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Here's the latest look at the Cumming City Center
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Commerical buildings for the Cumming City Center are under construction and will bring a variety of restaurants, retail and office buildings to the city. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

Right now, the site of the planned Cumming City Center has a lot of mud and work going on, but the actual project is beginning to match the center’s plans.

On Wednesday morning, city center officials, officials with the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and the owners of Pieces and Peaches, a boutique planned at he City Center, took a tour of the facility to check on the latest work done at the development.

The Cumming City Center is a planned development that will feature 14 restaurants, more than 120,000 square feet of commercial uses and amenities including a miniature golf course, a boardwalk, trails, a fountain, an amphitheater and more on 75 acres on Canton Highway.

The city’s police department and municipal court are also planning moves to the site.

The miniature golf course will feature 18 holes that will be designed to look like smaller versions of well-known holes at courses in Forsyth County and at professional courses, like Augusta National and Pebble Beach. 

The trail will be part of a green space that will also include a walking trail, pocket park, open field and a boardwalk over the green space and stream through the property.

Mayor Troy Brumbalow said the green space means the development will not need detention ponds since water will filter through the open area. 

The commercial part of the development will include four buildings for retail and restaurants, a building planned for a brewery/restaurant, three buildings planned for retail, restaurant and office uses. 

Two other buildings are also being constructed along Canton Highway for restaurants. 

Though the buildings are in various states of construction now, once completed, they will have a variety of themes and facades, including one building being designed to look like a vintage theater and another housing an old city of Cumming firetruck.  

An outdoor amphitheater will be a focal point of the development and will be visible from several restaurants and commercial areas. 

The center has long been described as having a “Mainstreet America” feel, and a roadway between the commercial portions of the project will be able to be closed to traffic for events like car cruise-ins or farmers markets. 

The main street area will include a fountain plaza with personalized bricks purchased in a fundraiser earlier this year. 

The development will also share a recently built parking lot with Forsyth Central High School and will include a parking deck and another parking lot.

Across Canton Highway, about 14 acres will also be donated to the city and will include other walking trails.

In Nov. 2019, the Cumming City Council approved Beltan Properties, of Flowery Branch, as the center’s general contractor.

According to documents at the time, Beltan’s proposal had a total cost of construction plus general contractor’s fee of $51.4 million for eight outparcels, a municipal building, parking deck, site develop-ment and landscaping, along with “two additional outparcels for which plans are not yet complete.” Officials with Beltan estimated the two outparcels to cost about $150 per square foot.

In January, the city council also approved $40,000 to go toward a steam engine display, similar to those at the city’s annual Fourth of July parade, at the city center.

“The steam engine has been a big part of the heritage of this community, so, possibly, an homage to the steam engine would be appropriate at the city center,” City Administrator Phil Higgins said at the time.

During that meeting, Brumbalow said the engine – which would be a similar style to those used in the parade but runs on gas instead of steam – would not be able to participate in the parade due to the logistics of moving it and would “basically be art” and include signs with a history of the area and the tractor itself.

An opening date has not been announced after the project was previously expected to open this fall. Officials on Wednesday’s tour said rain had slowed down work on the project. 

Along the tour, Brumbalow, who said he typically visits the construction site twice a day, touched on some of the latest work completed.

More information about the project is available here.