This week is a busy week for the growing East Cobb dining scene. First off, Camps Kitchen and Bar opened up this past Monday off Johnson Ferry in the Paper Mill Village space previously housing Paper Mill Grill. Camps is a new concept from the owners of Hearth Pizza in Sandy Springs featuring a wood fired oven. I have yet to try out Camps however I understand it features many off-menu wood-fired entrees from Hearth. I’m especially excited about this addition to the area’s restaurant lineup since it is within walking distance and fills a void at Paper Mill Village caused by the closure of Paper Mill Grill and Valenti’s.
Next, Sage Social Kitchen will be hosting judge Mario Rizzotti from “Iron Chef America” this evening for a meet-and-greet followed by a 4 course meal. The event begins at 5:30 with dinner starting at 6:30. Cost is $125 per person and a limited number of tickets must be purchased in advance by calling Sage Social Kitchen at (770) 874-8330.
Finally, Drift Oyster Bar in The Avenues of East Cobb is approaching their one year anniversary and announced a Terrapin Beer Dinner to celebrate the occasion. The event will be Tuesday March 7th from 6:30 – 9:30 and will feature a 5 course menu with Terrapin Beer Co pairings. The cost is $84 per person and advanced tickets can be purchased here.
Who remembers the epic floods in September of 2009? Crazy to think that was only 7 years ago and the DOW was under 10K. We were living in Vinings at the time and I remember Canoe restaurant looked like an island surrounded by the that had topped the banks of the Chattahoochee. Many people were completely caught off guard by the flooding. Even worse, many didn’t have flood insurance and had no idea they were vulnerable to flooding.
How can that happen? When you purchase a home and apply for a mortgage, your lender checks the national flood maps to determine if the house is in a flood zone. Many of the flood maps (especially Cobb County) were old and out of date. On top of that, the maps are not an exact science and are taken from aerial surveys of topography. As more development occurs, more land becomes impervious to rainfall from new roads, driveways, rooftops, etc. As a result, more rainfall ends up directed to creeks, streams, and rivers like Sope Creek and the Chattahoochee River. For this reason, FEMA periodically updates the flood maps but often not frequently enough.
Buying a home that is located in a flood zone? Lenders require flood insurance. The additional insurance varies widely in cost depending on the risk. Just because the home is not listed as a flood hazard by the maps does not mean it can not flood. If you are considering a house near a creek, stream or river OR your current home is located near one, it is a smart idea to check the updated Cobb County flood maps to see if you will need flood insurance or are located near a 100 year flood zone. Even if you are not required to purchase flood insurance you can purchase optional flood insurance if flooding is a concern.
Chrissy and I have been so busy selling real estate that it has come at the sacrifice of sopecreekblog.com. This week we were recognized by Keller Williams Atlanta North (KW’s East Cobb office on Roswell Road) as the #2 Team in the office of 278 agents for 2016! Unfortunately we have neglected to post any new content on this site for quite a while and things have gotten stale 🙁 We are going to make a concerted effort to update the out-of-date neighborhood pages and add at least one blog post per week relevant to our area of East Cobb.
Sometimes coming up with new things to write about can be the hardest part. Is there something going on that you are aware of but don’t have the inside scoop? Seen a new restaurant, retail space, or residential construction project popping up and want to know more? If so, email me at email@example.com or call/text at 404-964-9257 with a topic and we will research to bring you the answers in the form of a future blog post. Thanks for checking back in with us!
We received a major update from Ashton Woods regarding their Cobblestone Manor community on Johnson Ferry in East Cobb including initial pricing, floor plans, and community opening date. Additionally, we learned that the community will be served by Mt. Bethel Elementary School.
If you previously registered through the Contact Us form, we will be contacting you in the next few days to provide you with additional details. If you would like for us to contact you with more information on the community, please use the Cobblestone Manor Update List form and provide a phone number.
