"This is the first tangible milestone that people can actually see as we move forward," said Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle.
Belle Isle and several city staff and coucilmembers cut the ribbon signifying the opening of the road Monday morning. The road officially reopened Dec. 29 at noon.
The mayor said there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes and it's good to be able to show a completed project to the citizens.
"We've been talking about it for a long time and I think people were kind of tired of hearing talk," he said. "This is the first visible milestone."
The whole project is set to be done by the summer of 2014, Belle Isle said, and the groundbreaking for the next phase should start at the beginning of the second quarter in 2013.
The new city center will include a new Fulton County library, a park and new city hall building. Belle Isle said several restaurants have already made plans to move into existing buildings around the area, bringing a hopeful sign of businesses embracing the new area.
“There’s a lot of activity and a lot of interest,” he said. “And that’s without any physical changes to the site, so we’re excited once we do get it up and running what will come.”
Belle Isle said the city wants to establish – not just improve – a downtown area, and now that the first step is done the citizens can see progress being made.
“This isn’t about revitalizing a downtown area,” Belle Isle said. “It’s really about inventing a downtown area. There’s always been something here but it’s never quite been ‘alive,’ so we’re really starting to create something.”