Atlanta buys parkland in Buckhead that is to enhance PATH400

By David Pendered

The acquisition doesn’t sound like much, but it’s significant. Atlanta is buying land for two parks in Buckhead that together would cover just a fifth of the site of the Georgia governor’s mansion.

Lenox Road park

Some day, this park on Lenox Road may have a tunnel under Ga. 400 to provide easy access to PATH400. Credit: Dexter Andrews

These two purchases are the latest step in a march begun seven years ago to provide more parks and greenspace in Buckhead.

Both acquisitions have the potential to boost PATH400, the 5.2-mile paved trail that Buckhead civic leaders are creating through partnerships with the state and others.

Dreamers envision a tunnel beneath Ga. 400 to connect one recent park acquisition with PATH400.

If this happens, a 4-acre park on Lenox Road could become a conduit to PATH400 for thousands of residents of the new housing developments being constructed between MARTA’s Lenox and Brookhaven stations, beginning a few blocks from the south side of Peachtree Road.

Along with new high rise residences being built east of Lenox Road, big new houses are being built on sites where older homes were demolished along North Druid Hills Road.

The site acquired covers 1.53 acres and was priced at up to $1.5 million. The site is adjacent to an existing park that covers 2.54 acres, which Atlanta bought it in 2013 for almost $1.2 million.

Atlanta has purchased land for a park near a trail head of PATH400, near a historic cemetery where graves were marked in January 2014. Credit: David Pendered

Atlanta has purchased land for a park near a trail head of PATH400, near a historic cemetery where graves were marked in January 2014. Credit: David Pendered

The other parcel is intended to serve as a major entry point to PATH400 at its current northern terminus.

The 1.55 acre site along Loridans Road once was part of the campus of the old McClatchey Elementary School, long since demolished. The site was priced at $219,589.

Now, the site gets top billing for the role it can play in funneling walkers and bicyclists onto PATH400. Here’s how an ordinance describes the future possibilities:

  • “The acquisition of this parcel will provide direct linkage to other regional assets that include the Atlanta BeltLine, Peachtree Greenway, and Southfork Conservancy’s network of trails that extend and connect with the Emory University and environs.”
Lenox Road park, mailbox

Atlanta’s newest future park still has the mailbox from when someone lived on the land. Credit: Dexter Andrews

Incidentally, the Southfork Conservancy raised more than $30,000 at its annual fundraiser April 28. That’s more than double the amount raised at the event last year, according to a statement released Monday. The conservancy uses the money to build trails and related projects along Peachtree Creek, in Atlanta.

PATH400 is to stretch from Loridans Road to the planned Peachtree Creek spur trail of the Atlanta BeltLine.

Formally known as the PATH400 Greenway Trail, the project a partnership involving the Buckhead Community Improvement District, Livable Buckhead, and the Path Foundation. Livable Buckhead is raising about $9 million to help pay for the trail that has a projected total cost of up to $12 million. The Buckhead CID has contributed about $3 million to the project.

Much of this work was started in the wake of a 2009 analysis of parks conducted by the city. The report determined that Buckhead has a shortage of parks and greenspace, compared to other parts of the city.

Buckhead parks

Atlanta has purchased two sites in Buckhead for future parks. Both are to enhance PATH400. Credit: Google Earth, David Pendered


David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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