If you are looking for a way to enjoy the beautiful weather outside tomorrow, stop by the Taste of East Cobb from 11 – 5 on Saturday May 3. The event will be held at the Fountains of Olde Towne (736 Johnson Ferry Road) just north of the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Lower Roswell Roads. Admission to the event is free and ticket for restaurant bites will be on sale for $1 each with restaurants charging between 1-5 tickets per tasting.
Festivities include tastings from many local restaurants, kids activities (bounce houses, sand art, face painting), live music, raffle, silent auction and more. Some of the participating restaurants include Chick-fil-A, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Seed Kitchen and Bar, Mellow Mushroom, Common Quarter, Small Cakes, Baked, Bradley’s Bar and Grill, D’Lites Emporium, Georgia Rib Company, Jersey Mike’s, Keegan’s Irish Pub, Marlow’s Tavern, Mirko Pasta, Whole Foods Market, Zeal Modern Eatery, Sun Dried Restaurant, A Little Bit of Heaven, Quiznos, Trader Joe’s, and Tijuana Joe’s Cantina.
When you are done tasting the wares of the local restaurants, check out one of the many garage sales in neighborhoods throughout the area. Seems like every neighborhood has a multi-family sale this weekend.
We decided to check out the new Brixx Wood Fired pizza located in the Avenues of East Cobb. The buildout of the restaurant is beautiful with a large open kitchen featuring the pizza oven in the center. Tables and booths around the left wall have chalk board walls for the kids to draw on. You know it is also a family friendly restaurant when they bring the kids pizza dough to play with while they wait for their food. The restaurant has several flat screen TVs including some 60″ or larger ones where we were able to watch the Manchester United soccer game. There is a long bar overlooking the open kitchen and they recently got their liquor license and now feature 24 beers on draft and 14 wines by the bottle or the glass.
The restaurant also features a large open air patio. We elected to sit at a table then my son and I moved up to the bar to watch the soccer game. Our service at the table was underwhelming however I think it just happened to be the luck of the draw on the server we go because the bartender was great even though we had not ordered under his ticket. He told us that Brixx is based in Charlotte and has opened up 2 other locations in the metro Atlanta area. He pointed us to some of the weekly food and beverage specials (see below) and also suggested liking their Facebook page where you can receive BOGO pizza offers. We lobbied for a “family night” where they should have discounted kids meals and judging by the number of empty tables in the restaurant, I suspect they will need to step up their promotions if they want to be in business a few years down the road.
As for the food, they have a very extensive menu of pizza options and I chose the spicy BLT while Chrissy had a Margarita Pizza. They were good but at $10-$13 per personal pizza, but if it is a Saturday and you are having to pay full price, I’d prefer to go somewhere else where you can get a large family pizza…certainly not Fritti or Antico which are our favorite wood fired pizzas in Atlanta. If it is a weekday and I can take advantage of the drink specials and BOGO offers, Brixx would be a front runner to fill a pizza craving.
Overall, food was pretty good, atmosphere is great, service was mixed, and the menu was pricey for what it is. I’ll be back again on a weekday…if you go in help lobby for a family night.
If you are looking for something to do on Sunday, check out the Taste of Marietta on April 27th from 11 – 7 in the Historic Marietta Square. Admission to the event is free and they have musical performances lined up throughout the day on multiple stages (Taste of Marietta schedule). Parking information for the Taste of Marietta can be found at their site. In addition to sampling food and drink from more than 75 different vendors, festival organizers also have Kid’s Alley with multiple moonwalks and games, sand art, face painting and more as well as Sports Corner where you can test your skills and mingle with some of Atlanta’s finest sports teams and mascots.
The Georgia Department of Education recently released 2012/2013 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores and we have compiled the Cobb County High School Rankings along with information to show how the East Cobb High Schools fared against other area high schools. To learn more about the CCRPI and recent changes over previous years, view the CCRPI Overview and the CCRPI Changes Explanation and Rationale. To access the searchable CCRPI database for all the schools in the State of Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Education site. I also came across this interactive map on the AJC site that lets you display the Elementary, Middle, and High schools along with a color coded score.
