The Roswell Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board voted on May 4th to recommend West Alley, LLC as the private developer to bring its boutique hotel concept with multi-use office, retail and restaurant space to the City of Roswell’s Historic District. The vote was 6 to 1 to move forward with negotiating a letter of intent between the DDA and West Alley for developing the property that includes tracts of land between Magnolia Street and Webb Street along Mimosa Blvd. behind the adjacent Canton Street business district.
“There were presentations submitted from two different private developers and they both provided a strong vision for what this area of Historic Roswell could look like,” says Ron Buckley, 2021 board chair of the Roswell DDA. “After thorough review, discussion and consideration, we voted to recommend West Alley for its positive impact on responsible economic growth, parking additions, and overall quality of life. The DDA strives to improve opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the downtown area of Roswell and we feel this quality project fits the purpose and vision of the DDA.”
Primary reasons for the DDA board’s decision include:
West Alley has invested to date more than $4 million in the West Alley project and expects to spend an additional $68 million on the project by completion. The developer currently owns 37 Magnolia Street (Wells Fargo branch) and 26 Webb Street thereby reducing potential land acquisition issues, a major factor in getting this overall project completed. West Alley consultants and contractors are locally owned and operated. The West Alley “Lifestyle” mixed-use project will be a strong economic engine for long term growth for the City of Roswell and the Roswell Historic District.
The West Alley project includes a boutique hotel with 125 “upscale” hotel rooms, meeting/banquet space, a spa, retail and office space, and parking all leading to a positive economic impact. The “Lifestyle” mixed-use project offers opportunities to create commerce both during construction and in the future. A high-end hotel would bring in business, out-of-town wedding and event guests who would spend dollars in Downtown Roswell benefitting our retailers and restaurants. The West Alley project also allows Visit Roswell staff (Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau) to pursue larger groups seeking conference space and room blocks. “West Alley proposal does appear to offer more meeting and event space, significantly higher percentage of retail and community space, and parking availability needed in this area of Roswell. West Alley offers more opportunities to create commerce and economic impact,” stated Andy Williams, Visit Roswell Executive Director.
In March 2020, the Roswell Mayor and City Council passed a Resolution asking the DDA to conduct a “professional parking assessment” of the downtown Roswell/Canton Street area to “increase such parking to benefit both the local businesses and Roswell citizens.” The DDA commissioned Stantec, a global engineering and consulting firm, to conduct this assessment. The project was led by Joel Mann, an Atlanta-based Principal with Stantec. Firm wide, Stantec had conducted more than 100 parking assessments in the U.S., and Joel has personally worked on such assessments for Atlanta, Alpharetta, Norcross, Savannah, and Chattanooga.
The assessment was completed in April 2021 and confirmed that Downtown Roswell needs a long-term strategic parking solution, especially at peak demand times. West Alley is proposing a parking garage with approximately 424 spaces and designed to be inside the facility for esthetics, with limited visibility from the street and sidewalks. They have committed to make 100 of those spaces available for free into perpetuity.
West Alley is a mixed-use property with approximately 22,000 square feet of office space and approximately 16,000 square feet of retail. This means that when day-time users of the parking spaces leave at the end of the day, those spaces will open during peak demand time for businesses and restaurants in the Historic District on evenings and on weekends.
The West Alley Courtyard will create much-needed greenspace and a pedestrian experience that will offer more walkability and connectivity with the Historic District. The project footprint, which includes 26,000 square feet of greenspace, will serve as a central place for events, festivals and other community gatherings including indoor and outdoor dining experience and outdoor markets.
The DDA is committed to providing ongoing information of its activities and decisions to Roswell residents. The presentations may be found on the Roswell DDA’s website at roswelldda.com/boutique-hotel. Information will be posted here and on Facebook as it becomes available. For updates and to leave comments, please visit roswelldda.com/boutique-hotel.
About Roswell DDA
Roswell’s Downtown Development Authority was formed to operate as a catalyst for Roswell, Ga. by coordinating public/private programs that promote the redevelopment and growth of the City’s central business district. The DDA Board works to assure the long-term economic stability of downtown Roswell by maintaining the small-town character of the district and supporting values that assure the historic city is a great place to live, work, play, invest and do business. Learn more at https://roswelldda.com/ or on the organization’s Facebook page at RoswellDDA.