BoC wants to market and brand south Cobb
by Rachel Gray
April 24, 2014 04:00 AM | 3123 views | 10 10 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) said the Six Flags corridor faces a number of challenges as a transient area located directly off Interstate 20. But Wilkerson sees a large benefit in the amount of business investment in the area, including Six Flags’ expansion, which will include a new water park, and the addition of the Riverside EpiCenter, a 112,000 square-foot community center.
Wilkerson said Mableton has already benefited from economic development efforts, often led by community groups like the Mableton Coalition.
State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) said the Six Flags corridor faces a number of challenges as a transient area located directly off Interstate 20. But Wilkerson sees a large benefit in the amount of business investment in the area, including Six Flags’ expansion, which will include a new water park, and the addition of the Riverside EpiCenter, a 112,000 square-foot community center. Wilkerson said Mableton has already benefited from economic development efforts, often led by community groups like the Mableton Coalition.
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Chairman Tim Lee, above, said the marketing initiative will be financed through state and local funding, with some money coming from the county’s general fund. 'They are also looking for grant money,' Lee said.
Chairman Tim Lee, above, said the marketing initiative will be financed through state and local funding, with some money coming from the county’s general fund. 'They are also looking for grant money,' Lee said.
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“I think it has been recognized south Cobb needs some unique attention to overcome some of its challenges, both real and misperceived,” said Lisa Cupid. “From what I read, this could potentially be a first phase of other projects.”
“I think it has been recognized south Cobb needs some unique attention to overcome some of its challenges, both real and misperceived,” said Lisa Cupid. “From what I read, this could potentially be a first phase of other projects.”
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MARIETTA — County Commissioners say a path to more economic development in south Cobb will be paved with a new marketing campaign by an independent firm to rebrand the area.

On Tuesday evening, the Board of Commissioners unanimously authorized the county to accept requests for competitive bids from experienced consultants, who will develop a marketing and branding campaign for south Cobb.

The strategic plan is an economic development push to market the southern portion of Cobb to businesses and developers.

The effort will be mostly led by the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority and managed by the Cobb County Community Development Authority.

Chairman Tim Lee said the marketing initiative will be financed through state and local funding, with some money coming from the county’s general fund.

“They are also looking for grant money,” Lee said.

Commissioner Lisa Cupid said there has been money allocated to the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority for this effort, so additional funds from the county will not be needed for the hiring of the consultant.

Proposals from professional consultants will be accepted until May 22. The applications should include a statement of goals with a detailed approach to the project, including a schedule, hours required to complete each task, a cost breakdown and the availability of key staff to complete the work.

Instead of using existing county community development staff, Lee said the “new type of effort” required hiring an outside consultant for the specialized project.

“Their expertise in not really communications per se, as a marketing tool,” Lee said. “We want to make sure we get the biggest bang for our buck.”

Cupid agreed with Lee.

“We have a sense from living here,” she said, but the boost of attention from an outside agency will pinpoint what concerns need to be addressed.

One item outlined by staff includes designing a logo to be used in marketing materials online, in print and outdoors on “themed directional signage.”

Another is monument signage for placement at gateway points.

The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority has created a selection committee to recommend the top-ranked firm to the Board of Commissioners.

“The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, to waive any informalities, reject portions of the proposals, waive technicalities and award contracts,” according to a packet of information presented by staff to the commissioners.

The yearlong contract is expected to be rewarded in June, with possible renewals in 12 month increments.

The implementation of the plan will be monitored in the short-term (1 to 2 years), mid-term (3 to 5 years) and long-term (6 or more years).

Rebranding false perceptions

The consultants hired will gather input from Cobb County schools, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Cobb Travel and Tourism, business associations and local governing boards.

“I think it has been recognized south Cobb needs some unique attention to overcome some of its challenges, both real and misperceived,” Cupid said. “From what I read, this could potentially be a first phase of other projects.”

The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority has identified three specific spots for development, including the space near Six Flags Over Georgia, Mableton and the River Line historic area, which lies west of the Chattahoochee River.

State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) said the Six Flags corridor faces a number of challenges as a transient area located directly off Interstate 20.

But Wilkerson sees a large benefit in the amount of business investment in the area, including Six Flags’ expansion, which will include a new water park, and the addition of the Riverside EpiCenter, a 112,000 square-foot community center.

Wilkerson said Mableton has already benefited from economic development efforts, often led by community groups like the Mableton Coalition.

“I think you have seen a lot of effort put into that area,” Wilkerson said about the growing number of “upwardly mobile young professionals” and the building blocks already in place.

According to the packet of information presented by staff to the commissioners on Tuesday, a “new identity for south Cobb will aid in altering the misconceptions of the area.”

Wilkerson said hiring a marketing firm is a good decision by the commissioners because south Cobb should be showcased to potential businesses in an effort to raise property values and increase tax money for the area.

“You want the whole county to have a great reputation,” Wilkerson said.

