughn Rd and Cobb Place Blvd

Cobb DOT installed a traffic light at the intersection of Vaughn Road and Cobb Place Blvd. The install also included crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals

Completed: Fall 2019

2020 Pick-Up Points

  • Beginning of concrete median construction and renovations along Chastain Road and northern George Busbee Parkway
  • Completion of Duncan Road intersection improvement design
  • Completion of bridge maintenance
  • Execution of contract for district landscape maintenance with 4 Seasons Landscape Group, LLC
  • Reception of notice on funding from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) and TIP project funding from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)
  • Releasing of bids for concrete median renovation along Chastain Road and northern George Busbee Parkway

Corridor Studies

Charting a Course to the Future

 

In our master plan, we identified several locations for desirable improvements, all of which would have a broad, significant impact on the district. Whichever projects we choose to pursue, they always begin with studies and planning.

Studies take into consideration community input, economic development, public space activation and implementation. They help us determine which assets we should maintain, enhance or develop in order to help us reach our vision for a cohesive, walkable, attractive district.

Looking at the recent and projected growth of Town Center’s jobs and population, it is important for us to take a look at our present state and our needs so we can more effectively plan—not just for today, but for the future.

Compared to the current path of the Noonday Creek Trail (yellow), the new trail crossing project (in red) extends the trail through a natural area and adds scenic overlooks and a pedestrian bridge.

Compared to the current path of the Noonday Creek Trail (yellow), the new trail crossing project (in red) extends the trail through a natural area and adds scenic overlooks and a pedestrian bridge.

Trail Crossing at U.S. 41

 

After analyzing patterns and surveying habits related to the Noonday Creek Trail, we found many trail users stopped and turned around at the intersection just north of U.S. 41 and Barrett Parkway. The safety concerns of crossing a multi-lane highway kept them from enjoying the entirety of the trail. In 2019, in an effort to solve this problem, we completed the study, concept and design plan for an extended pathway and pedestrian bridge over U.S. 41.

Once built, the trail crossing will be much more than a bridge bypassing a busy intersection; it will represent a major point of regional connectivity. The concept will create a seamless connection of the Noonday Creek Trail and fit into Cobb County’s trails and greenspace plan, providing greater access to a regional trail network.

This project would also represent a milestone for our comprehensive vision of the area because it assembles a network of agencies working in an ideal model to reach our collective goals. With the collaborative partnering of the CID, the Atlanta Regional Commission, City of Kennesaw, Cobb County DOT, Georgia DOT and surrounding property owners, this Town Center project will combine a state road, a county trail, a city boundary and government funding. Together, our efforts support the CID’s master plan and the ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative, and they will serve to connect people to destinations within our shared communities.

Barrett Lakes Boulevard and Big Shanty Road Corridor Studies

In 2019, we studied two main corridors: Barrett Lakes Boulevard and Big Shanty Road. We found that the roadways’ current traffic patterns make movement difficult. So, we are focusing on providing solutions for accessibility, safety and connectivity through traffic improvements, access management, pedestrian/bike infrastructure and more.

In 2019, the studies community outreach comprised:

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A survey that gleaned feedback from more than 140 people

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54 transit intercept
interviews

Two stakeholder meetings
Two public open house meetings

A presentation on draft project recommendations

In order to help us establish these corridors as livable, walkable connections from KSU to nearby activity centers, the studies recommend nearly 70 projects totaling $168M that address:

Road and Traffic Calming
(Example: roadway narrowing, intersection improvements, new roundabouts, raised medians, new traffic signals)

Greenspace/Placemaking
(Example: wayfinding, plaza/park at KSU stadium, pocket parks)

Multi-modal/Trail connections
(Example: new roadside and off-road trails, trail enhancements, bus station enhancements, new bike share stations)

Pedestrian Safety and Accessibility
(Example: signalized crossings, sidewalk enhancements, intersection improvements)

“The Barrett Lakes Boulevard and Big Shanty Road Corridor Studies provide the Town Center CID with a blueprint to increase mobility, enhance safety, and encourage economic development along both of these crucial corridors.”

Gregory D. Teague, PE,
President, Croy Engineering

George Busbee Parkway Corridor

In 2019, we completed our study of George Busbee Parkway, which analyzed ways we can improve vehicular, pedestrian and trail safety, as well as economic development. We then reviewed streetscape and complete street projects that could stretch from Barrett Parkway up to Chastain Road. Our improvements will impact the future of Town Center at Cobb mall and connectivity between the South Barrett Reliever and the GRTA Park and Ride at KSU.

