Poplar Place approved by City; something new for Coweta


By WINSTON SKINNER, Special to The Weekly

Poplar Place is a new type of development for Coweta County – one that places Class A office space in a live-work-shop-dine-play setting.

Coweta County resident Hal Barry has been building iconic developments in Atlanta for decades. Poplar Place is his first Coweta project, and it comes at the request of local leaders for Barry to help them attract professionals to Coweta.

A few years ago, Barry met with Candace Boothby, president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce; Randy Cardoza of Cardoza Consulting LLC; David Kent, then president of Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Newnan campus; Dennis McEntire, general manager of Newnan Utilities; and Trae Westmoreland, president of the Coweta County Development Authority.

They asked Barry to help them bring higher paying jobs to Coweta County. “To do that, you’ve got to create a place,” Barry said.

Hal Barry and his son, Jimmy Barry, through the Barry Companies have developed the plan for Poplar Place, which is slated to be located on 42.2 acres on Poplar Road. The tract is bordered by Interstate 85 on the west, Poplar Road to the south, Newnan Crossings Boulevard to the east and Stillwood Farms Apartments to the north.

The plan has been reviewed by local and regional planners. On Tuesday, the Newnan City Council approved, in its second reading, the annexing of the property and zoning it Mixed Use Development.

Plans call for Class A office space, which experts say is needed to attract top rank companies and organizations to locate in the county.

In addition to office space, Poplar Place will have a wrap-style 350-unit residential community – apartments that are wrapped around a parking deck. There also will be 150 units in a 55 and up community and 101 townhomes with fee simple ownership.

A boutique hotel is planned, along with restaurants and a Main Street with a variety of retail.

A plan prepared by the Barry Companies states, “At its core, this project is designed to bring the maximum number of professional jobs to Coweta County while establishing Newnan and Coweta County as an emerging highly sought-after institutional office node.”

Companies slated to work with the Barrys on facets of Poplar Place include Greystar (www.greystar.com), John Wieland (www.jwcollectionhomes.com), and Mayfair Street Partners (www.mayfairstreetpartners.com). All three are acknowledged as leaders who develop top quality projects.

“We’re trying to create a community within a community,” Hal Barry said. In addition, he said Poplar Place will be integrated into what is going on in Newnan and Coweta County.

The LINC, a 12-foot paved pathway already underway which offers opportunities for walking and biking, will pass through the middle of Poplar Place.

A 1,500-2,000 seat amphitheater will be built on the edge of a lake in the development. Barry said plans are to hold 10 major events a year at the amphitheater with other large community and cultural events being held, as well.

Planners have addressed the increase in traffic as Poplar Place is built out. The developers will have to pay for several road improvements as part of the overall project.

Looking at the area with improvements five years from now, “we will be better off than where we are today,” Barry said.

The office and retail spaces at Poplar Place will be connected by an inviting walkway passing between the buildings.

McEntire said Poplar Place is the kind of development local leaders have been trying to attract for years, and he said Barry’s involvement is the key. 

“We’ve never had a developer who was willing to do something like this. Hal Barry is a premier developer,” McEntire said.

“Everyone is loving the office aspect of it, but maybe not the housing,” McEntire observed. The other facets of the project, however, are a must for the overall project to work from an economic standpoint.

“For him to make it work, he’s got to do other things than just offices,” McEntire said.

Cardoza, a consultant who lives in Coweta and worked for years for the state in development, said having Class A professional office space makes Coweta a contender for some major investment by large companies. 

While the largest companies often build their own campuses, most companies are looking for something that exists. As they begin to scout the Atlanta areas, those companies move on when a county does not have space available.

“The proverbial Class A office space — those are the kind of projects we’d like to attract,” Cardoza said. “You really need product before you can get the investment of companies and organizations that might be looking for that.”

Cardoza said that type office space is not available in Coweta at present. He also said that Coweta’s proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson will make Poplar Place appealing to companies looking for a national or regional headquarters.

