A few words from Roswell Inc Executive Director Steve Stroud:
At the recent 24th Annual Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) & Roswell Inc Board of Directors Dinner and Community Awards, Roswell Inc was proud to present our 2014 Annual Report Card, as well as recognize some community leaders who have done exceptional work in Roswell in recent years.
Roswell Inc and Roswell CVB have teamed up the last few years to put on this event and let the community know what our goals are, as well as our accomplishments to date. We could not put on this event, nor accomplish all that we have, if not for the generosity of our sponsors. This year, I’d like to extend a special thank you to our event sponsors, Century 21 – Connect Realty, Frontdoor Communities, Georgia Power, Bank of North Georgia, Herbert Sparks Law Group, T-Mobile, Northside Hospital Imaging Services, Mimms Enterprises, Gas South, Renasant Bank and Carl Black GMC Roswell.
This year, Roswell Inc distributed two awards to two exceptional professionals who are doing great work in the field of economic development.
The Young Professional of the Year award went to the president of Lehigh Homes, Brendan Walsh. His achievements include the impressive Providence neighborhood, a community of townhomes behind Canton Street, as well as serving on the board of Roswell NEXT as one of its founding members. Brendan pushed the envelope with his company to focus on creating urban atmosphere and connectivity. Because of projects like his, people in Roswell have the ability to live closer to where they work and play. His energy and passion are helping push Roswell into the future.
The economic development award went to Lennar Multifamily Communities, represented by Chris Cassidy. This company is responsible for Roswell City Walk on Frazier St. It’s an honor for a company like Lennar to invest so much time, money and vision into Roswell. This $46 million endeavor is a showcase for the kind of community Roswell is growing into. These luxury condos provide much needed housing for the variety of skilled professionals who come here looking for a higher quality of life.
As for Roswell Inc, we were excited to share our most recent numbers with the public. As of December 31, 2014, Roswell is home to more than 5,477 businesses. This number includes everything from the home based entrepreneurs to the major corporations. Last year alone, 542 new businesses licenses were issued.
Roswell’s Opportunity Zone (OZ) has been a huge draw for Roswell, promoting job creation and utilizing tax incentives to help businesses succeed. Roswell Inc has personally assisted in the OZ Certification process. To date, we have 180 businesses in the OZ. In 2014, this incentive helped create more than 1,345 jobs. The vacancy rates for office space in these areas has significantly reduced. Within the OZ, vacancy rates have reduced from 14.9% in 2013 to 12.8% in 2014. Vacancy outside of the OZ has reduced as well, from 12.8% to 11.3% in the last year.
Roswell Inc continues to encourage quality development and redevelopment of properties around town. Last year, 182 construction permits were issued with a combined value of $77,884,151.
2014 saw 45 ribbon cuttings and nine ground breakings. More than 1,500 people participated in Roswell Inc events and programs. We hosted the Roswell Leadership Focus trip to Asheville, NC, as well as the Roswell Mayor State of the City Address & Luncheon. We watched as unemployment dropped to 4.8%, one of the lowest in the state.
It was a proud and productive year from Roswell Inc. We are excited to continue moving forward as 2015 leads us into the Summer. We have new programs and events we will be releasing soon – so stay tuned!