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CANTON, GA-Georgia developers continue to focus new mixed-use projects in once-rural Cherokee County, 35 miles north of Downtown Atlanta, according to preliminary plans filed with the Atlanta Regional Commission and local planning officials.

On the drawing boards are an estimated 16,000 single-family homes, apartments and townhome residences, at least 500,000 sf of retail and about 200,000 sf of office and other commercial space. The estimated total development cost is at least $500 million, according to area marketers and construction sources.

Atlanta developer Stephen H. Macauley’s planned 4,000-acre, 12,000 home community in west Cherokee could turn out to be the most challenging of the four newly planned projects, according to area brokers. The project will have apartments, townhomes, senior living residences and single-family homes. Macauley plans a model environmental community surrounded by forest land. The project is called A Village in the Forest and will take 10 t0 20 years to complete, the developer estimates.

The property is known as the Willoughby-Sewell tract and is just north of Lake Allatoona in Bartow and Cherokee counties. The tract is bordered by land owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Macauley says he is talking with the Lake Allatoona Preservation Authority and the Corps of Engineers to reopen and improve some of the closed recreational facilities near the property to benefit residents in his project and the public. The developer says he decided to do the project “for people who truly want to connect with the forested environment around them.”

Another ambitious project, Canton West, will cover 2,341 acres along GA 108 and GA 140. The development partnership plans 3,080 homes, 450,000 sf of retail and 180,000 sf of office and other commercial space. Still another developer, the Johnson Co., is developing Lake Arrowhead, an 8,200-acre mixed-use project just north of Canton West.

In Canton itself, Sivica Communities is developing Park Village, a master-planned neighborhood that will have 600 homes on 140 acres at Interstate 575 and Fate Connector Road. The community will have a nine-acre park, fire pit, pool and Wi-Fi accessibility in all common areas. Homes are expected to be priced in the $170,000 to $500,000 range, according to preliminary filed plans.

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