Alpharetta - Milton Edition - July 2020

ALPHARETTA MILTON EDITION

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 5  JULY 23AUG. 19, 2020

ONLINE AT

Anew learning environment Fulton County Schools presents reopening plans

IMPACTS

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BY KARA MCINTYRE

2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

With coronavirus cases in Fulton County still on the rise, Fulton County Schools is preparing multiple path- ways for students to return to school by planning for traditional face-to- face instruction—with new health and safety protocols in place—along with oering Fulton Virtual School and individual remote learning options. As of Community Impact Newspa- per’s press time July 14, school was scheduled to begin Aug. 17. Thedoors closed to all FultonCounty Schools facilities and campuses March 12 after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, and school districts across

MARKET AT A GLANCE

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Fulton County Schools pushed its start date from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17 as one-third of campuses will serve as polling places for the Aug. 11 election, and the district needs more time to disinfect the schools. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)

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MILTON'S CUISINE & COCKTAILS

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2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM

SELLING fast Average days on the market

While there were fewer homes for sale because of the coronavirus pandemic, houses in most local ZIP codes still spent less time on the market year over year.

Homes selling fast despite COVID19, lowhome inventory

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BY KARA MCINTYRE

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Homes are selling faster year over year in Alpharetta and Milton, in part because fewer homes are on the market as the North Fulton region rides out the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from First Multiple Listing Service. Home sales, or the number of homes sold, for March-May in the four ZIP codes in the Greater Alpharetta and Milton area dropped 24.9% year over year compared to 2019. How- ever, homes sold in May were on the market an average of 39 days, down from about 43 days in May 2019, FMLS data shows. CONTINUED ON 15

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SOURCE: FIRST MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE, VILLAGE REALTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TODO LIST

FROMALLISON: The dog days of summer are here, and many families in our communities are opting for staycations in place of travel plans. If you’re staying local, be sure to check out our Impacts (see Pages 4 and 5) for the many grand openings of stores and restaurants in Alpharetta and Milton. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for daily updates and articles to help you know what’s happening in your own backyard. Stay cool.

MARKET TEAM EDITOR Kara McIntyre ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Timothy Anderson METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Allison Altobelli, aaltobelli@communityimpact.com MANAGING EDITOR Krista Wadsworth ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company's mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across six metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON

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Local events and things to do TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 7 Local construction projects CITY BUDGET 8 City of Alpharetta FY 202021 budget CITY& COUNTY 9 Latest local news

Allison Altobelli, PUBLISHER

FROMKARA: July marks our annual Real Estate Edition, which features residential real estate trends in the Alpharetta and Milton areas, along with the ins and outs of renancing and a look ahead at the anticipated impact of COVID-19. In addition, our cover story dives into a topic many are awaiting details on: the 2020-21 school year.

Real EstateEdition

AT A GLANCE

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Alpharetta, Milton market data

Kara McIntyre, EDITOR

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

New developments 5

Local sources 13

New businesses 6

Community events 9

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BUSINESS FEATURE

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Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens

Our local teams tailor campaigns for all business sizes and industries wanting to reach their customer base and accomplish their nancial goals. Our products ADVERTISEWITHUS

Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

Southern Yankee Staging & Design

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stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US 308 Maxwell Road, Ste. 200 Alpharetta, GA 30009 • 4044189444 communityimpact.com PRESS RELEASES alpnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE All content in this print publication, both editorial and advertisements, was up- to-date as of the press deadline. Due to the fast-changing nature of this event, editorial and advertising information may have changed. Please visit communityimpact.com and advertiser websites for more information. I C l c te t in t is print p licatio , b t e it rial a a vertise e ts, was u - t - ate as of t e pres dea line. D e t t e fast-c a in nat re of t is eve t, e it rial a a vertisin inf r atio ay have c a e . Please visit c ityim act.c a a vertiser e sites f r m re inf r atio .

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ALPHARETTA  MILTON EDITION • JULY 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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Fiore Boutique

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COVID-19. The Windward Parkway loca- tion is the rst brick-and-mortar location of Q’Paso Latin Grub, which initially began as a food truck in Colorado, owners Kazeka Muniz and Amanda Bolton said in an email. They also launched their food truck in early June as an extension of the restaurant. Q’Paso Latin Grub oers various dishes made from scratch from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and other Latin American countries. 770-733-1758. www.qpasolatingrub.com 6 Unexpected Pooch opened its sec- ond location July 1, located in Halcyon at 6365 Halcyon Way, Alpharetta. The pet store, which also has a location on Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta, oers dog and cat foods, bowls, treats, toys, wellness products, grooming supplies and other pet accessories, as well as pet clothing and a dog-friendly bakery. The store will host a grand opening Aug. 8 with one-day specials, samples and door prizes. 678-336-9441. www.unexpectedpooch.com COMING SOON 7 The South African craft cocktail and beef jerky restaurant Biltong Bar is slated to open inside Avalon in August, accord- ing to a June 18 news release. Community Impact Newspaper previously reported the restaurant would open sometime this summer. Biltong Bar, located at 400 Ava- lon Blvd., Alpharetta, gets its name from all-natural, aged beef jerky known as biltong, and the Avalon location will mark the third Biltong location in the Atlanta area. https://biltong-bar.com 8 Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryother- apy will bring its restorative wellness

