Mimosa Hall, an antebellum estate in Roswell, could soon get a few neighbors.
And some preservationists are not keen on the proposed development.
The estate, along with 21 undeveloped acres, is currently on the market. Sotheby's International Realty has the current list price for the home and surrounding 9 acres at $3.85 million. The cost of the home, surrounding acres and the other 21 undeveloped acres is $7.85 million.
Mimosa Hall's location in historic downtown Roswell makes it prime real estate. Hedgewood Homes, an Atlanta-based design-build firm, has proposed a 50-home development on the 9-acre property.
Sally McKenzie, a longtime city resident, said many of her neighbors are concerned about new development ruining the character of Roswell’s historic district.
"We have a small, quirky historic district," said McKenzie, who helps run the group Citizens for Responsible Development in Roswell. "It's fragile."
In recent years, the city has worked to revitalize the downtown area with new businesses and homes.
“Development and preservation can go hand in hand, and they should go hand in hand,” she said.
Mimosa Hall is an important part of Roswell’s story, she said.
The estate was designed for Roswell founding father John Dunwoody in the mid-1800s, according to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
A later owner, General A. J. Hansell, dubbed it "Mimosa Hall" after its many mimosa trees.
Hedgewood Homes has done several projects in historic Roswell. Don Donnelly, a developer with the firm, said the proposed plan for the property will preserve the house and the gardens while incorporating new homes. He expects the planning stage to take about six months.
The home has been placed on the trust's "Places in Peril" list due to the proposed sale and development.
Roswell council member Nancy Diamond said the plan is still in a preliminary stage. It's easy to rush to judgement over building in the historic district, she said. Diamond is pleased the firm has been open about proposed development before drafting formal plans.
The development will be discussed at a Dec. 14 meeting of the Roswell Historic Planning Commission.
"We need everybody at the table," she said.