The Franklin corridor is lined with garden apartment complexes that were desirable when built in the 1970s but now, for the most part, have been allowed to deteriorate, sending crime rates soaring and causing severe problems with transience in nearby schools. City voters recognized that the problem was too big, too complex and too financially risky for the private sector to tackle on its own and hence gave the city the green light to mastermind the makeover.
The next step came Tuesday when the city closed on the 386-unit, 25.2-acre Woodlands Park complex which was put under contract by the council for $7.9 million back in September.
A closing on a second complex was slated for Thursday — the 348-unit, 24.3-acre Flagstone Village Apartments, which the city agreed to purchase for $12 million.
The two acquisitions leave the city with roughly 50 contiguous acres as a starting point from which to start the remake.
“It’s not quite as exciting as election night was, but it’s right up there,” said Mayor Steve Tumlin, who conceived and led the campaign to remake Franklin Road.
You’ll note that the Woodlands Park complex came at a much lower price than Flagstone Village. City officials attributed the difference to the fact that one was more deteriorated than the other. That could well be; but it’s also true that the second acquisition came in the wake of the news that the Atlanta Braves will build a stadium just a couple miles south. The Braves’ move is likely to cause real estate prices in that part of Cobb to continue to escalate, which could cause Marietta to have to adjust its plans for what’s “doable” along Franklin.
Only time will tell in that regard. But for now, it’s without question that the two apartment acquisitions represent a strong first step by the city in the Franklin Road revitalization process.