By David Pendered
In a significant recognition of Southwest Atlanta, the city is moving the office of the Atlanta City Design Studio, headed by Ryan Gravel, to a prominent new development along Cascade Road.
The design studio opened last year in Ponce City Market. Although the site is widely viewed as a success, it appeared to reinforce the notion that city officials are focused on the quadrant surrounding the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside and Northeast trails.
Deputy Planning Commissioner Terri Lee emphasized the importance of bringing the studio closer to residents of South Atlanta during her Jan. 24 presentation to the Atlanta City Council’s Community Development Committee.
“One thing we’re really excited about with studio is it gives the opportunity to bring forth the concept to the southside,” Lee said. “We’ve had much success at Ponce City Market. We’ve partnered with several different entities to bring a public facing point to the community [to discuss] development and planning. We’re very excited to bring this concept to Southwest Atlanta.”
The studio is to relocate to 2311 Cascade Road. The space is located in the newly developed retail and restaurant space named The Point. It’s located across Cascade Road from a J.R. Crickets restaurant, at the intersection of Cascade Road and Benjamin E. Mays Drive.
The adoption of the new site didn’t spur much discussion following the city council’s unanimous vote during its Feb. 6 meeting to approve terms of a new lease for the Cascade Road location.
Mayor Kasim Reed’s office issued a statement Wednesday that drew attention to the studio’s upcoming move to Southwest Atlanta:
“Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that the Atlanta City Studio, the City’s first pop-up design laboratory focused on shaping the future of city neighborhoods, will relocate to Cascade Heights in April. The studio, which has been located at Ponce City Market since its doors opened in May 2016, will be located at 2311Cascade Road in Southwest Atlanta.
- “’We are excited to move the Atlanta City Studio to Cascade Heights and engage with residents in Southwest Atlanta,’ said Mayor Reed. ‘The Atlanta City Studio at Ponce City Market has served as an invaluable tool for City of Atlanta planners to gather innovative ideas from local residents, visitors and design professionals. Relocating the studio allows residents in another quadrant to work directly with our city planners to make Atlanta the best possible place to live, work and play.’”
- “’To promote high quality, sustainable and equitable growth and development in Atlanta, the people who live in the City must be a part of every planning aspect conducted by the Department of Planning and Community Development,’ said [Planning] Commissioner Tim Keane. ‘The City of Atlanta understands that community engagement and involvement is an integral part of shaping the future of Atlanta, and the Atlanta City Studio will continue to move around the city to ensure that every community can help guide us.’”
Terms call for Floshea, the building’s developer, to donate the first six months of rent for 2,158 rentable square feet of office space. The city is to pay for utilities including internet service, according to the legislation.
The contract can be extended for an additional six month at a price of $18 per rentable square foot, according to the legislation.