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NOWOPEN 1 A new location of Bualo Wild Wings opened June 15 at 10890 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta. The 7,300-square-foot restaurant features Bualo Wild Wings’ newest interior and exterior designs with all-new xtures and oors, a dedicated takeout area and rollup patio doors, according to a news release from the restaurant. This is the rst restaurant in Georgia to debut this new design, the release said. Additionally, the restaurant also includes a MVP room—a reserv- able, private viewing area with gaming consoles—a new bar design with local brewery taps and wider spirit selection, stadium-like audio and video technology,

an open-oor layout and wireless phone charging at the bar. 678-352-4599. www.bualowildwings.com 2 Calla Nails Spa opened July 10 at 5304 Windward Parkway, Ste. 103, Alpharetta, with a grand opening from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Guests can receive 20% o any of the salon’s services through July. Calla Nails Spa oers traditional nail salon services as well as eyebrow waxing, facials and eyelash extensions. 470-273-5754. www.callanailspa.com 3 Fiore Boutique opened May 15 in downtown Alpharetta, located at 92 Milton Ave., Ste. 300, next to the Al- pharetta Animal Hospital. The boutique has selected merchandise ranging from jewelry, books and vintage home decor to

clothing, shoes and accessories. 404-645-2674. www.myoreboutique.com 4 High Country Outtters , located at 4170 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta, opened inside Avalon on June 18, marking the store’s fth metro Atlanta location. The local, family-owned outdoor gear and clothing shop will feature only the retail- er’s most popular merchandise, including products from Patagonia, Yeti and Big Green Egg, according to a news release June 18. 404-856-0910. www.highcountryouttters.com 5 A new Latin fusion restaurant, Q’Paso Latin Grub , opened May 9 at 5815 Windward Parkway, Ste. 202, Alpharetta, after a delay in its grand opening due to

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY KARA MCINTYRE

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Q'Paso Latin Grub

Onward Reserve

COURTESY Q’PASO LATIN GRUB

COURTESY ONWARD RESERVE

10 Tempur-Pedic , the national retailer specializing in mattress and pillow manufacturing, is expected to open its Avalon agship store this fall, according to a June 18 news release. An ocial opening date for the store, which will be located at 2100 Third St., Alpharetta, was not announced as of press time July 14. In addition to oering mattresses and pillows, Tempur-Pedic also oers adjust- able mattress bases and other bedding accessories. www.tempurpedic.com 11 Zyka Indian Restaurant is slated to open at the end of August at 3800 Brookside Parkway, Alpharetta. The Indi- an restaurant, which also has a location in Decatur, will oer a variety of Indian dishes and beverages, including tandoori chicken, channa masala, butter chicken, chicken tikka masala and masala tea. 678-580-0538. www.zyka.com

experience to Avalon in August at 7155 Avalon Way, Alpharetta, according to a news release June 18. The health and wellness center’s most popular ser- vices, according to the release, include whole-body cryotherapy and IV therapy. avalon@restore.com. www.restore.com 9 A specialty men’s apparel and life- style brand headquartered in Atlanta, Onward Reserve is expected to open its 13th location inside Avalon in Alpharetta in early October, according to a news release June 18. Onward Reserve—which will be located at 8155 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta—oers performance and tailored sportswear, T-shirts featuring original works of art and other men’s clothing as well as an assortment of men’s accessories and gifts. 888-543-5022. www.onwardreserve.com

Big Blue Swim School opened June 22 with adjusted health guidelines to keep swimmers and sta safe due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.

COURTESY BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Big Blue Swim School opened June 22 on the Alpharetta and Johns Creek border after a delayed opening due to COVID-19. Located at 10955 Jones Bridge Road, Ste. 121, Johns Creek, the swim school—which is the company’s rst Georgia location—oers swim lessons seven days a week for children ages 6 months to 12 years old. Additionally, wellness checks take place for each family during the check-in process, and student-to-teacher ratios

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are capped to ensure proper social distancing. Swim instructors wear face shields when possible to provide extra protection. 770-308-8227. www.bigblueswimschool.com/ locations/johns-creek

Located at: 5250Windward Parkway. Alpharetta, GA. 30004 hempfarmacyalpharetta.us • (770) 676-0853

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ALPHARETTA  MILTON EDITION • JULY 2020

TODO LIST

July & August events

COMPILED BY KARA MCINTYRE

Alpharetta Arts Center Gallery Exhibit

All event dates were still scheduled as of press time July 14, but are subject to change as guidance changes regarding when and how events can be held due to COVID-19.

