Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason discusses the city’s future during his State of the City Address at City Hall Thursday night. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)
Peachtree Corners residents listen as Mayor Mike Mason delivers his State of the City Address Thursday night at City Hall. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)
Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason came back to the city’s future time and again as he delivered his State of the City Address to residents and business leaders Thursday night.
While such speeches are often a time for officials to highlight how a city or county has been doing over the last year while also highlighting what projects are on the horizon, Mason had a lot to talk about. He even offered a teaser or two of announcements yet to come.
But one point he made early on was why he felt cities needed to prepare for their futures.
“Cities can flourish, or they can flounder,” Mason said as he compared side by side images of two towns that are near each other in Montana, one of which was bustling while the other was quiet.
Mason did offer some information about new projects in Peachtree Corners, particularly involving the Prototype Prime. A big piece of the news about the city’s business incubator, which is a partnership with Georgia Tech, teased an upcoming announcement expected to be made in early August.
That teaser included news that Peachtree Corners officials are hoping to buy the building that Prototype Prime leases space out of. It was previously the town’s City Hall, but the city has never owned it. Even when it was the center of city government, it was leased space.
Prototype Prime, which began in October 2016 with two companies that had a total of three employees, is currently home to 15 start-up companies with a total of 54 employees. The mayor said two more companies will soon move in, but he wasn’t sure how many employees they would have.
Mason highlighted some of the projects already approved and underway in the city, including the Town Center project and the Rogers Bridges-esque pedestrian bridge over Peachtree Parkway that will connect The Forum and the Town Center.
The bridge has been a controversial topic in the city, with a previous proposal for the bridge receiving push back from some residents.
Mason said the bridge is needed because of an increase in traffic on Peachtree Parkway that is expected to continue to get busier. He told residents that the traffic routing app Waze has begun redirecting drivers toward Peachtree Parkway because of anticipated issues with traffic on Georgia Highway 400.
He also said city leaders have been told by their counterparts in Johns Creek that an increase in traffic can be expected because of development in Forsyth County.
“We need a safe way to get across 141,” Mason said. “Let’s be candid here. That is a river of traffic. It is 45,000 cars a day and we don’t control where they come from.”
He also said city leaders wanted to make sure the apartments would be a quality development.