Windward/Highway 9 Area Strategic Master Plan

Start Date

April 2023

completion date

February 2024

total cid investment


The cities of Milton and Alpharetta, in partnership with True North 400, created a strategic plan for the Windward Parkway and Highway 9 corridors. The 4.6-square mile study area around these corridors is home to major employers, shopping destinations and thousands of residents. This strategic plan, adopted in Spring 2024, identifies potential investments in mobility, transportation, green space and placemaking to improve the area's quality of life and economic competitiveness.

Click here to view the complete Windward Parkway & Highway 9 Strategic Master Plan.

Building on the 2012 Strategic Master Plan for the Windward Parkway/Highway 9 area, this effort considers the significant changes that have occurred within the past 11 years, locally and nationally. These include changes in the economic market, shifts in consumer demands and preferences and new mobility opportunities which necessitate a fresh look at the challenges and opportunities that impact development patterns and transportation investments. As a high-capacity transit station related to the GA 400 Express Lane project is planned near the corridors and development trends are moving away from automobile-dominated land uses, the Windward/Highway 9 Area requires an updated community vision and action plan.

Windward Hwy 9 Strategic Master Plan Project Timeline

The project to create the strategic master plan took place over 10 months and was comprised of four major tasks:

Task 1 – Assessment of existing conditions, review of past planning efforts and current development context, and the establishment of a Core Team to guide the planning effort, in addition to the first Community Meeting. 

Task 2 – Market and Real Estate Analysis and the development of an Economic Development Strategy. 

Task 3 – Development of connectivity and mobility enhancements, placemaking and branding strategy, and land use strategy with associated redevelopment sites. Task three also includes stakeholder focus group sessions.

Task 4 – Preparation of the implementation action plan, work sessions with the city and True North 400 staff, and development of the final planning report.

Community feedback shaped the foundation of the plan’s recommendations and included a three-pronged approach made up of community meetings, online engagement and stakeholder focus groups. 

  • Two Community Meetings – The public was invited to in-person, interactive sessions and gathered for a presentation followed by activities related to the plan process.
  • Online engagement included the project web page to disseminate project information with the community. Another component of online engagement was an employer survey which sought to learn about employee priorities and trends. 
  • Four Stakeholder Roundtables happened with key groups of community leaders and stakeholders who are directly impacted by investments and improvements to the study area.

The community engagement portion of the study helped to develop five key takeaways:

  • Improving mobility is key to the success of the area
  • There is a need for additional parks and open spaces
  • The area lacks authentic and local experiences
  • Major roadways divide as well as connect the district
  • The quality of the built environment and amenities will influence working arrangements for large employers

From these takeaways, the study identified four ideas on how the Windward Parkway and Highway 9 study area can take steps toward a well-positioned and vibrant future.

  1. Connecting the Dots – This portion of the plan provides recommendations on facilitating alternative modes of transit and ways to move around the district. Recommendations include more trails, roadway connections and improving pedestrian connectivity.
  2. Serenity & Amenity – The second idea focuses on bringing employees back to offices as the study area lost approximately half its daily workforce between 2019 and 2022. Recommendations include improving and expanding recreational trails, creating strategically placed parks near business campuses, protecting greenspace, improving recreation along Camp Creek and more.
  3. Ales to Trails – The third idea in the plan aims to create unique places for people to gather and build an authentic identity for the study area.
  4. Lakefront Property – The final idea builds on the idea of creating long-term economic success through a land use strategy to capture high-value future investments. Lakefront property refers to the value of assets located alongside an investment. With uncertainty about conventional office space, an economic strategy was needed to align real estate investment with community goals and market realities. This plan encourages reimagining suburban office space and supporting neighborhood connectivity. Embracing a mixed-use main street concept, which includes integrating higher-density housing among an expanded hospitality market and experiential retail, would also help the area prosper.

The Windward Parkway and Highway 9 Strategic Master Plan concludes with a strategy to translate the plan’s four main ideas into reality. Each part of the plan involves collective responsibilities between Alpharetta, Milton and True North 400 and leaders for each action item have been thoughtfully assigned. Guidance on cost, timelines and partners is also spelled out in the strategic plan and can be viewed here.

Financial commitment

Total Cost - $182,500


  • The city of Milton
  • The city of Alpharetta

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