The grant is to help fund a study of properties near Southern Polytechnic State and Life universities that will examine ways to redevelop Cobb Parkway and South Marietta Parkway, increase visibility of the campuses and help to connect the universities with the surrounding community.
"The joint study will examine ways to link SPSU and Life universities that will enable them to share resources," city of Marietta senior urban planner Kyethea Clark said in a news release. "The study will look at the surrounding community to see how it can better serve the universities, faculty, students and nearby businesses."
"The completion of the study will outline ways to enhance the area," Clark said in the release. Cobb County is examining the possibility of transit along Cobb Parkway near SPSU and Life universities, she said.
"The LCI study will look at redevelopment initiatives, trail alignments that will join the city's existing trail network that will go through both campuses, sidewalk improvements and ways to retain and attract businesses that will serve the community," Clark said in the release.
"The city met with the universities to get a clear understanding of what their needs are and where they want to go in the next five or 10 years," she said in the release.
Potential Benefits to Community
- Retention and attraction of businesses in the area
- Connecting resources of both universities with private sector
- Proposing beautification and aesthetic enhancements
- Larger and enhanced sidewalks, which will comply with ADA standards
- Making sure sidewalks and trails are accessible to transit (CCT)
"The results of the study could completely revitalize the area because it will examine the feasibility of the area, such as businesses and redevelopment that can benefit from the huge economic impact that the universities bring to the community," Clark said in the release. "The grant is 80 percent federally funded, and the other 20 percent is shared among the city, Life and SPSU."
Clark expects the study to begin in April and take approximately a year or slightly longer depending on the scope. "We'd then have to look for funding sources for the recommended projects, but there are some projects already underway in the study area, including the university trail, which should begin construction this summer and be completed in six months to a year."
The study joins Marietta's two other LCI studies, Envision Marietta and the Delk TOD LCI studies.