Alpharetta's New City Hall

The new Alpharetta City Hall designs were finally approved
 Dec. 17 by council. Construction is likely to begin next year.


ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Alpharetta's new City Hall is looking more and more like a reality. The Alpharetta City Council unanimously approved designs and floor plans for the new building at their Dec. 17 council meeting.

The overall cost went up significantly – $1.4 million – when it was discovered the soil beneath the building is not entirely suitable to build without significant excavating.

"We didn't anticipate this," said City Manager Bob Regus.

A large detention pond for water runoff had to be changed to not only harm fewer trees, but also to fit in better with the design of the parkland, as more of a natural pond than a man-made feature.

Michael Schwartz, the architect, described the designs of the new building in detail with council.

City Hall will have a "traditional neoclassically inspired design," Schwartz said.

It will be three stories in the center with two, two-story wings on either side. A cupola will sit on the roof close to the front entrance.

The ground floor will hold the community development department, primarily. The first floor will hold a large oval lobby. To one side are the large council chambers. On the other side is a multi-purpose room that can double as council overflow seating. There will also be a history room and special event offices.

The second floor holds the offices of finance, I.T. and human resources.

The top floor will house administration and the executive conference room.

Around the outside are designs and motifs Schwartz said would highlight the unique qualities of the city.

"We want to take a universal style and make it specific to Alpharetta," he said. This includes acorns and a Dogwood motif throughout the building, to stress the city's parks and natural side.

In the oval lobby, the city's distinctive compass rose seal will be featured.

Moving forward, residents should see the project begin next year.

Mike Hall, of consultants Jones, Lange, LaSalle, said work will start at the end of March, and in August, grass will be sown so that it is ready when the town green and the park open in 2014. By the end of the year, the largest trees will begin to be installed around the edge of the site.

Construction itself will begin sometime in April, he said. In July, the site will be ready for the library to begin construction. The designs of the library are in the hands of Fulton County Library Board and have not yet been finalized

Alpharetta named one of 'friendliest town' by Forbes

Ranked as no. 7 nationally

Crowds routinely pack Alpharetta's downtown for events, such as the Taste of Alpharetta.
December 21, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. - It should come as no surprise to anyone who lives near Alpharetta, but the North Fulton city was named one of the nation's friendliest towns by Forbes magazine and a California networking site.

The list of 15 great towns was compiled by, a neighborhood social networking site based in San Francisco. 500 towns were considered with populations between 5,500 and 150,000. They were ranked based on four criteria – percentage of owner-occupied homes, crime rate, charitable giving and percentage of college graduates.

In their writeup, Forbes noted that Alpharetta throws many events throughout the year and called it the "city of celebration."

For Mayor David Belle Isle, the ranking was a pleasant surprise

"We think of ourselves as friendly anyway but our efforts to generate an interest downtown played a role," he said. "We have so much excitement and energy going on in the city."

With the annual Christmas tree lighting, the largest Tastefest in the southeast, the Georgia-Florida tailgate, and numerous other small events downtown, Alpharetta residents have seen plenty of activity in 2012.

"These events do create opportunities for communities, families and neighbors to come together," Belle Isle said. "Everybody wants the amenities of a large town and the quaintness of a small town. That gives value beyond geography. Those are things people get excited about."