Franklin Road. proposal gains momentum
by Jon Gillooly
April 18, 2013 12:35 AM | 4602 views | 6 6 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Marietta City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward asking voters to consider a $35 million bond for the redevelopment of Franklin Road and other locations by hiring a financial consultant and bond counsel.

The City Council voted 7-0 to hire Dianne McNabb of PFM Group as its financial consultant for a fee of $35,000 and Teresa Finister of Murray, Barnes, Finister as bond and disclosure counsel for a fee of $80,000.

The fees are contingent on the bond passing.

City Manager Bill Bruton said the council has until August to make the final vote on whether to put the bond before voters in November. The council’s vote allows the city’s staff to begin preparing the paperwork on the terms of the proposed bond.

Mayor Steve Tumlin so far has spoken in general terms about how he’d like to see the funds spent, such as buying up dilapidated apartment complexes along Franklin Road and razing them so the city can sell the property to commercial developers. Tumlin has also spoken about using some of the money to build a road connecting Franklin Road with Barclay Circle off Cobb Parkway to help the two universities located in that area, Life University and Southern Polytechnic State University. Other ideas he’s suggested include improving Whitlock Avenue, buying some empty strip malls and turning the vacant Lemon Street School, where Marietta’s black students were required to attend prior to integration, into a museum to honor their history.

More details will be provided at the council’s next series of committees meetings on May 1 during which the city staff will present various options on how the money can be spent.

“That’s where the staff is going to say right now if we had a check book this is probably what we could buy and this would be a good reason why to buy,” Tumlin said.

Tumlin anticipates having an itemized project list within the next two months.

Since suggesting the urban redevelopment bond last month, Tumlin said he’s received overwhelming support for the idea.

“I’m hearing extraordinary support,” he said. “We’re a community that’s had a SPLOST since 1994 multiple times; we approved a parks bond in the worst economy in years and the school got an auditorium,” he said. “We have a community that is willing to invest in itself, but we have to give them what they want.”

Located between I-75 and Cobb Parkway, Franklin Road has the potential to be a successful commercial corridor once many of the blighted apartments are removed, Tumlin said.

“If we put money in this project, the Cumberland CID and the Town Center CID will look at us differently than ‘that’s an area to stay away from,’” he said. “If we put money into it who’s to say the Galleria area doesn’t come up?”

In addition to hiring the financial consultant and attorney, the council took two other votes related to the bond project. Both votes, which were 6-0-1 with Philip Goldstein abstaining, are the beginning steps a municipality takes to using the benefits of the urban redevelopment law for a redevelopment bond. Goldstein, who represents part of the Franklin Road area, said he needed more information.

“There is a lack of information and details, and it was not necessary to take this action this early,” Goldstein said. “We still had time. We could have done this later after we get the information as opposed to before we get the information.”


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April 18, 2013
I've lived in Maritta (the city) for 40 years and remember Franklin Rd back in the late 70's as a decent area. I don't think the taxpayers need to spend 35M plus to (tear down "some" of the apts & leave some). Just like roaches the bad seeds of crime, drugs will never be gone & the people that do the crime, drugs are humans & have to live somewhere. Why is it such a goal to improve that area next to I-75 that is basicly an industrial area?? 35M is a big chunk of money to make a park just so the the criminals do their thing.

Franklin Rd is just a cut through road industrial area, face it, CRAZY THROWING 35M TO THE WIND!!
D L Art.
April 18, 2013
You are one very uniformed person. And lack any vision.
April 18, 2013
Goldstein is becoming more and more meaningless on the council. Good job- the rest of you.
LT Observer
April 18, 2013
He knows what he is doing. He loves these apartment complexes because they represent population count in his ward that he knows will not vote. Therefore, he can concentrate on maintaining the support of the 150 or so active voters in his ward in order to keep his council seat.

A redistricting is ten years away, but don't think for a minute that Goldstien doesn't plan that far ahead.
April 18, 2013
You all have got to do something. Consumers are passing through or leaving Marietta to get to Kennesaw to shop and eat! You are loosing revenue because of cumbersome maneuverability, awkward or limited parking at what few restaurants there are, while vast areas of the city are completely avoided because of economic blight and or crime.
April 18, 2013
I agree with Realaw. Marietta has a need for good restaurants and shopping within the City Limits of Marietta. The City should purchase the buildings on the Marietta Square from Goldstein and make it the quaint town it use to be with great restaurants and shops in refurbished or new buildings.
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