The city’s central business district will soon see the development of two residential projects that could bring hundreds of more people to their stores, shops and restaurants.
Walton Communities is in the midst of completing its “308-unit apartment homes, retail space and for-sale housing,” said principal David Knight.
The mixed-used community named Woodstock West by Walton will be located just west of Main Street, and will be connected by the city’s Greenprints trail network and the proposed Elm Street Cultural Arts Village.
“With convenient access to Main Street Woodstock just a block away, our residents can enjoy the vibrant dining, shopping and entertainment that Woodstock has to offer just a short stroll from their front door,” Knight said.
Windsong Properties is in the midst of developing its 19-single family homes off Rope Mill Road.
Garden Street will feature detached ranch homes for active adults who want to experience in-town living, said Carrie Roeger, Windsong marketing manager.
Windsong’s presence in Woodstock is not new.
The company built Montclair at Ridgewalk near Woodstock Parkway and also constructed Somerset off Eagle Drive in Towne Lake.
“We’ve always had an eye on the Woodstock, Cherokee and the north Cobb area,” Roeger said.
Both companies are building in a time where economic uncertainty is high and when home buying remains considerably lower than the housing boom that hit the country in the mid-2000s.
Knight said the market has changed to where the rental market now consists of “higher number of young professionals.”
Those who may have purchased townhomes or condos in the previous years, are now looking for “upscale” apartments to rent.
Roeger said the slump has slowed down sales, but she added the company has come out stronger.
Both companies also see a gold mine in locating projects to downtown Woodstock.
Billy Peppers, Woodstock’s economic services director, said building inside the city “shows the mindset of people in our region is changing.”
“The ability to live close to a town center where it is possible to walk to restaurants, retail and community gatherings is important for new home buyers,” he said. “When you spend two to three hours per day in the car driving to and from work, it’s nice to park the car in the garage and head out on foot to dinner.”
Peppers said he believed the addition of new homes will add to how the downtown area is thriving.
He said the addition of more people could also spur them to get involved in local organizations and activities, such as the Downtown Development Authority, Main Street Woodstock and Greenprints Alliance.
Knight said he felt the city is a marketable area due to the diverse number of shops, restaurants and activities residents can get involved in.
“We have learned that our suburban customers crave an urban, walkable environment,” he said. “Woodstock West by Walton will satisfy this desire.”
Roeger also alluded to the city’s ever increasing pedestrian-friendly appeal and its growing commercial appeal in the central business district as two key components to attracting new buyers.
“They are empty nesters and staying active is important,” she said, referring to Windsong’s clientele. “It’s the location that’s absolutely prime.”
Both companies believe the next 18 to 24 months will bring growth and success in sales as they both feel their products cater to a niche market.
And Peppers said he hopes the city can capitalize on both companies’ niche market.
He said he believes more commercial business could come to the area as he’s heard that “retail follows the rooftops.”
He also said adding a good mixture of diverse housing will give residents the opportunity to become “entrepreneurs near their homes, for services to open up to meet local demands, and will draw more visitors into downtown.”
“I think having a diverse mix of residential, including single-family detached, townhomes, condos and apartments creates the ability for an individual to live a lifetime in downtown,” he said.