April 18, 2015
Using earlier input from focus groups and the public at large, a multi-disciplinary team of experts unveiled early design concepts for The District, Johns Creek’s possible future downtown Thursday, April 16. Afterward, the team met with the audience of citizens and business leaders for more feedback.
, which was videotaped
, focused on several geographic subdistricts within The District, each with its own character, function and possibilities.
For example, the Canal District, located east of Medlock Bridge and south of McGinnis Ferry Road, could transform an isolated creek into a bustling Canal Walk with restaurants and shops. Across Medlock Bridge Road could be an office park for corporate headquarters and businesses. South of the Canal District could be Lakeside with an amphitheater and upscale condominiums next to a largely ignored lake.
A UDA transportation specialist discussed ways to minimize traffic impacts from The District. The presentation also covered a detailed market study that analyzed the current financial environment in and around Johns Creek and explored the potential economic benefits of The District.
Following the presentation, the audience broke into small groups to consider three questions: What did you like? What did you not like? What was left out? The public gave their impressions to UDA and City staff, who answered questions, took notes, and asked questions.
The presentation was based on data analysis from several sources, as well as focus groups of Johns Creek residents and business owners, a public input meeting in February, and then from more focus groups the week of April 13. On April 15, the UDA team created a large studio in Technology Park and the public was able to see the designers work and ask questions.
The feedback from the weeklong design charrette will be used to further refine the design concepts.
The design concepts are also being molded by objectives set by the City Council in an April 13 work session. In no particular order, the objectives are:
- Create a development unique to Johns Creek and unique to the region.
- Provide a safe downtown destination with an appropriate mix of uses that are attractive to multiple populations.
- Design a downtown that is scaled appropriately to Johns Creek.
- Include dining, retail, entertainment, office, a variety of new housing types, and the arts to ensure vibrancy during business hours, early evenings, and on weekends.
- Integrate existing and enhanced water and an appropriate amount of open space in the design.
- Create a street and block network that accommodates a walkable core.
- Preserve the integrity of adjacent neighborhoods.
- Minimize the impact of the development on traffic, public safety, and schools.
- Understand and mitigate any secondary impacts of the development on schools.
- Attract private development to improve the economic yield of the land and generate financially accretive tax revenue for both development needs and citywide improvements.
The District, a 728-acre area centered around Technology Park, is a bold vision to create the kind of economic engine that Johns Creek needs to correct an imbalance in the tax digest, while also contributing revenue such as business licenses, alcohol permits, sales taxes, and hotel/motel taxes. It will also enhance the City’s competitive identity with neighboring communities, create a city center to anchor families in Johns Creek for the long-term, and attract a workforce of young professionals