AUG. 08

HEART& SOLE 5K, FUN RUNAND TOT TROT AVALON

The sixth annual Heart & Sole 5K, Fun Run and Tot Trot returns to Avalon in Alpharetta after a postponed date due to COVID-19. The 5K takes place rst, followed by the Fun Run and Tot Trot last. Proceeds from the race benet The Lionheart School. 7:30 a.m. (5K), 8:30 a.m. (Fun Run), 9 a.m. (Tot Trot). $10-$40. 2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-772-4555. www.active.com/alpharetta-ga/running/distance-running/heart-and- sole-5k-avalon-2020 (Photo courtesy Heart & Sole 5K)

The Alpharetta Farmers Market returned to downtown Alpharetta on July 11. (Courtesy Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau)

FEATURED EVENT Alpharetta FarmersMarket returns to downtown After postponing the April kicko of the Alpharetta Farmers Market due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and shifting to a mini market version, the Alpharetta Farmers Market returned to downtown Alpharetta on the Town Green on July 11 with adjusted health precautions in place, according to a press release from the farmers market July 7. The mini market had been taking place with a shortened vendor list at the parking lot of Urban Hardware, located on Haynes Bridge Road, beginning in May. All participating vendors—which includes nearly 100 vendors—were invited to participate for the rest of the year. It is up to the individual vendor’s discretion on a week-to- week basis if they want to participate. All vendors are required to wear face masks, and customers are strongly encouraged to bring and wear their own masks as well, the release said. Hand sanitizer will be provided upon entry and exit. Customers are asked to adhere to social distancing requirements of 6 feet. One-way trac throughout the market has been set up to accommodate for social distancing as well. North and South Broad streets, Alpharetta. www.alpharettafarmersmarket.com

JULY 24 PERUSE ANART EXHIBIT The Alpharetta Arts Center, which reopened in late May after being closed due to COVID-19, presents the “Art Americana” exhibit featuring two- dimensional and three-dimensional ber and folk art from artists in the southeast U.S. Guests can visit the exhibit during business hours. Free. Alpharetta Arts Center, 238 Canton St., Alpharetta. 678-297-6165. www.artsalpharetta.org 24 ENJOY ADRIVEIN CONCERT After a tryout of Avalon’s inaugural Drive-In Live event in June, Avalon management expanded the event into a summer series, taking place every other Friday from late June through August. Concertgoers will pull into the parking lot in front of Ted’s Montana Grill upon arrival and be directed to a designated space to set up chairs or remain in their cars. Drive-In Live is limited to 55 cars with two empty parking spaces between each group. All proceeds are donated to dierent local charities. The nal two Drive-In Live events take place Aug. 7 and 21. 6 p.m. $25 (per car). Avalon, 2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. www.experienceavalon.com/drive-in-live 25 TAKE A FREE BARRE CLASS The Barre Code in Alpharetta is oering socially distant, free barre classes every Saturday and BarRestore classes—which is yoga and barre combined—every second and fourth Thursday from July through September at Brooke Street Park. Attendees must bring their own yoga mat, and no registration is required to attend. 10 a.m. (barre), 6 p.m. (BarRestore). Free. Brooke Street Park pavilion, 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta (behind Alpharetta City Hall). 678-984-0722. www.thebarrecode.com/studio/alpharetta 28 GOWINE TASTING, ENJOY LOCAL CHARCUTERIE Head out to Painted Horse Winery & Vineyards for a wine barrel tasting event with Director of Winemaking John Bowen

and owner Pamela Jackson. Bowen and Jackson will provide an evening of wine education and wine tasting as well as charcuterie from Cheeses & Mary. Registration is required. Space is limited. 7 p.m. $45. Painted Horse Winery & Vineyards, 2105 Bethany Way, Milton. 770-846-1559. www.thepaintedhorsewinery.com/register AUGUST 07 SEE A GUITARIST PERFORM Guitarist Scott Henderson, a south Florida native, will perform live with drummer Archibald Ligonniere and Romain Labaye on bass guitar at The Velvet Note in Alpharetta. The Velvet Note features a living-room concert setting, designed by musicians and for musicians. 7:30 p.m. $48. The Velvet Note, 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta. 855-583-5838. www.thevelvetnote.com 11 VOTE IN THE PRIMARY RUNOFF ELECTION Several races from the June 9 primary elections will head to the runos Aug. 11, including the races for Fulton County sheri, Fulton County district attorney and the Fulton County Board of Education District 4 representative. The runos will settle which candidate will represent their respective political parties or district on the November ballot. www.sos.ga.gov 15 LEARN FIRST AID EDUCATION Learn critical response skills such as stopping severe bleeding, treating a sprain and stabilizing a broken bone at a free community rst aid class hosted by Alpharetta Department of Public Safety instructors. The class is designed for those age 18 and older, but children ages 13-17 can attend with an adult. Registration is limited for social distancing purposes, and face masks will be required. 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Free. Alpharetta Adult Activity Center, 13450 Cogburn Road, Alpharetta. 678-297-6000. www.apm.activecommunities.com/ alpharetta

JULY 2020

FARMERS MARKET

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Find more or submit Alpharetta and Milton events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Alpharetta bans skateboarding inmost of City Center; opens pop-up skate park inmid-July

COMPILED BY KARA MCINTYRE

ONGOING PROJECTS

CHURCH ST.

