Downtown Woodstock

This article –and others highlighting innovative new urbanist projects in the Atlanta area– can be found in the book on the region produced especially for CNU 18: Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present & Future.

Project Name:

Woodstock, Georgia

Project Date:
2005 – present

Site Information:
A 32-acre infill site at the center of a historic town northwest of Atlanta that is now engulfed by suburban sprawl.

Project Information:
Located along Main Street in Woodstock’s historic central business district, Woodstock Downtown is a natural extension of and complement to the city’s urban fabric that provides a variety of commercial and residential choices in an area of intense sprawl. The development includes a vertical mixed-use core closest to the city’s historic commercial blocks, which features a town square, approximately 100,000 square feet of commercial space and 350 residential units of multifamily and small-lot single-family. Going away from the commercial core, the project becomes more residential and includes a diverse mix of townhouses, small lot single-family homes and courtyard homes, with intimate neighborhood parks.

The development advances regional planning policies and provides a model for other historic town centers that have lost their commercial core to suburban sprawl. Woodstock Downtown is a successful integration of higher density mixed-use development into a historically lower density town center. In the Atlanta region, it is not uncommon today for these historic cores to have become less dense than the surrounding suburban sprawl. Many town centers have not embraced the new development densities needed to support viable pedestrian-oriented retail or diverse housing options. Fortunately, the City of Woodstock’s decision-makers sought to adopt a new downtown zoning code that embraced the integration of new commercial buildings and residences within the central business district as the development was going through the approval process.

Woodstock Downtown focused on sustainability from its conception. When the project is complete, over 90% of the residents will be within a ¼-mile radius of the commercial center, which is comprised of neighborhood services, boutiques, and restaurants, allowing patrons to walk instead of driving for basic conveniences. The development is also located adjacent to a potential future commuter rail station, which would also be a 1/4-mile distance from 90% of the project’s residents.

The project has a variety of park spaces ranging from pocket parks to commercial plazas to conservation areas. The largest of these serves the project as a stormwater management component and also incorporates park elements such as a fire pit, playground, and community amphitheater. New parks and open spaces total approximately 15% of the site.

2006 Atlanta Regional Commission Development of Excellence Award
2008 Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Award