Part of those misconceptions, according to Wilkerson, is the idea that south Cobb residents are stuck in their neighborhoods due to a lack of economic opportunities.

He said young professionals are choosing to work and live in south Cobb, especially for its proximity to both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and downtown Atlanta.

“South Cobb has potential to be a place where you can start your young career,” Wilkerson said.

Part of the marketing push will include a “slogan to change the perception of south Cobb into one that is more suitable for a family community,” according to report presented to commissioners Tuesday.

The new branding should frame south Cobb as “a place where you can begin your family and where you can spend your whole life,” Wilkerson said, from purchasing a first home to retirement.

Comments
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D.G. in Clarkdale
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April 24, 2014
The best way to improve South Cobb is with a bulldozer and start over fresh. This "current" idiocy will turn into a contest between various "special interest groups" jockeying for position and mark my words, it will become very very nasty.....
Tired of it
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April 24, 2014
Racism is ugly!

The BOC is trying to do the right thing and hateful people like you keep taking cheap shots and our leaders doing what there were elected to do, make sure ALL areas of Cobb County prosper. They are not the East Cobb Commission.
Frustrated Resident
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April 24, 2014
Where was the racist remark? I lived in East Cobb for years... I promised if I called about any infringement the elected officials and paid employees of the county were there to correct or clean up the issue. Big difference in the 30067 and the 30168. I know.
Alexander24
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May 24, 2014
South Cobb has & always will be the red head stepchild of Cobb County. I spent 17 years listening to these same promises while tax dollars poured north in Smyrna, Marietta, & Kennesaw. Just look around you you have been bamboozled!!! First they are using bogus rebranding marketing of the made-up Smyrna Vinings which does not exist just made up by marketing agents to sell the Crime buffer for Cobb from Northwest Atlanta. These areas were unoccupied because no one wanted to be that close to drugs & prostitutes. You are surround by crime & poverty on 3 sides Six Flags & Fulton Ind to the south, Northwest Atlanta to the east, & Wesley Chapel West Thornton Rd ,Lithia Springs & Austell. Smyrna bogus Vinings property values are plummeting while most of Atalanta is bouncing back. $269,000 John Weiland town homes selling for 220k-230k a year later. Publix Pavillion on Veterans Memorial panhandling worst than the poorest areas downtown. The marketing & branding worked already they tricked you into paying for overpriced real estate 2 miles from the worst crime area in the city. Veterans Memorial Hwy is rebranded when it really is the infamous Bankhead Hwy Rebranded as is Donald Lee Hollwell. Many people don't remember Veterans Memorial Highway was actually Bankhead hwy also. The Rebranding has worked increasing the tax digest flowing north at your expense. Move out like we did our continue getting pimped!!!
Frustrated Resident
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April 24, 2014
I live in this area and have for seven years. The ratio of home owner/residents to renters is overwhelming. Not only has the value of the property severely dropped, the absentee property owners do not care what happens to our community. Changing the street name will not change the deterioration of this area. It all begins in the community and it is plague with people who could care less if it is trashed, full of graffiti or crime ridden. When respectable citizens in this area call for help or assistance from government officials (i.e. rainwater basin, Animal Control, code enforcement...any public office) it is ignored. Social economics of that entire area rule over the few who care and want to see progressive improvement. Why not make property owners who rent register the property as a rental? I am looking forward to moving to another area... and hope my property will not be vandalized until I can sell it.
Soooo O'va It
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April 25, 2014
I don't live in this particular area, but I live in Cobb County and I agree with you totally. My community has become a majority rental neighborhood and I have "heathen children" that have obviously only lived in apartments and do not know or respect that my yard is my yard and they are not allowed to play in it. I have told them this over and over and over. They told me, in my 60's, to "shut up, you can't tell me what to do." One of them fell while playing in my yard yesterday. I was overwhelmed. I didn't even know where the kid lived. Should I try to find his parents or should I call an ambulance? Lord. What is happening to our country and to our children? Can we all smell an ambulance chaser after me? Oh, Lord, I am so tired and over the "enablement" that has overcome this country. Please, Cobb County, do something. I came home today and had to move a skateboard to get into my own driveway. Cobb County is out of control here.
South Cobb Resident
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April 29, 2014
I could not agree more as a resident of South Cobb. On a daily bases I have witnessed to decline of this area. Money will be poured here to beautify and attract business and you forget about educating the residents who live here and do not take care of thier own home/family much less the community. The desertion of teens is also a big part of the reason why brick and mortar retail tenants have been closing their doors. Hard to operate and contribute to society when everything you have is being stolen or destoyed. You want to raise revenue in this area... start fining those who fail to keep up thier properties and have more police patrol. That would help!
Just Wait
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April 24, 2014
The best way to improve south Cobb is to relocate all the people who have trashed and terrorized that area for years. Better still, see if Douglas County wants to annex that part of the county.
Kennesaw Resident
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April 24, 2014
For once we agree.
J2201987
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April 25, 2014
Yes, long live [income] segregation!
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