In 2019, we applied for GTIB funding for preliminary engineering.

2020 Pick-Up Points

  • Pursuit of funding and beginning of engineering for pedestrian bridge over U.S. 41
  • Prioritization of projects along Barrett Lakes Boulevard
  • Prioritization of projects along Big Shanty Road
  • Prioritization of projects along George Busbee Parkway
  • Launch and completion of the Chastain Road Corridor study
  • Launch and completion of the South Barrett Reliever Phase 4 Feasibility Study
  • Launch the Bells Ferry Road Operational Study

Local and State Partnerships

Collaborating to Accomplish More

 

We are grateful for the fruitful partnerships we fostered throughout the year. By collaborating with other agencies and organizations, we have helped many regional initiatives make headway, such as the Cobb County bike share ordinance, smart tech and connected vehicle technology, the Cobb Greenway Plan, SPLOST planning and more.

The CID fosters the long-range vision for the area, but our role in the community is bolstered by the dedication of others. We continuously engage with other organizations in a synthesized effort to make our work more impactful for the greater region.

Thank you to all of our partners who helped us make a difference in 2019.

Award-winning Marketing

Internationally Recognized for Innovative Solutions and Brand Promotion

In 2019, our marketing efforts received five awards honoring recent projects. Our work was entered into an international applicant pool and was recognized for its excellence in marketing, communication, digital media and design. We partnered with 524 Creative marketing agency to develop creative material that reflects our significant influence and showcases our dedication to innovation.

    2018 Annual Report

    Platinum MarCom Award  |  Gold Davey Award  |  W3 Silver Award

    Taking to the Skies Brochure

    Gold MarCom Award  |  Silver Davey Award

    Town Center Community Alliance

    Creating a Sense of Place

     

    The Alliance is the 501(c)(3) non-profit partner and creative placemaking engine of the CID.

    In 2019, the Alliance launched its membership program and welcomed several local businesses and organizations. Members enjoyed district bus tours to survey the district’s current happenings, as well as Lunch-n-Learns throughout the year. In April, the Lunch-n-Learn welcomed an economic development panel with Select Cobb, Quintus Development and Colliers International. In September, the topic was mobility in Cobb County, and members heard from Cobb County DOT and Kimley-Horn and Associates.

    In 2019, the Alliance was awarded its first grant from Cobb EMC foundation and received several invitations to apply for grants in 2020.

    Sharpening our Focus on Creative Placemaking

    Creative placemaking reinforces the Alliance’s mission of improving the environment and enhancing livability. The concept is focused on leveraging partnerships to harness the power of arts and culture by developing public spaces that welcome and inspire visitors, as well as shape the physical and social character of the district.

    Founders Park Opens

    Honoring our Founding Board of Trustees

    Founders Park was dedicated to the Alliance’s founding board of trustees. Located at the corner of Roberts Boulevard and Vaughn Road, the project was a combined effort of the CID and Alliance. The district’s first pocket park adds a shade structure, seating, landscaping and a bike share station, all along the Noonday Creek Trail.

    Aviation Park Phase 2

    Building on our Aviation Roots

     

    In December 2019, the Alliance installed a stainless-steel sign at Aviation Park, on the corner of Cobb Place Boulevard and Barrett Lakes Boulevard. The artistic team took inspiration from flight and aviation, as well as childlike fun and imagination. The result is a striking entrance signage that signifies the park as a place to play, learn and explore.

    This signage is part of the official activation plan for the park. The Alliance has been fundraising for a series of historical and educational installations to be developed and curated in partnership with the KSU Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books. In 2019, they began archival research, audio recordings and design for artistic shade seating.

    Noonday Creek Trail 

    Tapping Into Usage Trends

    In 2019, the the CID and Alliance installed trail counters to gauge usage and habits of pedestrians and bicyclists along the 7-mile trail. The data collected will help us identify the most effective places to improve the trail.

    We mounted counters in custom lock boxes at eight key points along the trail. The counters use infrared technology to detect changes in ambient heat and record traffic movement.

    Noonday Creek Trail sees more than 2,000 average users every week. However, we found that this usage is not consistent throughout the length of the trail. 63.4% of trail traffic occurred on the east side between Bells Ferry Trailhead and I-575.

    We pulled the first data set in June, with plans to continue monitoring the trail. More data will provide better accuracy and help guide future project needs, such as safer crossings and more parking opportunities.

