Fortress assists City of Kennesaw in acquisition of “Depot Park” next to their 38 Townhome development “Terraces at Depot Park”

MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL
KENNESAW I CITY COUNCIL

City buys land for Depot Park
By Anthony L. White
anthony.white@mdjonline.com

KENNESAW — The Kennesaw City Council has approved the purchase of 1.8 acres from Fortress Builders for future development at Depot Park in the city’s Central Business District.

Fortress agreed to sell the city the tract for around $450,000 or $234,782 per acre — the same price Fortress paid for the adjacent land on which it will build a 38-townhome community, The Terraces at Depot Park. The city plans to use the nearly two acres for future development at Depot Park and for a new gateway park located at the corner of Sardis Street and South Main. The city’s master plan for Depot Park calls for the city to purchase three parcels of land in the city’s Central Business District.

According to Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling, the city purchased one of those parcels from Fortress Builders, and Property acquisition, design, engineering and construction of Depot Park is being funded through the 2011 and 2016 special one percent sales tax programs. Based on funding availability, the development is expected to take five to seven years, Easterling said. Some parts of the Depot Park development will be available sooner than the expected construction time. When complete, Easterling said Depot Park “will serve as the ‘central green’ for Kennesaw.

“It will provide green space for major special events as well as a host of other smaller events throughout the year,” Easterling said. “The park will include, among other amenities, an amphitheater for a wide range of performances and a large plaza for special events and gatherings. This activity will generate traffic for the downtown businesses. In addition, the master plan calls for an additional 300 plus public parking spaces which will be critical to downtown businesses.”

Depot Park, and the development of the Terraces at Depot Park, are expected to increase the residential population of downtown Kennesaw. Easterling said Depot Park is “a critical amenity for attracting new residential development” that will drive and support downtown business.

The townhome community will consist of 1,800-1,900 square feet three-story homes with twocar garages priced between $220,000 and $260,000, according to Fortress Builders representative. “We anticipate beginning development in April 2017, completing infrastructure by October, then starting construction of our fee-simple townhomes immediately,” Fortress said. “The first ones will be available by April of 2018.”

According to Easterling, a separate but related project that could possibly impact the timing and build-out of the park is a 2016 SPLOST-funded road project that will rebuild, realign, and extend Sardis Street. The development of Sardis Street will be integrated with Depot Park’s development schedule, Easterling said.“the next steps in 2017, include completing acquisition of the remaining two parcels required for the park.” Easterling said the city is in negotiations to purchase the two additional parcels.