24 Mar Alpharetta Downtown Master Plan
Location: Fulton County, GA
Client: Community Development Department, City of Alpharetta, GA
Lead Consultant: Kimley-Horn with partner TSW
KB Advisory Group Market Analysis for the 2015 City of Alpharetta Downtown Master Plan
KB’s Role in the Downtown Master Plan
KB Advisory Group was on the team that developed the 2015 City of Alpharetta, GA, Downtown Master Plan. The firm performed an inventory and assessment of real estate and demographic trends affecting Downtown’s historical and future development patterns. KB compared the demographics, business, employment, housing, residential, and commercial real estate in Alpharetta to North Fulton County and the Atlanta metro. The firm’s SWOT supported the Master Plan’s conclusions and provided a framework for land use and development policy recommendations.
KB’s Market Analysis Findings
The firm’s Market Analysis results determined Alpharetta’s population to be one of the most educated in the state. Alpharetta households had a 55% greater median income than the overall region. The percentage of excellent jobs was high, and the information sector was most prevalent. Furthermore, the Master Plan Study Area population had grown in the previous decade.
KB found the Alpharetta area had strong demographics to support more development Downtown. The retail market was largely car-oriented, indicating an opportunity to create a more authentic walkable environment. High traffic counts on Main Street showed Downtown could attract consumers outside the immediate area. The demand for place-making, meaningful open space, connectivity, and other amenities in suburban town centers was well-established and growing.
But for Alpharetta to stand out in a crowd, it had to differentiate itself from Roswell, Woodstock, and nearby Avalon, among others. KB observed Avalon would undoubtedly change the local real estate market dynamic. Attracting attention required a strong employment presence to provide a critical daytime market segment. Locally-owned shops, restaurants, services, offices, and unique housing types, like townhomes convenient to Alpharetta’s lifestyle amenities, would augment evening retail and the restaurant market.
KB’s 2015 Master Plan Development Recommendations envisioned the Downtown Alpharetta core maintaining historical land use patterns and its “good bones” attracting many users. Emphasizing higher intensity mixed-uses would attract younger Millennials and Baby Boomers. They make up the largest and most desirable market segments. Both spend disposable income at retail stores and restaurants within walking distance of home when good pedestrian infrastructure exists.
- The Downtown core focus should be accentuating mixed-used blocks and buildings since few Atlanta region cities were in a similar position.
- As much as possible, concentrate on walkable retail, restaurants, parks, greenspaces, and other social gathering spots in the Downtown core.
- Bolster the market with additional office and high-intensity residential condominiums and rental flats.
- Focus individual buildings on continuing the critical mix and mass of development to maintain Downtown’s unique design character.
While the market ultimately dictated particular locations, the Master Plan and Implementation Plan allowed the City to create the most desirable Downtown Core. KB confirmed the need for various real estate types in the study area. The Master Plan channeled that demand, stimulating the most redevelopment impact. The success and desirability of a human-scaled, pedestrian-friendly street design and mixed-use environment in the core helped draw interest in other parts of Alpharetta.
Live link to the 2015 City of Alpharetta Downtown Master Plan