Tracy Rathbone - Executive Director, Town Center CID

Letter from Our Executive Director

The ultimate role of the Town Center CID is to continue to raise the bar for our thriving community. For 21 years, we have been committed to effectively solving problems and anticipating needs that improve life, travel and business. That’s why we worked strategically with our partners in 2018 to develop impactful solutions for equitable mobility, high-quality development and engaging greenspace.

It is no surprise that one of our greatest challenges continues to be traffic. We also know that roadway enhancements are a smart short-term solution to improve congestion, flow and the pedestrian experience. To address these issues, this year we completed Phase II of the South Barrett Reliever and continued work on South Barrett Phase III. We also launched three corridor studies and a trail crossing study to determine safe and efficient travel options in the district’s core.

Continue ReadingWe are also aware that these infrastructure improvements alone are not enough to solve our region’s broader transportation issues. There is a need to identify bold solutions to make it easier to move throughout our region, whether it is by vehicle, bus, train, bicycle or on foot. With this in mind, we worked with our partners at the local and state level in 2018 on House Bill 930 and a transit survey and found that people in Cobb, from millennials to seniors, want transit. In the coming year, we will continue to collaborate with our partners to ensure a variety of safe and efficient transportation options are available for all.

As CIDs have evolved, so has our work.  To that end, the Town Center CID continues to partner with the Town Center Community Alliance to achieve our placemaking goals. Parks, trails and public spaces have become key priorities for businesses and residents alike.  As a result, the Alliance adopted a master plan to activate the district’s existing trails and greenspace. By developing initiatives and programming to attract and engage visitors, the Alliance will continue to cultivate a desirable community for all.

With our efforts to implement accessibility, walkability and aesthetics, we are also inviting quality development to the district. To foster this, we led a series of trolley tours to showcase the work of the CID and highlight areas ripe for redevelopment. On our tours, we featured office and multi-use development that is currently underway including the first new Class A office space in ten years!

With all of this progress, the CID has continued our momentum by establishing an advisory board and membership program for the Alliance and expanding our communications team. This growth will allow us to forge deeper connections with the vibrant district we serve. With robust partnerships and engaged stakeholders, the future is incredibly bright for Town Center and we look forward to carrying this vision into 2019. On behalf of our board, staff and the members we serve, thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to our collective work.

Sincerely,


Tracy Rathbone Styf
Executive Director, Town Center CID

How We Help

Planning and Promoting Improvements

By focusing on smart and sensible development and redevelopment, we help guide overall growth and success

Conducting
Studies

It is our priority to identify accessibility and infrastructure needs and meet them

Developing Greenspace Projects

Bolstered by the Town Center Community Alliance, we enhance the area’s natural beauty and create spaces where people want to be

Representing Your Interests

We leverage our partnerships to improve value and quality of life for the people and businesses in Town Center

Landscaping and Maintenance

We invest more than $500,000 a year to keep the area clean and beautiful

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Active Projects
$0
Million in Funds Leveraged
$0
Million in Amount Invested

South Barrett Reliever

The South Barrett Reliever seeks to provide an alternative southern route around Barrett Parkway, one of the busiest roads in the area. The Reliever’s construction is phased and is expected to reduce traffic on Barrett by 22%. The total cost for phase I, II, and III is estimated at $55.8M. In 2018, the CID completed Phase II and advanced preliminary development for Phase III.

Phase II

Phase II provides critical safety improvements for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The CID completed a road realignment and intersection redesign to improve sightlines at Barrett Lakes Boulevard and Shiloh Valley Drive. The central feature of this phase is a two-lane roundabout, which opened to the public in July.

Award-Winning Design

Phase II received a 2018 GPTQ Preconstruction Design Award for Traffic Safety and Intersection Design, which the CID accepted in partnership with ARCADIS and Cobb County.

Phase III

In April 2018, the Atlanta Regional Commission granted $10.4M for Phase III of the Reliever, which will extend the roadway over I-75 and the Managed Lane System and connect to Roberts Court. Throughout 2018, the project continued work on engineering and bridge design in preparation for a 2020 groundbreaking.

What’s Ahead for 2019

  • Complete funding, right of way acquisition and final engineering for South Barrett Reliever Phase III
  • Concept design of the South Barrett Pocket Park, as identified in Phase II
Check out our project page for more!

Planning for the Future

Studies for Improvement at Our Core

Infrastructure master planning requires a long lens. Based on our updated Master Plan, we have identified several areas of study to determine short-term and long-term infrastructure needs and inform our decisions for future planning.