Noting the townhomes in the Poplar Place plan, Cardoza said they should attract new residents. “Townhome development across the northern sphere of metro Atlanta has done really well. There’s no reason why it wouldn’t do well down here,” he said.

Cardoza said some are questioning office space following the Covid pandemic, but he predicted working from home will not last forever.

“They’re building office space as fast as they can put sticks together in Midtown and Downtown (Atlanta),” Cardoza observed.

Companies may also find Poplar Place appealing because they can locate in a less expensive spot than Atlanta and be close to where their employees live.

Bob Coggin, a retired Delta Airlines executive who served on the Newnan City Council for several years, said he is “aggressively opposed” to uncontrolled growth in the county.

He said the tract where Poplar Place sits is one, however, that is sure to be developed by someone. “If it’s going to happen, you want quality,” he said. “Let’s get a quality developer in there.”

Hal Barry is known for the top notch projects he has done in Atlanta. “I know from his reputation, what he’s going to do will be quality,” Coggin said.

Cardoza said he also sees development of some kind at the Poplar Road tract as inevitable, but it might not be anything close to what Poplar Place will offer.

“We’re apt to get something a little less desirable that doesn’t afford people the kind of jobs we’d like for people to have in our community,” Cardoza said.

The developers are seeking tax abatement, which is typical with large projects, and bond financing for public infrastructure – roads, utilities, parking, a walking trail and the lake.

The property currently brings in $6,504 in property taxes. Over the 30 years of abatement, Poplar Place is expected to bring a yearly average of $346,331 in city taxes, $597,114 in county taxes and $1,660,903 in school taxes.

After abatement, the property is expected to bring $1,327,909 to the city, $2,289.465 to the county and $6,368,267 to the school system each year.

“Hal is willing to personally stick his neck out and his company’s neck out. I applaud it. I think we’re very fortunate to get this,” McEntire said of Poplar Place. “We need to focus on what we’re really getting here.”

Poplar Place’s Main Street will offer shopping and dining. A boutique hotel is also in the plan.

This map shows the various facets of Poplar Place. The Main Street shopping is at right, apartments in the center, office space at left. At top, lake, amphitheater and townhomes.

A clubhouse will be near the lake planned for Poplar Place. An amphitheater is also proposed.


  1. Jane 9 February, 2022 at 16:39 Reply
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    How sad. Leave the industrial stuff in Atlanta.

  2. Emmie Beckom 9 February, 2022 at 20:08 Reply

    I’m just wondering if the two gentlemen that are responsible for designing this project are going to take responsibility and pay for the rise in property taxes that I’m sure will go up not to mention the traffic. Thanks a lot I’m glad you’re getting richer while making everything else more complicated for everyone else here in Newnan Georgia that have lived here all of our lives. It is people like you two that every time I get a phone call from a real estate investor I get the chance to let them know that they are nothing more than a real estate vulture trying to consume every piece of land there is. Way to go I hope you’re proud of yourself. Sincerely emmiebeckom

  3. Magan Bellflower 10 February, 2022 at 15:03 Reply

    We already have enough problems coming down here from Atlanta. Sure let’s convince more to come! You already have over crowed schools, awful roads, high taxes and you want to add more people to this problem? So much for this being a quiet and safe area for families.

  4. M 10 February, 2022 at 21:45 Reply

    An Agenda 2030 Stack-N-Pack. How progressive. The quality of life in that development should be great: traffic, noise, parking decks to gaze at, an amphitheater in your back yard to bring more traffic and noise.

  5. V 20 February, 2022 at 15:17 Reply

    Everything about this sounds like a terrible idea. I grew up in Newnan and it was my lovely home, but not anymore… I’m sad to say I’m actually glad to be leaving soon, especially before this monstrosity gets developed. Good luck, I guess

  6. Anita 24 February, 2022 at 19:52 Reply

    Newnan was a good town with alot of good memories. Now it is becoming another atlanta. Theft shootings robberies. These builders need to stay in atlanta.give us our country town back.

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