    2019 Noonday Creek Trail Counter Data

    Click on the pins for more information.

    Bike Share Program Expansion and Upgrades

    Cruising Toward Better Access

     

    In 2019, the Town Center Bike Share saw new and improved bikes, new stations and new users!

    Our program is one of Zagster’s most successful systems, and the popularity of our micro-mobility service surged even greater this year. We installed two new stations—one at Founders Park and another at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. This historic site is the most visited national battlefield park in the country, and it lies adjacent to the Town Center district.

    We strive to continuously enhance our trails and greenspace for all Town Center residents, employees, students and beyond. The staggering number of visitors to the Bells Ferry Trailhead indicated a need for more bikes there than there were racks to accommodate them. So, we worked with Cobb County Parks to extend the station pad and add additional bike racks.

    Rides in Town Center consistently account for more than 50% of all rides in Cobb County.

    Town Center Bike Share Numbers

    TOTAL TRIPS*

    BIKES

    ACTIVE USERS*

    STATIONS

    2019

    2018

    TOTAL TRIPS*

    BIKES

    ACTIVE USERS*

    STATIONS

    TOTAL TRIPS*

    BIKES

    ACTIVE USERS*

    STATIONS

    2017

    2016

    *Cumulative since November 2015

    TOTAL TRIPS*

    BIKES

    ACTIVE USERS*

    STATIONS

    Bike Station
    Sponsors

    Read our new blog series to learn more about micro-mobility trends!

    Choosing the Perfect Bike Share Partner

    If you’ve been in an urban area or prominent city recently, you’ve probably seen brightly colored shareable bikes littered in and around the streets and sidewalks. 

    Bike Shares Connect People, Neighborhoods and Destinations

    Recent municipal agendas have included regional transportation opportunities, but it will take time for long-term solutions to be fully funded and implemented.

    Why Trails are the Unexpected Solution to Meeting Today’s Community Standards

    Green infrastructure, or what most of us know as public trails and parks, is helping communities thrive because it prioritizes the needs and desires of residents.

    2020 Pick-Up Points

    • Continuing the strategic planning for the Alliance’s future
    • Continuing Aviation Park Phase 2 fundraising and grant applications
    • Continuing curation and installation of Aviation Park Phase 2 exhibits
    • Continuing to develop creative placemaking initiatives as part of our trail activation program
    • Continuing collaboration regarding a regional bike share system
    • Updating wayfinding and trail signage
    • Continuing to seek funding for the Busbee Trail

    2019 Financial Overview

    Total Commitments: $3,419,485

    Town Center CID
    Staff


    Tracy Rathbone Styf

    Executive Director
    Town Center CID
    tracy@towncentercid.com

    Jennifer Hogan
    Director
    Town Center Community Alliance
    jennifer@towncentercid.com

    Alisha Smith
    Director of Projects and Planning
    alisha@towncentercid.com

    Luci Morgan
    Communications and Outreach Manager
    luci@towncentercid.com

    Kathy Sommerfeldt
    Office Manager and Bookkeeper
    kathy@towncentercid.com

    Lynn Rainey
    Legal Counsel

    Town Center CID
    Board Members


    Kelly Keappler,
     Chairman
    President of Quintus Development,
    Quintus Corp.

    Dan Buyers, Vice Chairman
    Partner,
    McWhirter Realty Partners

    Darin Mitchell, Treasurer
    Executive Director,
    Chase

    Tracy Rathbone Styf, Secretary
    Executive Director,
    Town Center CID

    Jo Ann Chitty, Director
    Senior Vice President,
    Selig Enterprises

    Britt Fleck, Director
    Regional Director, Metro West Region, Georgia Power

    Mike Irby, Director
    Vice President,
    Taylor & Mathis

    Marie Moore, Director
    General Manager,
    Simon Property Group

    Town Center Community
    Alliance Board Members


    Mason Zimmerman
    , Chairman
    Senior Managing Partner,
    Pope & Land

    Kelly Keappler, Vice Chairman
    President of Quintus Development, Quintus Corp.

    Ken Harmon, Treasurer
    Professor of Accounting,
    Kennesaw State University

    Tracy Rathbone Styf, Secretary
    Executive Director,
    Town Center CID

    Chip Kaczynski
    Owner,
    FLY LBI Inc.

    Ryan Maltby
    Director Revenue Cycle,
    Fresenius Medical Group

    Christina Martin
    Director Service Strategy,
    Kaiser Permanente