There are very few times of the year when I pay much attention to taxes…this happens to be one time of year where I can’t stop thinking about taxes. If you need 1 more reason to love living in East Cobb, it has to be taxes. Our 6% sales tax rate is 1-2% lower than pretty much anywhere else in the Metro Atlanta Area. Property taxes are also low compared to most everywhere else…especially if you are 62 years old or older.
Many people new to the Atlanta area don’t know how much of a benefit living in Cobb can be once they reach the magic 62 number…it is astounding! In their infinite wisdom a number of years ago, Cobb County lawmakers realized that seniors are not benefiting much from the Cobb County public school system and decided they shouldn’t have to help fund it. Cobb seniors do not have to pay the school tax or school bond millage rates associated with their property tax bill!
So what does this really mean? I looked up 3 comparably valued properties in the tax records just to illustrate the point…1 East Cobb property without the senior exemption, 1 East Cobb Property with the senior exemption, and 1 property just a few miles away on the other side of the river in Sandy Springs/Fulton County. Below is what they pay:
Property 1 (East Cobb – No Cobb County Age 62 Exemption): Home was purchased in 2011 for $600,200, has an assessed value of $213,420 and they paid $6130 in property taxes in 2013
Property 2 (East Cobb – WITH Cobb County Age 62 Exemption): Home was purchased in 1978 (same neighborhood as #1), has an assessed value of $214,664 and paid $1425 in property taxes in 2013
Property 3 (Sandy Springs – Fulton County): Home sold in 2012 for $609,500, has an assessed value of $198,600 and paid $8255 in property taxes in 2013 ($7102 to Fulton County and $1153 to Sandy Springs)
So the Cobb property with the Age 62 exemption paid about a quarter of the taxes that the guy down the street with a comparably valued home (without the exemption) was paying and paid only 17% as much as the guy on the other side of the river! Also interesting to note is that the guy in Cobb without the exemption paid 26% less property taxes than the guy in Sandy Springs with a comparably valued home!
Cobb County homeowners who are 62 or older as of January 1 (of the current year) may file for the School Tax Exemption (Cobb County Age 62 Tax Exemption) by completing and submitting the Cobb County Exemptions Form on or before April 1 of that year. Please visit the www.CobbTax.org site for the most current forms and filing instructions.
If you are looking for a house in East Cobb with a master on main, check out these properties and give Chrissy a call at 404-423-1122 to put her to work to find you the right house.
We get a lot of site traffic with people looking for updates on the Ashton Woods’ Cobblestone Manor community being built on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb. Since I drive by the community several times a day and it has been a while since I last wrote about it, I thought I would write a quick update.
I last reported that there was litigation between Francis Perkins (member of the family that recently owned the property), the land developers involved, and Ashton Woods Homes over the sale of the raw land. A recent check of the Cobb County Superior Court Clerk web site indicated that the suits were dismissed on March 25th. With that major obstacle out of the way, I expect that Ashton Woods will close on the first group of lots in Cobblestone Manor soon and begin construction of the sales model and possibly the clubhouse and amenities package.
As of yesterday, about a third of the lots are completely developed (graded, sewer stubs, blacktop on the roads, and water cutoff boxes set near the street). The curbs and gutters are completed throughout the community and they have put up fencing around the retaining ponds. The most noticeable progress at the community over the past few weeks is the brick and stone veneer added to the wall around the community perimeter along Johnson Ferry Road.
I reached out to the VP of Sales at Ashton Woods for any official comment regarding the resolution of the law suit and timing of the community opening. His response was mum and he didn’t address the law suit or provide any new information. If this project is like all the other Ashton Woods communities, they will probably have every detail finalized, the sales model staged with music playing, standard features ironed out, and the community pool ready to use before they offer the first home for sale. Stay tuned for further updates and if you would like to be added to our list to stay informed on the progress, please add your name to the Cobblestone Manor update list or call Mason at 404-964-9257.