Alpharetta City Council members and Mayor Jim Gilvin passed an ordinance in a 4-3 vote at the June 15 council meeting to ban the use of skateboards and longboards in most of the downtown area, in what is being called the Skateboard Restric- tion Zone. The ordinance came about initially because of complaints from residents who live in City Center about prop- erty damage, excessive noise and near-collisions between skateboarders and pedestrians as well as between skateboarders and vehicles. The Skateboard Restriction Zone covers most of the area between Haynes Bridge Road extending west past Canton and Roswell streets on the east and west sides, and stretching to Marietta and Church streets to the south and north. In the restricted zone, skateboarding and longboarding are prohibited on public sidewalks, parking decks and surface parking lots as well as elevated surfaces such as rails, ramps and steps, according to the ordinance. Individuals age 17 and older who violate the ordinance can be ned up

to $500 and receive up to 20 hours of community service. Parents or guardians of a violator under the age of 17 will be subject to the penalty; however, children age 12 and younger can use a skateboard or longboard within the restricted zone if under direct supervision from a parent, guardian or other adult. “This has not been an easy issue to deal with, but we have really tried to listen to all of our citizens and focus on the safety concerns,” Mayor Pro Tem Donald Mitchell, a sponsor of the ordinance, said. Temporary solution Skateboarders spoke during the public comment period of the rst reading of the ordinance June 1, citing a lack of a skate park as part of the reason why there is high skateboard- ing activity in the downtown area. DJ Snyder, a former longtime Alpharetta resident and skateboarder, started an online petition in late May to raise awareness on the lack of a skate park in Alpharetta, with the goal of constructing one at Wills Park. More than 1,000 people have signed it

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Bethany Road roundabouts Two roundabouts are under con- struction on Bethany Road at the intersections of Mayeld and Mid Broadwell roads, a project underway by the city of Alpharetta. Alpharetta Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz said the completion date was pushed from May to August due to weather, utility relocations and the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 1, the intersec- tion of Mayeld and Bethany roads transitioned from a four-way stop to a functioning roundabout; however, as construction is still being completed, travel lanes will be smaller than once the project is completed. Heavy trac delays are expected on both Mayeld and Bethany roads until completion. Timeline: July 2019-August 2020 Cost: $3.23 million (total) Funding source: Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds

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as of press time July 14. “I grew up in Alpharetta skate- boarding the streets, and for over a decade we have tried getting a skatepark in, and nothing has ever happened,” Snyder said. Morgan Rodgers, director of recre- ation, parks and cultural services for the city of Alpharetta, worked with Snyder and other local skaters on a temporary solution to this problem: a pop-up skate park within Union Hill Park, which opened in mid-July. “It was really the expressed need from the skaters that prompted us to do this,” Rodgers said in a June 24 interview. “There hasn’t been a com- bined eort for a skate park in the past, and we are trying to remedy that.”

D B R O A

Milton rejuvenates road pavement throughout city

1 Champions Close 2 Pleasant Hollow Trail 3 Stratforde Drive 4 Coach House Lane 5 Ashepoint Circle 6 Ashepoint Lane 7 Greenpoint Drive 8 Heddingham Court 9 Hermitage Trail 10 Lochmere Court 11 Northwood Cove 12 Northwood Drive 13 Sablegreen Way 14 Sablewood Drive

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 8. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT ALPNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Timeline: TBD Cost: $125,000 Funding source: city of Alpharetta Rucker, Charlotte roads safety addition After a vehicle crashed into the backyard of a home in the Seasons at Creekside subdivision in Alpharetta o Rucker Road during the Rucker project’s construction earlier this year, the city’s public works department worked with Seasons residents and design engineers on options for safety measures for the Seasons communi- ty. Alpharetta City Council members approved construction of a curved guardrail along the frontage of the subdivision at the June 15 council meeting.

The city of Milton completed a project to rejuvenate 14 of the city’s roads with pavement treatments, mostly on neighborhood roads within the city including Champions Close, Pleasant Hollow Trail, Northwood Drive and Sablegreen Way. The proj- ect lasted about three days and cost nearly $40,000, according to Public Works Director Robert Drewry. The process extends the life of the pavement by ve to seven years, Dre- wry said, as opposed to waiting until the asphalt needs to be completely repaved. Additionally, pavement treatments cost less than $1 per square yard, whereas completely repaving asphalt costs between $16- $20 per square yard—therefore saving the city and taxpayers thousands of dollars, Drewry said.

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ALPHARETTA  MILTON EDITION • JULY 2020

CITY BUDGET

BREAKING DOWN THE BUDGET

Alpharetta city leaders approved a balanced $140 million scal year 2020-21 budget, but anticipate an estimated 10% drop—or about $9 million—in operating revenue compared to pre- COVID-19 projections for the FY 2020-21 budget, which runs July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Special revenue funds

