Roswell Downtown Development Authority selects Southern Skillet developer

S.J. Collins Enterprises has proposed a 70,000-square-foot, mixed-use development for the Southern Skillet property at Alpharetta and Norcross streets in Roswell.

ROSWELL, Ga. — After years of sitting idle, a decision has been made regarding the Southern Skillet property on the corner of Alpharetta Street and Norcross Street.

The Roswell Downtown Development Authority has announced it has chosen commercial real estate development firm S.J. Collins Enterprises to revitalize the property. The purchase and sale agreement is $5 million and has a closing target date of June 2019.

S.J. Collins Enterprises’ proposal envisions a 70,700 square-foot mixed-use redevelopment complete with a boutique grocery store, restaurants, shops and offices. Housing will include 128 apartment units and eight townhomes priced between $650,000 and $850,000.

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“We’re going to take a very tired, dilapidated site that is in bad need of redevelopment and start to turn it more into a catalytic kind of development where people can live, work and play,” said Randy Schultz, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority. “That’s why we were so adamant about having commercial space there, that we had some sort of grocery there. Because it activates different day parts… It was very important that we have a mixed-use development.”

Plans also call for 6,000-8,000 square feet of greenspaces, such as pocket parks and outdoor gathering points.

“Greenspace lends itself to human interaction,” Schultz said. “If you’ve got a place where people can come out, sit and have a coffee, their dog is walking around, it creates greater connectivity. It’s a huge plus.”

This is not the first time a redevelopment plan for the Southern Skillet property has been proposed. After the city acquired the property in 2016, the Downtown Development Authority unanimously voted to select the Beecham Group to redevelop the plaza. Those plans were nixed last year after the Downtown Development Authority decided it did not line up with the city’s needs and priorities for the space.

“The biggest difference was that the final Beecham proposal did not tick the boxes on the grocery store and on the amount of commercial space we wanted to see there,” Schultz said. “It was much more heavily residential. Based on all of the feedback received from the community and from the mayor and City Council, we didn’t think that was going to fly.”

After rejecting the Beecham proposal, the DDA reopened up the bid process. Six firms submitted plans, and the mayor and City Council helped choose S.J. Collins Enterprises from the final two.

“I am very excited we have entered into a purchase and sale agreement with S.J. Collins,” said Mayor Lori Henry. “It will truly be a catalyst for redevelopment in this area. I look forward to seeing this project to fruition and making this area an even more vibrant gathering place for our residents and visitors.”

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Founded in 2007, S.J. Collins Enterprises has worked on more than 60 retail, mixed-used, multifamily and office projects throughout the United States, including Peachtree Station in Chamblee, North Decatur Square near Atlanta and Victory Station in Savannah. It is headquartered in Fairburn.

“Our team looks forward to the opportunity to bring a dynamic and diverse customer experience to this thriving and emerging location,” said Jeff Garrison, partner at S.J. Collins Enterprises. “As the retail environment evolves and shoppers look for more experienced based outings, mixed-use hubs like this one will draw consumers with its energy, easy accessibility and assorted retail and dining choices.”

S.J. Collins Enterprises is expected to break ground on the project toward the end of the year.

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