Optimism for 2022: Three Things Happening This Year That Will Bring New Energy to Midtown’s Street-Level Experience
By Ellie Hensley, Editor and Producer at Midtown Alliance
New year, new things to experience at street-level in Midtown.
Over the past several decades, we’ve seen the district transform into a thriving place. With guidance from the City of Atlanta and the help of our partners, we’ve worked to build an exceptional urban experience through public improvement projects such as bike lanes, public art installations, public safety patrols, virtual and in-person events.
Already in 2022, we’ve hit the ground running, building largely off our work plans from previous years. We also have exciting new initiatives planned throughout the year that we can’t wait to share with you.
The best place to truly experience the positive transformation in Midtown is on the street, preferably on foot. Here’s a peek into three things you can expect to see in Midtown this year:
– Expanded Homeless Outreach Efforts: Midtown Alliance is funding a full-time caseworker to spend time in the district via Intown Collaborative Ministries (ICM), a non-profit whose mission is to prevent and reverse homelessness and hunger. ICM’s goal is to get people who are experiencing homelessness into permanent housing. It also has established connections with shelters, medical facilities, mental health facilities and resources to help people with documentation to find jobs and housing. Bringing on a case manager who focuses daily on Midtown will better assist our Midtown Blue personnel in reaching those we haven’t been able to help in the past, and we’re excited about the impact this pilot partnership can have on our district.
– An Invitation to Safely Reconnect: Several of Midtown’s public open space projects are poised to come online this year, building out the community’s aspirations that predate the pandemic to create small outdoor public spaces throughout the district. Construction is underway on the Peachtree Street at Peachtree Place Public Plaza, which will yield a small plaza with flexible use spaces, landscaping, lighting and art elements at a historic Midtown corner. We’re wrapping up maintenance on the southwest and southeast corners of Arts District Plaza, and we plan to add new street furniture early this year. Next up, we’re breaking ground on enhancements to 10th Street Park that include a dog park, play area and activity zone.
After two years (and counting) of a public health situation that has kept many people indoors, spaces like these provide not only fresh air, but a place to safely reconnect with others. We aim to get them completed as soon as construction and supply chain timelines allow.
– New Places to Discover: More than 50 small businesses opened in Midtown over the course of the last year, including a number of new additions to the restaurant scene. These included BK Lobster, Nagomiya, Cathy’s Ice Cream Sandwiches, Steak Market, Taste of Greece, and more than a dozen restaurants and food stalls at the reimagined Colony Square, which unveiled its food hall concept Politan Row last summer. And there’s more to look forward to this year, including Fin & Feathers, a “Nu American Soul” restaurant on Crescent Avenue, T’s Brunch Bar on Peachtree Street, and Fit For a Queen, an apparel shop opening this month. Find a list of ways to support these businesses here.
We enter this new year with a lot of uncertainty and another spike in COVID-19 cases that is causing new disruption. But there is a lot to look forward to experiencing in Midtown in 2022. Onward! Check out our newsletters to stay up to date on what’s happening in our district.