Path & Post hosted a Team Q&A with Michael Caldwell, the 31st Mayor of the City of Woodstock, to answer questions about the city’s growth and what current residents and prospective buyers can expect in the coming years.
“The primary and fundamental goal of my administration is to build and create generational wealth with homeownership.” – Mayor Michael Caldwell
In his introduction, Caldwell shared, “The primary and fundamental goal of my administration is to build and create generational wealth with homeownership,” and noted, “you guys are the front lines; thank you for helping us build wealth for families in Woodstock.”
Our team had the opportunity to ask Michael some key questions that will affect residents and visitors to this unexpected city. Here are some questions that sparked interest from our team, and Mayor Caldwell’s responses.
Can you tell us about the park project on Trickum Road? What will this mean for enhancing the quality of life for residents of Woodstock?
The Little River Park Master Plan (available here) contains renderings of what we’re building here. Think of a traditional park, but reframe those thoughts to be significantly better. This park will be over 100 acres, located on Highway 92, and connect to Woodstock’s master trail system, which connects to Noonday Park and the Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna. The park will also include:
- A nature conservatory center
- River frontage and trail system
- Other incredible assets that will create a significantly enhanced live-work-play balance in Woodstock
The first phase of this project will be funded with $8 million of SPLOST resources, and Mayor Caldwell shared that the hope is to “start seeing dirt moving before the end of the year or early next year.”
Regarding the road updates and roundabouts within the city limits, what changes should we expect, and what’s the timeline?
For having 32,000 residents, Woodstock boasts having 3 million visitors to the city in 2022. With those numbers, projects to relieve traffic congestion are underway. Adding a roundabout on Towne Lake Parkway at Mill Road is the first of some of these projects. Projects like these offer “better utilization of our existing road structures rather than adding more,” says Caldwell. The city’s goal is to lay out the streets so that there’s depth to downtown, adequately moving traffic through. To see all of the future transportation projects within the city of Woodstock, explore the interactive map online here.
Can you share more about the new City Center project: what’s the timeline, and what can we expect?
This $100+ million project will create:
- 50,000+ square feet of new office space
- a 120-room boutique hotel
- new conference center space
- a new park space
- critical street alignments
- and a 647-space parking deck
The project is a public/private partnership with public infrastructure being built with public investments, and the private portion of the project will be paid for with private dollars. The parking deck will have three different entrances from three different streets, which will significantly impact traffic flow, clearing the traffic that backs up for parking. We should see a residual effect on traffic easing up from that as well. “This will be skyline-changing for the city,” Michael says. This project will be breaking ground on the infrastructure in March of 2023 (projected), and mayor Caldwell expects to have a groundbreaking ceremony within the next year or two. More information on this project can be found online here.
What’s the timeframe for the road improvements at Neese Road?
These changes will happen in three phases. Phase one should be close, and funding was just approved for stage two, including building a roundabout to encourage traffic flow. Phase three will eventually go down to Arnold Mill Road, but there isn’t a confirmed timing on that yet. It should be functionally complete within the next month or two.
With the rise in popularity of golf carts in downtown Woodstock, will there be more golf cart parking added soon?
There will be golf cart parking in the new deck in the City Center project. The city will also continue to enhance golf cart parking in other areas, as we recognize that it’s become an actual alternative to regular parking lots and decks.
The challenge is to make sure golf carts aren’t parking in full-size spaces and have their own lots, like the reserved gravel lot over by the Woodstock Arts event green.
Can you speak more about the rental restrictions within the city limits?
The ownership/rentorship ratio is so critical to my administration. Rentals should and must be a component of every community, but the challenge is the faster I can get them into an owned property, the better because wealth disparities exist primarily in rental communities. Woodstock currently has a 35% rental mix. That mix, for me, is the most important. I am far more focused on who owns the home rather than who rents it.
We appreciate Mayor Caldwell’s time and attention in sharing some of the key focus items of the city of Woodstock. These conversations supply us with the knowledge to enhance our clients’ buying & selling experience and allow us to act as an even better strategic guide. For more information about the City of Woodstock’s growth plan and initiatives, visit the website.