In 2018, we launched studies aimed at the secondary routes and north/south thoroughfares in the core of the district:

George Busbee Parkway

Barrett Lakes Boulevard

Big Shanty Road

Noonday Creek Trail Crossing at Cobb Parkway

With these studies, we can continuously improve mobility, connectivity and safety in areas that are most important to our community’s future success.

2018 Studies: Overall Progress

100%

George Busbee Parkway Corridor Study

50%

Barrett Lakes Boulevard Corridor Study

50%

Big Shanty Road Corridor Study

10%

Noonday Creek Trail Crossing at Cobb Parkway LCI Study

George Busbee Parkway Corridor Study

The George Busbee Parkway Corridor Study was completed by Kimley-Horn and Associates. The results will help improve the travel experience on this significant corridor, which spans from Chastain Road to Barrett Parkway. The Town Center CID analyzed the recommendations and began incorporating them into its work plan.

Barrett Lakes Boulevard Corridor Study and Big Shanty Road Corridor Study

Croy Engineering and Pond & Company worked in conjunction to launch the Barrett Lakes Boulevard Corridor Study and Big Shanty Road Corridor Study. People using these corridors the most expressed their safety and traffic concerns as well as relayed opinions on overall appearance during stakeholder meetings and public visioning workshops. This input will help guide the firms’ recommendations.

Noonday Creek Trail Crossing at Cobb Parkway LCI Study

The Town Center CID awarded the Noonday Creek Trail Crossing at Cobb Parkway LCI Study to Kimley-Horn and Associates, in partnership with the city of Kennesaw. The goal of this study is to explore a crossing at Cobb Parkway with safety in mind and provide strategic input on how this crossing would affect the corridor between Barrett Parkway and Old Highway 41.

What’s Ahead for 2019

  • Completion of Barrett Lakes Boulevard and Big Shanty Road Corridor Studies
  • Completion of the Noonday Creek Trail Crossing at Cobb Parkway LCI Study
  • Launch the Chastain Road Corridor Study
Learn more about the impact of our studies here

For a closer look at the other improvements to come,

Check out our Master Plan Executive Summary

Projects in the Pipeline

Busbee Trail

The Busbee Trail is a half-mile, multi-use trail along Busbee Drive. The goal of this project is to add transportation options, such as bicycle and pedestrian connections, between the heart of the Kennesaw State University (KSU) campus and the economic activity center around the Town Center at Cobb shopping mall.

The project will construct a 13-foot wide shared use path between the Skip Spann Connector and Noonday Creek Trail. We expect it to be particularly appealing to KSU students, but it will also have a significant impact for visitors to the busy Fifth Third Bank Stadium, users of the trail for commuting in the district, the CobbLINC Transit Station and the GRTA parking lot. Our next steps will be acquiring funding and right of way.

New Wayfinding and Trail Signage

In complex environments like Town Center’s shopping and business districts, wayfinding is necessary for placemaking and safety. It is an information system that combines signage, maps, colors and directional cues to navigate a space and find a desired location. In the coming year, we will be updating our district wayfinding to incorporate our current brand, style and new locations of destinations. The new signage will combine visual cues with easy readability to assist visitors with understanding their location in the district and will have a similar look and feel as our current gateway markers (see left). We will implement a similar system specifically for the Noonday Creek Trail on a smaller pedestrian scale.

Town Center Community Alliance

Activating Quality of Life Initiatives to Attract, Engage, Educate and Connect

As the non-profit partner of the Town Center CID, the Town Center Community Alliance was created to develop park and trail projects, activate green spaces and provide amenities and other public programming that will help engage the community and shape the future of Town Center.

Over the course of the year, the Alliance refined how it can most effectively represent those that may not have a presence in the Town Center CID but want to be a part of its placemaking efforts. Under the leadership of Jennifer Hogan, the Alliance finalized a membership program to attract individuals and organizations who have a vested interest in the district and who want to influence its progress.

The Alliance also established an Advisory Board, separate from its Board of Trustees, to give feedback and provide input on the direction of the organization. All members have a unique set of skills, knowledge and experiences that will help them serve as advocates of the Alliance and its mission.

This year, the Alliance officially adopted a master plan, based on activation concepts for the Noonday Creek Trail and Aviation Park Phase II.

Noonday Creek Trail Activation

In the summer of 2018, Kimley-Horn studied possibilities and strategies for activating the Noonday Creek Trail to enhance the user experience. By developing a program for place-making strategies to include public art, creative trail furnishings, signage and landscaping, this joint CID and Alliance initiative will create a healthy environment, improve aesthetics and build local partnerships.