Capital project funds

Medical insurance fund

Debt service fund

Risk management fund

Other Post-Employment Benets (OPEB) funds

General fund

Solid waste fund

ADOPTED FY 201920 BUDGET TOTAL: $141.1M

$5.4M

$4.2M

$1.5M

$75.3M

$30.5M

$15.9M

$7.7M

$0.6M

ADOPTED FY 202021 BUDGET TOTAL: $140M

$5M

$4.5M

$1.5M

$35.3M

$12.3M

$8.5M

$0.6M

$72.3M

FY 202021 GENERAL FUND REVENUE SOURCES

City of Alpharetta approves trimmed FY 202021 budget

TOTAL: $72M

“This particular storm is going to be a little tough on Alpharetta because with 60% commercial, a lot of our businesses, hotels and hospitality sector have taken a beating this year [because of COVID- 19],” Mitchell said. “It’s still very early, but we’re focused on essential services and holding o on the other things until we have a clearer picture.” Coronavirus impacts on the budget About half of the FY 2020-21 budget—$72.26 mil- lion—is allocated to the general fund, which pays for the city’s day-to-day operations. The heaviest impacts to general fund revenues were in sales taxes and hotel/motel taxes, followed by franchise and alcohol beverage taxes, parks and recreation and the municipal court, Mitchell said. For example, the local option sales tax revenue is anticipated to be down from initial projections by about 22% with expected revenue now totaling $13.5 million. Hotel/motel tax revenue is expected to be down by 27%, decreasing from the expected revenue now totaling $6.75 million. “Realistically, we’ve only got two months of trend data [from COVID-19]. I know it feels like we’ve been in COVID[-19] land for a year, but we just got month two of actual trend data for reve- nues collected under COVID[-19],” he said. In terms of funding for capital projects, the city reduced its recurring capital initiatives fund down from $4.8 million to $189,000 due to COVID-19’s impacts on forecasted revenues. The remaining funding was reallocated to cover deciencies in rev- enue in other areas and to a reserve fund, but $4.35

$27.2M Property taxes $15.3M Other taxes $13.5M Local Option Sales Taxes/TSPLOST $5.3M Budgeted fund balance

BY KARA MCINTYRE

Alpharetta City Council members approved a balanced $140 million budget for the 2020-21 scal year at the June 22 meeting—just less than 1% lower than the FY 2019-20 budget—after multiple budget workshops and public hearings over the last several months. The city’s FY 2020-21 budget runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. The city approved no change to the millage rate— which determines the property tax rate—remaining at 5.75 mills as it has for at least the last eight years. A mill is one one-thousandth of a dollar, and in property tax terms is equal to $1 of tax for each $1,000 assessed valuation, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Additionally, with the city’s multiple homestead exemptions, homeowners collectively are antic- ipated to save $5 million annually, said Shawn Mitchell, the budget and procurement manager for the city of Alpharetta. While council approved a balanced budget—albeit with reductions to line items within various city departments as well as pauses on some operating and capital initiatives—Mitchell said the FY 2020-21 operating revenues are about 10% less than initially anticipated for this budget year. This is in part due to Alpharetta’s tax base makeup of 60% commercial and 40% residential.

million remains in the fund balance for one-time capital investments. Despite $21.6 million of capital initiatives not being recommended for funding, this means those projects are simply on hold rather than not happen- ing at all, Mitchell said. “I think Council Member [Ben] Burnett put it best when he said, ‘No doesn’t mean no, it just means not now.’ We’ve had a good run as Alpharetta, having a good tax digest that we can fund these projects,” Council Member Jason Binder said. “Maybe we can now use this time to lter out these projects and make sure it is an ecient use of our dollars.” SOURCE: CITY OF ALPHARETTACOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER $0.1M Intergovernmental revenue $3.3M Charges for services $2.6M Licenses and permits $2.5M Interfund transfer from hotel/motel fund $1.8M Fines and forfeitures $0.3M Interest earnings $0.2M Other/miscellaneous NOTE: NUMBERS HAVE BEEN ROUNDED FOR CLARITY.

Jeff Cavender Agency LLC 5755 N Point Pkwy Ste 3 Alpharetta, GA 30022 470.385.3488 jeff.cavender@amfam.com

American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. & its Operating Companies, American Family Life Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 © 2020 017720 - 1/20 - 11943869

8

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Alpharetta & Milton

QUOTEOFNOTE “ASWE ALL KNOW, THE MILTONRESIDENTS LOVE THEIR TRAIL NETWORK.” PARAGAGRAWAL,MILTONCOMMUNITY DEVELOPMENTDIRECTOR primary and nonpartisan elections will be on the runoff election ballot in August, including Fulton County sheriff and Fulton County district attorney. The runoffs will settle which candidate will represent their respective political party on the November ballot. AUG. 11 DATE TOKNOW Several races from the June 9 CITY HIGHLIGHTS ALPHARETTA City Council members approved a variance at the June 15 meeting to allow 48 townhome units to be constructed on 3.27 acres between Old Milton Parkway and Thompson Street near the post office on Old Milton. The property was previously allowed 42 townhome units, and the new variance also allows some of the townhomes to be front-loaded, meaning the garage is located in the front of the townhome. ALPHARETTA Council members approved an amendment to Chapter 3 of the city code—the chapter about alcoholic beverages—at the June 22 meeting to allow licensing for distilleries within the city. Previously, distilleries could not open in city limits. MILTON After passing a revamped alcoholic beverage laws in June, council discussed an amendment to the alcoholic beverage laws at the July 6 meeting, which would permit Milton farm wineries to allow the retail sale and consumption of wine produced outside of Georgia. Currently, only wines produced in Georgia are allowed. Alpharetta City Council Meets July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta 678-297-6000 www.alpharetta.ga.us Milton City Council Meets Aug. 3 and 17 at 6 p.m. at 2006 Heritage Walk, Milton 678-242-2500 MEETINGSWE COVER

Trails plan prioritizesmore pedestrian-friendly city

BY KARA MCINTYRE

... at that point, very low money, very low priority,” committee Chair Brian Maloney said during the meet- ing. “This is a high priority now.” For phasing in the trail plan gradually, four funding tiers were created for each priority area: Tier I for within two years of plan, Tier II for between two and five years of plan, Tier III for between five and 10 years of plan, and Tier IV for aspirational projects after 10 years or when funding is available.

trail planning activities of Milton.” The plan prioritizes walking, hiking, biking and horse riding trails in the following areas in Milton: Crabapple, Deerfield, Birmingham Park, Preserve at Cooper Sandy and the Preserve at Lackey Road. Funding for these trails is planned to come from city, state and federal funds, and grant programs. About 1.8 miles of off-street trails, 5.3 miles of side paths, 6.6 miles of sidewalks and 11 crossing treatments are recommended in the plan to encourage a pedestrian environ- ment in Milton, Agrawal said. The plan also recommends 4.2 miles of decomposed granite trails, 9.5 miles of native soil trails and 97 parking spaces to be added within the city’s 2016 green space bond fund prop- erties—which include the Preserve at Cooper Sandy and the Preserve at Lackey Road—and Birmingham Park. “Years ago, [the trails committee] was rolled into the parks and rec committee under a different adviser

Backyard chickens allowed inAlpharetta residents love their trail network,” Agrawal said during the meeting. “The 2020 trail master plan puts the focus on community participation and community involvement into the MILTON Council members at their July 6 meeting discussed the Milton Trail Prioritization Plan, a project that has been in the planning stages for about a year, to help find more trails and pedestrian-friendly areas in Milton. The city established the Milton Trails Advisory Committee to help with the trails plan, and the com- mittee sought public input, presented briefings to council multiple times and administered a survey to residents with over 1,000 respondents, Com- munity Development Director Parag Agrawal said during the meeting. According to the 2019 Compre- hensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, around 85% of the residents used walking, biking and hiking trails in the previous year, Agrawal said. “As we all know, the Milton

PLAN PRIORITIES

Milton’s trail plan prioritizes several areas of the city.

• Crabapple area • Deerfield area • BirminghamPark

• Preserve at Cooper Sandy • Preserve at Lackey Road SOURCE: CITY OF MILTON/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Council discusses creatingNorthPoint opportunity zone

BY KARA MCINTYRE

ALPHARETTA Residents of the city of Alpharetta can now raise up to six chickens in their backyard, per a vote from Alpharetta City Council members June 22. Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s unified development code at the June 22 meeting, allowing for a maximum of six chickens on a minimum 1-acre lot. Previously, the UDC only allowed chickens on land zoned in the agricultural zoning district. With the approved changes, chickens are now allowed in some residential areas, much like the neighboring cities of Roswell, Milton, Johns Creek and Marietta. The change came about due to several requests over the years to change the code. Roosters are still not allowed, and any additional structures for the chickens—such as chicken coops—must maintain a minimum of a 25-foot setback from rear and side property lines.

BY KARA MCINTYRE

ALPHARETTA Economic Development Manager Matthew Thomas and Alpharetta City Council members discussed the potential for a tax deferment for the North Point area of the city—an area that city staff and council have prioritized for redevelopment—in the form of applying for the area to be considered an opportunity zone. Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones are defined as “economically-distressed communities where new invest- ments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment,” according to the Internal Revenue Service. The opportunity zone is a designation that comes from the state, allowing for the high- est tax credit at $3,500 per created job, Thomas said, which creates incentives to bring more people and developments to the area.

“What’s very unique about the opportunity zone is a business of any nature can apply, which includes retail. A lot of that is concentrated in the North Point corridor,” he said during the meeting. To apply, the city must come up with an urban redevelopment plan for the North Point corridor and host a public hearing prior to approving the plan. “There’s not many cities in the state that can create more jobs for those people than the city of Alpharetta if we’re successful in re-envisioning that corridor,” Mayor JimGilvin said during the meeting. “I really think this corridor is critical for North Fulton [County] and the state of Georgia.” The city is planning to redevelop the North Point area. (Rendering courtesy city of Alpharetta)

www.cityofmiltonga.us Fulton County Board of Commissioners

Meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 141 Pryor St., Ste. 10, Atlanta. 404-612-4000 www.fultoncountyga.gov

9

ALPHARETTA - MILTON EDITION • JULY 2020

2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

2020 REAL ESTATE EDITION

COMPILED BY KARA MCINTYRE

201820 ALPHARETTA  MILTON REAL ESTATE MARKET AT A GLANCE

DAYS ON THEMARKET AVERAGE June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

30004

30005

59

65

45

52

30004

+10.17%

+15.56%

While the number of homes sold in Fulton County has stayed largely stable in the past year, the average sales price of homes in the Alpharetta-Milton area has seen a slight dip compared to numbers from 2018-19. Homes in Alpharetta and Milton have an average sales price that is $150,000-$200,000 higher than homes in Metro Atlanta; however, they are still lower than the county average.

