Alpharetta Awards $1.45 Million City Center Design Contract
Architectural firm takes job to create a City Center design that revives all of downtown Alpharetta.
Alpharetta awarded a $1.45 million contract to a firm for master planning, architecture and landscape design services for its City Center. City Council on April 10 awarded the contract to Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates.
Voters approved a $29 million bond referendum in November 2011 to fund the City Center project in downtown Alpharetta. The conceptual plans presented to voters, and which they helped shape in public meeings, show a new City Hall, a public parking garage, a 5-acre park, a 1-acre town green and the infrastructure required.
Seven qualified bids were submitted, with Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates being the recommendation of staff and a bid review committee.
"I think the thing that really caught our attention, and made us focus on this particular opportunity was your goal of creating a vibrant downtown," said Michael Schwartz of the design team. "It is something we strive for in all of our work."
The plan Alpharetta preparedhas buildings and landscaping organized much like you find a college campus, he said. That promotes pedestrian activity and is attractive for government or civic purposes. But it doesnt promote commercial viability. Retailers want their storefronts along roadways, Schwartz said.
After the firm's presentation, City Council voted to award them the contract.
"This is exciting. This is the first big step to getting us further down the road with the City Center," said Councilman Chris Owens.
The public will get a chance to offer more input on any new designs.
Mayor David Belle Isle said there will be many steps in the process. Choosing the right firm could mean the difference between success and failure of the project, he said.
"It's time for us to have a place for the community, a place for family, a place to just be Alpharetta and brand our city," Belle Isle said.
"On June 25, 2014, we'll move into our new home," said City Administrator Bob Regus.