Is a new downtown in Peachtree City’s future?

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Designer Jim Strickland’s “dream” of a redeveloped Aberdeen Village Center. Graphic/Peachtree City.
Designer Jim Strickland’s “dream” of a redeveloped Aberdeen Village Center. Graphic/Peachtree City.

Idea before City Council for redevelopment of older parts of the city would be a dramatic departure from original vision of multiple village centers and no central downtown

A downtown could be in Peachtree City’s future, according to Mayor Vanessa Fleisch and City Manager Jon Rorie in the City Council meeting Oct. 18.

First big change area: Aberdeen Village Center, the city’s original shopping center. Instead of a dated U-shaped strip of retail outlets anchored by the original Partners II Pizza restaurant, it could become a mix of 3-story housing units atop retail areas, as one presentation outlined.

Another rendering of a remade Aberdeen Center. Graphic/Peachtree City.
Another rendering of a remade Aberdeen Center. Graphic/Peachtree City.

A proposed city center redevelopment includes Willowbend Center and the City Hall-Library area.

In aerial map above, red dotted line shows proposed area along Ga. Highway 54 that would be a potential redeveloped city center. Graphic/Peachtree City.
In aerial map above, red dotted line shows proposed area along Ga. Highway 54 that would be a potential redeveloped city center. Graphic/Peachtree City.

Mayor Vanessa Fleisch foreshadowed the redevelopment plans at the beginning of the meeting when she said since Drake Field and the Lake Peachtree spillway were completed, the city would reveal its next project at the end of the meeting.

Rorie said one of the items citizens were concerned about during the comprehensive plan public input was a lack of a central gathering space. He said the city turns 60 years old next year, and it’s time to focus on the potential of redevelopment.

One of the areas ripe for a makeover is the Aberdeen Village Shopping Center, Rorie said. Historical Concepts’ Jim Strickland said the center could become a mixed-use center with up to 165 housing units, such as apartments or townhomes, and 30,000 sq. ft. of retail.

Strickland has lived in Peachtree City for more than 40 years and has had his business based here. He called the opportunity of redeveloping the area as “a dream.”

Strickland’s renderings of Aberdeen show tree-shaded lanes with three-story residential buildings. Some would feature the retail on the bottom floor.

“This could be a gathering spot, along with residential and commercial,” he said.

Tying into the issue of a city center, the current city hall and nearby environs could also be redeveloped to give the area more of a downtown feel. Other areas that could be redeveloped could also feature commercial and residential use in a mixed-use development.

“Lexington Village was ahead of its time,” he said.

The mixed use concept would follow a trend already established in Senoia and Fayetteville, while Tyrone also has a mixed use development in the planning process.

A redevelopment project in neighboring Senoia. Photo/John Thompson.
A redevelopment project in neighboring Senoia. Photo/John Thompson.

Senoia has been the most succesful in rebuilding its downtown. Nearly 20 years ago, Senoia had seven businesses. Today, more than 50 businesses call downtown Senoia home, and the streets are filled with residents and visitors on a daily basis.

As Peachtree City moves towards redevelopment, Rorie said he would also look for available public-private partnerships for potential funding sources.

Rorie told the City Council that vision, inspiration, imagination and dreams should aid their efforts in redeveloping the city. No vote was taken on the presentation.