The initial phase will focus on the segment between Aviation Park and Founders Park, a linear park that will open mid-2019. The activation elements for this portion are designed to attract and retain users of all ages, demographics and physical abilities as well as provide safety enhancements along the trail.

Aviation Park Phase II

In partnership with the Kennesaw State University (KSU) Museum, Archives and Rare Books Department, the Alliance developed an educational and historical installation plan for Aviation Park. The successful three-acre park already invites healthy and interactive play, and Phase II will fortify its representation of Cobb’s longstanding aviation culture. KSU’s experts were essential to this initiative, providing extensive historical knowledge to help curate a robust and engaging program. The Phase II exhibits will cultivate meaningful experiences through exhibitions and installations that incorporate history, art, S.T.E.M. education, aviation, pop culture and more.

The first exhibit is prepped for take-off! Hawthorne Aviation donated a retired 1964 Beech A-23 Musketeer, which will be central to the anchor exhibit. It will be restored and refurbished then mounted aloft to become a symbol for Aviation Park.

Read more about the Alliance’s goals and details of the full program in Taking to the Skies. 

Bike Share Bulks Up

In 2018, our successful Town Center Bike Share Program added a new station sponsored by Avonlea Creekside Apartments. Users of the Zagster app can rent one of the five new bikes located on Chastain Meadows Parkway, with convenient access to retail, dining and the Noonday Creek Trail and the first hour is always free.

What’s Ahead for 2019

  • Launch the Alliance membership program
  • Fundraising for the Aviation Park Phase II Educational and Historical Installation Program
  • Launch the Trail Activation Plan, which will include public art, a garden installation at Founders Park, crosswalks, and trail signage
  • Expansion of Zagster Bike Share, which will add the Founders Park station and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Station. The program will continue to add more bikes and connect riders throughout Cobb
  • Opening of Founders Park, a linear park along the Noonday Creek Trail at Roberts Boulevard and Vaughn Road. Phase I installation includes two concrete plazas, bench seating with trash receptacles, shade structure, bike share station and landscaping

Who We Are

Town Center CID Staff

Tracy Rathbone Styf
Executive Director

Jennine Duelge
Operations Director

Alisha Smith
Director of Projects and Planning

Jennifer Hogan
Director of the Town Center Community Alliance

Luci Morgan
Communications & Outreach Manager

Town Center Community Improvement District

Town Center Community Alliance

1701 Barrett Lakes Boulevard
Suite 200 | Kennesaw, GA 30144
info@towncentercid.com
678.350.5061
www.towncentercid.com

Town Center CID Board of Directors

Kelly Keappler,Chairman
President of Quintus Development,
Quintus Corp.

Dan Buyers, Vice Chairman
Partner,
McWhirter Realty Partners

Darin Mitchell, Treasurer
Senior Vice President,
Regional Corporate Banker, BB&T

Tracy Rathbone Styf, Secretary
Executive Director,
Town Center CID

Jo Ann Chitty, Director
Senior Vice President,
Selig Enterprises

Britt Fleck, Director
Regional Director, Metro West Region,
Georgia Power

Mike Irby, Director
Vice President,
Taylor & Mathis

Marie Moore, Director
General Manager,
Simon Property Group

Town Center Community Alliance Board of Trustees

Mason ZimmermanChairman
Senior Managing Partner,
Pope & Land

Kelly KeapplerVice Chairman
President of Quintus Development,
Quintus Corp.

Ken HarmonTreasurer
Professor of Accounting,
Kennesaw State University

Tracy Rathbone StyfSecretary
Executive Director,
Town Center CID

Andy Crowe
CEO,
Velociteach

Chip Kaczynski
Owner,
FLY LBI Inc.

Ryan Maltby
Director Revenue Cycle,
Fresenius Medical Group

Christina Martin
Director Service Strategy,
Kaiser Permanente

Town Center Community Alliance Advisory Board

Tullan Avard 
Bells Ferry Civic Association

Mayor Derek Easterling
City of Kennesaw

Congressman Barry Loudermilk
District 11

Sharon Mason
Cobb Chamber of Commerce

Erin Mulgrew
Community Volunteer,
Keep Cobb Beautiful

David Persson
The School Box

Holly Quinlan 
Cobb Travel and Tourism

Lynette Reid
Atlanta Beltline Inc.

James Touchton
City of Stockbridge
Advance Atlanta

Pam Younker
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta