The South Cobb Implementation Strategy (SCIS) is the culmination of previous County-led efforts (planning studies, infrastructure improvements, etc.) to create a balanced methodology for implementing the necessary projects to improve South Cobb County. The SCIS is designed to serve as a guide for future actions that will serve as the primary basis for preserving, protecting, and enhancing South Cobb’s existing assets, while simultaneously transforming the area’s liabilities into strengths. It was adopted by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners in January 2012. The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority was requested to spearhead the implementation of the strategy by the Cobb County.
To identify improvements for each of the three identified nodes and establish a comprehensive tool that provides a concise strategy of implementation to improve the quality of life in South Cobb.
This strategic plan is used to guide the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority and other future development initiatives for South Cobb. This initiative has lead to improvements in the community’s quality-of-life, encourage private market investment to expand economic activity and produce efficiency in land use, transportation and economic development to ensure that Cobb County grows in a safe and stable manner.
The plan focuses on redevelopment in four areas in South Cobb:
- River Line area along the Chattahoochee River
- Six Flags Drive
- Cobb Hospital
Rather than feature a single centerpiece, it includes a variety of short-term projects such as park and road improvements already on the current Special Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) project list, along with initiatives to encourage private development to build transformative projects in the three target areas.
Successful fulfillment of the South Cobb Implementation Strategy will be tracked and measured according to five (5) distinct goals. Although the goal areas are inter-related, each one stands alone in terms of being significant in the desired transformation of South Cobb. The goal areas are as follows:
- Community Education and Community Involvement
- Economic Development
- Examine previous studies and plans for each node
- Identify projects and other redevelopment mechanisms that were recommended
- Create a strategic plan and timeline for project implementation for various projects within each node
- Projects are categorized by type (Community Development, Economic Development, Public Safety, Transportation, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Department of Transportation)
- Create a list of economic development tools that could be beneficial to the area (Enterprise Zone, Opportunity Zone, Commercial and Industrial Property Rehabilitation Program, Tax Allocation District (TAD), Tourism Development Act, New Market Tax Credit, Community Development Block Grant, Section 108 Loan Guarantee, Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and more).
In effect, the greater goal is to build new market share for the area and improve the quality-of-life for those that reside in South Cobb. Additionally, the SCIS will be used as a means to collaborate with partners in the private and non-profit sectors to improve education, increase social capacity, and facilitate efforts designed to foster community improvements.
These efforts leverage public, private, and non-profit resources in an area that is in need of economic revitalization. By taking a holistic approach in doing this, the active partners help to ensure that past mistakes that may have contributed to decline in portions of South Cobb are not repeated. The seeds that are planted here, with these efforts, lead to South Cobb growing and prospering in a manner that forms the basis for quality community prosperity.
Current South Cobb residents, property owners and business owners are the key stakeholders that were considered when developing the SCIS. Additionally, potential investors were highly regarded and considered. Elected officials, private corporations and non-profit entities were also considered, as they possess the collective influence and resources necessary to successfully carry out this implementation effort.
The keys to the ultimate success of the South Cobb Implementation Strategy lies in three particular areas within South Cobb that, when redeveloped, will drive revitalization and reinvestment throughout all of South Cobb. The Six Flags, Mableton and River Line areas have each been individually targeted by Cobb County for revitalization, which has resulted in a significant contribution of staff time and financial resources to efforts in each of the respective areas.
Additionally, each area has been awarded study funding through the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program and, in particular, Mableton has been included in ARC’s Lifelong Communities program, which focuses on senior citizens and the features a community needs for them to live and function comfortably and independently.
Considering the high level of interest and activity in each of the three aforementioned areas, there within lies an opportunity to create a single, cohesive implementation plan for all of South Cobb that will promote investment in housing, business attraction and retention and public infrastructure. The results, if executed fully, will be improved market share for business interests and improved quality-of-life for residential and civic interests.