Town Center, Industrial Connector, & Holly Springs Pkwy. Widening Project Updates
The City has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback since several news articles helped spread awareness about the City’s Town Center Project.
The City realizes that with all of this new information, there were still a few questions left unanswered. We hope that the information provided here will make clear the items that were left a little hazy. As always, please feel free to contact the City if you have any further questions.
(Please note that plans are subject to change and must be formally adopted by the Holly Springs City Council prior to the execution of a development agreement.)
Q: What kind of development will the Holly Springs Town Center Project be?
A: The development will truly be a “Live, Work, Play,” project. Housing options will include lofts, townhomes, and cottage homes. There is space for retail and office space. The center of the development will be the new City Hall, which will overlook an event green. We are looking forward to being able to hold all of the City’s special events, like the Easter Egg Hunt, Autumn Fest, and Christmas Parade in the heart of the City.
Q: What kind of retail shops will be coming to the Town Center?
A: There is not a specific list of retail businesses for the town center yet. However, a marketing study completed by Bleakly Advisory group found that there are opportunity gaps for the types of businesses that generally comprise successful Atlanta-area town center developments within a two mile trade radius. The study specifically noted that there were opportunity gaps for restaurants, clothing stores, and general merchandise stores.
Q: What is the anticipated start and completion date of the Holly Springs Town Center Project?
A: While there is not a completion date yet, the City of Holly Springs and the Holly Springs Downtown Development Authority entered into a Development and Management Agreement with Stonecrest Homes GA, LLC in November of 2017. The City also entered into an agreement with Southeastern Engineering, Inc. for land disturbance design, master hydrology, schematic design, and coordination of the site. The tentative start date for construction is the spring of 2018.
City Council approved the Town Center Road Network Concept Plan in April 2018. The plan calls for the construction of a roundabout east of Holly Springs Fire Station #8 on Hickory Road, and the construction of the Palm Street Extension just north of Walnut Street to the roundabout on Hickory Road. The concept plan also calls for the removal of the stop sign at the intersection of Palm Street and Hickory Road and the conversion of the northern terminus of Palm Street to a right-in/right-out intersection. The engineering plans for the roadway improvements are scheduled for completion in August 2018.
Industrial Connector Project
The City Council approved Conceptual Alignment #1 for the Industrial Connector Project on August 28, 2017. The Industrial Connector as proposed is approximately 3/4 of a mile in length and ties to Holly Springs Parkway at its intersection with Mountain Brook Drive. The Project will include realignment of Hickory Springs Industrial Drive and a newly constructed intersection on Hickory Road. The new roadway will provide an alternative route for heavy truck traffic from Hickory Springs Industrial Park and P. Rickman Industrial Park to Holly Springs Parkway south of Exit 14 on I-575. The new roadway is also proposed to have a grade-separated railroad crossing which will alleviate traffic issues on Hickory Road at the current at-grade crossing.
It is anticipated that design, the purchase of right-of-way, and utility relocation could take another three to four years. The construction phase of the Industrial Connector Project is projected to last approximately two years. Based on these estimates, the tentative completion date for the Project is fall of 2023.
Holly Springs Parkway Widening Project
Update and Q&A
As you all know, Rabbit Hill Road reopened to through traffic on Friday, September 14th. While a lot of the project was completed when the road was entirely closed, there is still work to be done.
Q: Why was the road closed for seven weeks?
A: Five of the seven weeks of closure were spent relocating five utilities from two poles at the intersection of Holly Springs Parkway and Rabbit Hill Road. Utility relocations are always part of any roadway project, as the utility companies occupy a portion of the right of way. Therefore, when you widen a roadway you (almost always) will have utility conflicts with existing facilities. Many factors impact a utility company’s schedule, weather being one of the biggest. Crews could be called away to restore utilities in an area that has suffered storm damage. Restoration projects take priority over roadway projects. In the Rabbit Hill Road case, no less than seven utilities occupy a portion of Rabbit Hill Road-Georgia Power, Cobb EMC, Cherokee County Water & Sewerage Authority, Atlanta Gas Light, Windstream, Comcast and Crown Castle. Some utility relocations were coordinated with the closing of Holly Springs Parkway and others had to wait on the closing of Rabbit Hill Road. So, while the reason for closing Rabbit Hill Road was not for utility relocation, it was a necessary part of the process.
In addition to reconstruction of the road, the contractor added a closed drainage system and curb & gutter from Holly Springs Parkway to the end of the construction limits on Rabbit Hill Road. Also, a new water line was placed on the north side of Rabbit Hill Road at the new storm drain lines.
Q: The road seems bumpy, what’s going on?
A: The entire project will be top coated once all other work has been completed. The finished product will be very smooth.
Q: I thought Rabbit Hill Road was going to be resurfaced to the I-575 overpass. Is that still happening?
A: Yes! Baldwin Paving did not complete this part of the project so that the road could be open to the public sooner. That section of Rabbit Hill Road will be milled and resurfaced when the final layer of asphalt is placed. The City also plans to pave and repair Rabbit Hill Road from Wentworth subdivision to Marble Quarry Road next year.
Q: Where are the turn lanes?
A: The turn lane from Holly Springs Parkway onto Rabbit Hill Road is not constructed yet. Rabbit Hill Road was widened for a new turn lane approaching its intersection with Holly Springs Parkway for approximately 400 feet.
Holly Springs City Council voted to award the construction contract to Baldwin Paving Company, Inc., during their January 18, 2017 meeting, who also came in as the low-bidder out of five sealed bids at $3,218,607.
Three upcoming developments will help offset construction costs for the Project. Developers of Meridian at Holly Springs, a mixed-use residential and commercial project being constructed across Holly Springs Pkwy. from Home Depot, Holly Park apartments, and Sixes Ridge apartments will contribute $1,177 per residential unit to the Project, or $1,073,424. Sixes Ridge remitted their contribution of $400,180 on May 15, 2017, while Meridian at Holly Springs and Holly Park will submit their contributions as building permits are issued.
The project will include the extension of culverts over Toonigh Creek, four travel lanes with a median from Home Depot to Rabbit Hill Road, the addition of sidewalks and lamp posts along the roadway and the addition of a traffic light at the intersection of Holly Springs Parkway at Rabbit Hill Road. As part of this project, Rabbit Hill Road is also slated for improvements from I-575 to Holly Springs Parkway.
Total construction time will be approximately nine months once the contractor receives their Notice to Proceed from the City of Holly Springs, but be advised that Holly Springs Parkway will be closed to traffic from Rabbit Hill Road to Home Depot during construction from approximately March 19, 2018-August 1, 2018.