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Mixed-use growth essential to area
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Forsyth County News
When it opened, the Vickery development in south Forsyth was hailed as representing the future of what growth should be in suburban metro Atlanta.

That turbulent economic times resulted this month in the foreclosure of a number of its residential and commercial properties should not diminish it’s value as a template for future developments.

Truly successful developers have to be at least part riverboat gambler, as they put huge sums of money at risk on a daily basis. It is inevitable in the current economic climate that those so heavily dependent upon the backing of financial institutions would suffer setbacks. The properties foreclosed upon at Vickery are not the first in the area to face such a fate, and certainly won’t be the last.

The foreclosures at Vickery are a result of ill winds blowing through financial markets, not a flawed suburban development concept.

Economic stability will at some point return, and Vickery’s fate will be determined by the strength of the housing and commercial market that emerges from today’s economic chaos.

But the Vickery concept is one that needs to survive.

For two decades or longer, experts in the field have said the best way to address problems created by suburban sprawl in north Atlanta is to develop more live-work-play type communities. Doing so holds the potential for helping to reduce traffic — a major concern for most suburbanites — as well as building self-sufficient neighborhoods and communities.

Mixed-use developments that blend residential housing, recreational amenities and commercial growth into a marketable community have long been recognized as a need in areas like Forsyth County.

No one knows when the nation’s economic ship will right itself, or how long before the housing market rebounds, or the level to which new construction will return to the area.

But it will happen. And when it does, there will be the need for more mixed-use communities like Vickery.