19

30009 -26%

30022

140

50

37

52

45

-13.46%

30005

30009

120

30022

HOME SALES PRICE AVERAGE

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

N

HOMES SOLD NUMBER OF

$639,106

$487,960

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

-2.95%

-1.67%

$620,277

$479,806

907

455

$608,560

$507,320 -6.47% $474,482

+2.09%

-7.91%

-12.10%

926

419

$534,930

208

783

Fulton County

Metro Atlanta

+3.37%

0%

$473,234 $472,176 -0.22%

$332,600 $327,941 -1.4%

215

783

11,018

Fulton County

11,210 +1.74%

AVERAGE HOME SALES PRICE IN ALPHARETTA  MILTON

TOTAL HOMES SOLD IN ALPHARETTA  MILTON

30004 30005 30009 30022

750K

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

650K

30004 38.55%

30004 39.52%

30022 33.28%

30022 33.42%

550K

2,353 homes sold

2,343 homes sold

450K

30005 19.33%

30005 17.88%

350K

30009 8.84%

30009 9.18%

0

July 2019

Sept. 2019

Nov. 2019

Jan. 2020

March 2020

May 2020

SOURCES: FIRST MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE, VILLAGE REALTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

10

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

INSIDE INFORMATION

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ  DESIGNED BY MATT MILLS

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by renancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. Mortgage rates have steadily declined since November 2018, according to weekly data from Freddie Mac, also known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Matt Frankel, a certied nancial planner and mortgage analyst at The Ascent by Motley Fool—a general personal nance advice resource—shared advantages and disadvantages of the renancing process. REFINANCING U N D E R S T A N D I N G WHAT TOCONSIDER 1. 2. Is the current market rate at least 1% lower than your existing mortgage rate? Are you planning to stay in the same home for at least 5 more years ?

HOWTO START

• Always consult multiple lenders to nd the best mortgage rate. Start with a current lender. • Multiple inquiries from mortgage lenders aect an individual’s credit score no more than a single inquiry , Frankel said.

Renancing isn’t free. … It becomes amath problemof whether the savings you’re going to get fromyourmortgage payment are going to bemore than you’re paying.

MATT FRANKEL, MORTGAGE ANALYST AT THE ASCENT

THE INS ANDOUTS OF REFINANCING

TRACKINGMORTGAGE RATES

Although the U.S. weekly average rate for a 30-year mortgage is trending downward, mortgage rates vary by credit score, Frankel said.

Pros • Can lower monthly mortgage payments • May eliminate private mortgage insurance Cons • Can be costly, as homeowners must pay lender and closing fees again • Paperwork

0 3.1% 3.2% 3.3% 3.4% 3.5% 3.6% 3.7% 3.8% 3.9% 4.0%

3.82%

3.73%

3.56%

3.13%

ANOTHER OPTION

3.36%

A homeowner can also choose cash-out renancing, meaning an existing mortgage is replaced with a new home loan totaling more than the remaining debt. The dierence is paid in cash and can be helpful in paying other debts, as a mortgage is often the lowest-interest loan available, Frankel said.

March 12, 2020 Dec. 12, 2019

June 25, 2020

June 13, 2019 Sept. 12, 2019

SOURCE: FREDDIE MACCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

F I O R E B O U T I Q U E

Downtown Alpharetta

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11

ALPHARETTA  MILTON EDITION • JULY 2020

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Developments underway in your community

COMPILED BY KARA MCINTYRE

KARA MCINTYRECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

KARA MCINTYRECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

KARA MCINTYRECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CRABAPPLEMARKETWEST Orkin & Associates is working on expanding the existing Crabapple Market development in downtown Milton. The expansion adds retail, restaurant and oce space; a parking deck; and high-end residential units, with a performance stage on The Green coming in the future.

CROSSROADS BRAEBURN Development company Folia Group is constructing nine luxury townhome units separated into three buildings on Heritage Walk adjacent to Milton City Hall. Two units were still available to lease as of press time July 14. Space: 30,000 square feet Timeline: early 2020-fourth quarter 2020 (rst three units), fall 2021 (total project)

THEMAXWELL The Providence Group and Mayfair Street Partners are developing a mixed-use project, The Maxwell, on Devore Road in Alpharetta. The entire project features a commercial portion with retail, dining and oce space and a residential portion made up of single-family homes, townhomes and condos. Space: 35,000 square feet (retail, restaurant, oce) Timeline: late 2019-summer 2020

Space: About 73,000 square feet Timeline: fall 2020-summer 2021

9

HAYNES BRIDGE RD.

