Thanks to the MDJ for this article!
Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer
MARIETTA – After 60 years, Clay Homes has been renamed and the new development will be known as Meeting Park.
Winter Properties Vice President Bill Marsh said developers are working with the city to obtain permits and hope to break ground on the $112 million development next month.
In a presentation to the Marietta Housing Authority, Atlanta-based Winter Properties unveiled its plans for the 12-acre site at Waddell and Waterman streets. The site was once the location of a 132-unit housing complex built in the 1940s for people who worked at the Bell Bomber plant during World War II.
Coincidentally, the Marietta Housing Authority, established in 1938, built the original Clay Homes.
Now the site has been re-envisioned as a mixed-use development with 166 residential condominiums, 32 townhouses and nine single-family residences with an additional 78,000 square feet of retail and office space, a central park area and additional greenspace.
“There was always a desire by the Marietta Housing Authority to have an urban community,” Marsh said.
A number of new streets will be added to the development, including the main street named Meeting Street, which Marsh said would enhance Marietta.
“It will make it feel much more like an organic part of Marietta,” he said. “We designed it to compliment the Square.”
The site plan has changed slightly since originally drafted several months ago. Duplexes along Waterman Street have become single-family houses and the number of residential condominiums in the first phase of construction has decreased from 81 to 70.
Marsh said the change would allow for larger units.
The first phase also will include 6,400 square feet of retail space and 32 townhouses.
Housing prices in Meeting Park are estimated to range from $200,000 to more than $600,000.
Marsh added he did not know any specific retailers or restaurants that were interested in the development. It will include a central park with a small retail center that a piece of art will adorn.
“It’s really meant to be the gathering place for the community,” Marsh said, adding that architect Carl Meinhardt spent a number of years living in Europe and European aspects of urban life provided him inspiration for Meeting Park.
Marsh said the site would appeal to young singles, newlywed couples and empty nesters because residents would be able to walk from their homes to stores and restaurants without needing a car.
“There’s a real longing to get back to a community of neighbors,” he said. “People want to live close to things they enjoy doing.”
Bob Silverman, president of Winter Properties, said Meeting Park and Marietta are a good combination.
“I’ve had this love affair with the city of Marietta,” he said. “It has such promise. I see it as an unpolished gem.”
Silverman said the city needs an infusion of youth and active adults and Meeting Park could attract them.
“We really saw an opportunity to get the core of Marietta jumpstarted,” he said.
In April, Winter Properties purchased the Clay Homes site for $8.4 million from the Marietta Housing Authority.
MHA Chairwoman Cathy Kampa said the presentation was wonderful and exceeded her expectations.
“I knew Winter would deliver a great product,” she said. “I think it has a spectacular look. They’ve put a lot of time and effort into designing something that will fit in with the look of Marietta Square.”
Ms. Kampa said even people who do not live in Meeting Park would want to dine and shop there.