Ott reflects on time as commissioner to East Cobb business group

Bob Ott

As he spends his last few months in office, Cobb commissioner Bob Ott is getting invited to speak about his 12-year tenure.

Ott addressed the East Cobb Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce last week, reviewing business and economic development, zoning and land use issues, infrastructure, health care, libraries, parks and more.

(You can watch his full presentation at this link).

“Indeed it has been a ride,” said Ott, who announced in January he would not be seeking a fourth term.

Ott is a former president of the East Cobb Civic Association and served on the Cobb Planning Commission. In 2008, he defeated commissioner Joe Thompson, who had appointed him to that board.

The Republican who lives in the Powers Ferry-Terrell Mill area has represented District 2, which includes most of East Cobb as well as the Cumberland-Smyrna-Vinings area.

Ott said the biggest economic driver was the construction of the Atlanta Braves stadium, now called Truist Park, that he said has generated 22,000 jobs in the district.

“We didn’t just get a stadium” he said, referencing the adjacent The Battery Atlanta development and the 22-story Thyssen-Krupp tower that’s opening soon.

Another major development that he steered is the MarketPlace Terrell mixed-use project that’s underway at Powers Ferry and Terrell Mill.

It’s the centerpiece of the Powers Ferry corridor that was the subject of the first of four master plans that have been developed in District 2.

“If we get certain things to go, everything else will follow,” he said, referring to nearby businesses that have upgraded, including a BP station across the road.

A Wendy’s restaurant has opened at the MarketPlace Terrell Mill, with other restaurants and eateries coming on line soon, as well as an apartment complex. The anchor will be a Kroger superstore.

Ott said that in his time in office, 5,000 apartments have been built in District 2, with around 3,500 of them in the Cumberland/Battery area, “where they should be.”

The other master plans included Vinings, design guidelines for the Johnson Ferry corridor and last week, when commissioners approved one for the Johnson Ferry-Shallowford area.

He said those plans include 60 percent of land in District 2, and give developers a solid guideline for developers.

For the most part, Ott said, “if they develop according to the master plan, the community is going to support it.”

In November, District 2 voters will choose his successor. Republican Fitz Johnson, a Vinings resident who serves on the board of the WellStar Health System, will face Democrat Jerica Richardson, a first-time candidate who lives in the Delk Road area.

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