N

N

N

MARKET DISTRICT AT CRABAPPLE This high-density, mixed-use development has been under construction in the city of Milton—located on the east side of Birmingham Highway and just south of Crabapple Crossing Elementary School—since early February, and the rst three of the project’s eight buildings are set to open in the fall after a brief delay in construction in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Like everyone, it seemed like the world came to a grinding halt in March, but after we gured out all the implications, our construction got back on track ... and is steadily moving forward,” said Brent Beecham, one of the developers of the project. “Truthfully, if you stand on top of our buildings and you look out over the town, you realized just how much changed while most people were sheltering in place.” The project, under construction by Market District Development LLC, includes oce and restaurant space, a food hall with a mezzanine bar and 42 condo units, 80% of which are designated for active seniors age 55 and older. The development has a locally owned Starbucks and a jazz club/speakeasy under contract in Buildings 1 and 2, respectively, Beecham said. Retail and oce space are still available, as are 15 condo units. “Though many restaurateurs have had to focus on existing locations, we are now seeing new franchises express interest in our project,” Beecham said. “Our chef curator is personal friends with many of the restaurateur chefs we have been working with, so we have no concern that once things have stabilized, we’ll see them add new locations or

KARA MCINTYRECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TOWN CENTER EAST This mixed-use project, under construction on Mayeld Road in downtown Milton across from the Milton Library, consists of street-level retail space with oce space on the second and third oors. According to owner John Gaston, 56% of the building was pre-leased as of press time July 14. Space: 44,000 square feet Timeline: fall 2019-August 2020

COURTESY MARKET DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT LLC

concepts in Market District Crabapple.” Space: 172,000 square feet (all buildings) Timeline: February-November (Buildings 1 and 2)

N

N

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

BUSINESS FEATURE

BY KARA MCINTYRE

The most popular rooms for home staging are the dining room, living room, kitchen and master bedroom.

BEFORE

AFTER

Vacant and occupied home staging as well as interior design services are oered by Southern Yankee Staging & Design.

Ferguson said buyers are over 70%more likely to envision themselves in a home that is staged versus unstaged, and those who use home staging are 85%more likely to generate higher sales prices. (Photos courtesy Southern Yankee Staging & Design)

Southern Yankee Staging&Design Owner: ‘Staging is not a transaction; it’s a personal experience’ A my Ferguson, a 12-year Alpharetta resident and owner of Southern Yankee accounting position; however, she said this switch back to her former

VACANT VS. OCCUPIED STAGING

Owner Amy Ferguson said there are two types of home staging: vacant staging and occupied staging. Here are a few dierences between the two: VACANT STAGING • The seller, or the person selling their home, has already moved out. • The stager brings in furniture and decor, rented or otherwise. • The staging service and furniture rentals are typically paid for by the seller. • Biggest challenge: Bringing warmth to a vacant home OCCUPIED STAGING • The seller has not yet moved out of the home they are selling. • The stager can oer a consultation, which means the stager and the seller would walk through the home together and check o what needs to be done; full-service occupied staging, which includes the physical arranging of the furniture and decor in the home; or both. • The staging consultation or service is typically paid for by the Realtor or the seller. • Biggest challenge: Removing clutter, such as knickknacks, extra furniture or family photos, and depersonalizing the home

& Design in Alpharetta a year and a half ago. She oers virtual and in-person interior design services as well as staging services for Alpharetta, Milton and the Greater North Fulton area. There are two types of home stag- ing, Ferguson said: vacant staging, which means the seller of the home has already moved out, and occu- pied staging, which means the seller is still living in the home. People typically see vacant staging on television shows like “Fixer Upper” on HGTV, according to Ferguson. Contrary to popular belief, no one keeps the furniture used in vacant home staging for the most part, Ferguson said; however, she keeps some items such as rugs, pillows, throw blankets and home decor in her basement for use, but furniture is rented. She also said buyers are over 70% more likely to envision themselves in a home that is staged versus unstaged. “Home staging is more than what you see on HGTV. There’s really a science behind presenting your home in a certain way to help potential buyers envision themselves in the home,” she said. “Staging is not a transaction; it’s a personal experience.”

career reinforced the idea that accounting still did not “ll her cup.” But she knew she loved home design—she said she was always rearranging and redecorating her room as a child. “I feel like it was God-sent. I prayed about it for a long time, and I didn’t know what it looked like, but I wanted to have my own business, and I wanted it to be somewhere in design,” she said. “It was honestly this stereotypical scenario. I was in the shower and the word ‘staging’ came to me. I feel like God put it in my head and said, ‘This is what I want you to do.’” Ferguson started researching home staging, earned a nationally ranked staging certication and launched Southern Yankee Staging

Staging & Design, has not always been in this role. Prior to opening her home staging and interior design business out of her home, she worked full-time as an accoun- tant until her children went to grade school. She then stepped away from the workplace to care for her children. “At that point, I said I would never going to go back to account- ing because I was done with it. I told myself, ‘It doesn’t ll my cup anymore,’” Ferguson said. After her children started going to middle school, Ferguson said she had more free time than when they were younger. She picked “a low-hanging fruit” and started working in a virtual, part-time

“EACHHOMEANDEACHCLIENT ISDIFFERENT, ANDTHAT’S WHATMAKES THIS JOBSO REWARDINGBECAUSE I GET TOHELPPEOPLEMAKE THEIR HOME FEEL LIKEAHOME.” AMY FERGUSON, OWNER OF SOUTHERN YANKEE STAGING & DESIGN

SOURCE: SOUTHERN YANKEE STAGING & DESIGN COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Southern Yankee Staging &Design 770-500-2991

www.southernyankeedesign.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. by appointment

13

ALPHARETTA  MILTON EDITION • JULY 2020

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