Tyrone mayor Dial: New developments in film-TV studio, Hwy. 74 traffic improvements ahead

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.
Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.

Reflecting on 2017 and looking ahead to 2018, Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial (photo above) said a number of development projects and traffic measures were put in place and are going forward.

Dial said the town in 2017 took steps to ensure quality, responsible development and efficient traffic management along the Ga. Highway 74 corridor.

The completion of the Tyrone Comprehensive Plan after citizen input, and the potential ideas that surfaced in September with design considerations for the Senoia Road area, provided options both now and for the future, Dial said.

The Tyrone Town Council on Sept. 21 got a look at possible enhancements to the downtown area that stemmed from citizen requests during the recent comprehensive plan update.

“Town of Tyrone—Design Considerations,” a project of the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia and the UGA College of Environment and Design, was presented in September.

The scope of the presentation included streetscape enhancements and overall improved connectivity, improvements to the corner lot at the former Tyrone Elementary School, renovations or infill development proposals for two lots adjacent to Town Hall, infill development proposals for the corner of Senoia Road and Commerce Drive and improvement to the former fire station lot.

The project represented a starting point to bring options to the council to fulfill the citizens’ input on the comprehensive plan. Tyrone residents participating in the plan emphasized the need for more walkability and additional offerings in the downtown area near Town Hall and extending toward Tyrone Road.

More efficient traffic management in 2017, by way of the Ga. Department of Transportation (DOT), came with the installation of left turn lights at Hwy. 74 and Dogwood Trail to address safety concerns and a right-turn lane from Tyrone Road onto Hwy. 74 North, Dial said, adding that issues surfaced with the right-turn lane. Those issues will be addressed with DOT, said Dial, noting that DOT owns Hwy. 74.

Tyrone in 2017 continued working with neighboring communities as part of the 74 Gateway Coalition, formed to address a variety of issues relating to Hwy. 74, from U.S. Highway 29 in Fairburn and all areas south to Peachtree City. Tyrone is situated dead-center within the corridor.

Commenting on the eventual re-do of the interchange at Hwy. 74 and Interstate 85, Dial said 2018 could see right-of-way acquisitions for the project.

Yet another project that has its beginnings in 2017 and will extend significantly into the future was the approval of initial development plans for Founders Studios, situated along Hwy. 74 between Jenkins and Sandy Creek roads.

Arguably the biggest project to surface in Tyrone in years, initial development plans for the Founders Studios film and television complex was approved by the Tyrone Town Council in July. Founders representatives in October announced that the available space for the multi-million dollar project has increased from 90 acres to more than 200 acres.

Founders Studios will feature a “hub” design approach to filming. All located under one roof, each of the five planned hubs will feature two soundstages totaling 50,000 sq. ft., construction and flex space totaling 30,000 sq. ft. and 20,000 sq. ft. of office space. Additional development for the large property is expected in the future.

Dial said groundbreaking is expected during the first quarter of 2018.

It was also in 2017 that Tyrone agreed to buy additional sewer capacity from Fulton County. That capacity will increase from the current 250,000 gallons per day to 400,000 gallons per day.

Dial also noted the increase in residential development in Rivercrest and in areas such as the Dogwood Trail area and near Lake Windsong.

Commenting on city employees, Dial said, “I’m very proud of our top-notch personnel who go along with one of the best police departments in Georgia.”