Snellville picks MidCity as developer for $85 million Towne Center project

Snellville is partnering with two developers on an $85 million first phase of its new town center, the latest suburban Atlanta city embracing the chance to create a vibrant downtown.


The Grove at Towne Center will be led by a joint venture of Casto, a more than 90-year-old real estate company based in Columbus, Ohio, and MidCity Real Estate Partners, an Atlanta firm that brought walkable, mixed-use development to downtown Alpharetta.


The first phase is set to begin in 2020, depending on the development team’s ability to secure construction financing in coming months. It will include 250 apartments and over 50,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and entertainment space. Paths for pedestrians and cyclists will also connect to the Snellville Greenway.


The Market Center will anchor the project. Early ideas for the building include a brew pub and upscale event space. The Commons area will also allow the city to create a public gathering space for festivals and other events.


The Grove at Towne Center is a microcosm of widespread downtown revitalization underway across the country, with local examples in Alpharetta, Duluth, Suwanee, Lawrenceville and other cities. As more people return to downtowns, it’s also a reminder of how many regional power retail centers and malls that flourished in the 80s and 90s are under pressure to stay relevant with consumers.


“Historically, in areas of the Northeast, the Midwest and Europe, the town center was everything,” said Kirk Demetrops, president of MidCity. “There was a 20-year trend where land was cheap, and the power centers and the malls were in vogue. There’s still room for those. But, the town center is coming back as a place that brings people together.”


“We’ve been working on this for a year,” Demetrops said. “It’s a really good match for us.”


This article first appeared in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on August 27th, 2019 by Douglas Sams. To see the original article, click here.