By Guest Columnist DAN REUTER, a longtime advisor on urban planning and community development in metro Atlanta and the founder/CEO of Reuter Strategy
Momentum is building for the creation of a new Community Improvement District in the cities of Chamblee and Doraville. Led by local commercial property owners and encouraged by the leadership of the cities of Chamblee and Doraville, a CID will help the community to leverage the existing assets to provide greater access and amenities.
This new Chamblee Doraville CID is expected to represent an area bounded by Peachtree Boulevard from I-285 south to Clairmont Road, and along Clairmont to Buford Highway and then north on Buford Highway to a point outside I-285.
The cities of Chamblee and Doraville are the primary international district for metro Atlanta’s mixed cultural communities. The Buford Highway corridor is recognized by dining experts across the United States as a premier international restaurant scene. Peachtree Boulevard is home to the largest selection of automobile dealers in metro Atlanta and a growing mixed-use community centered around the Chamblee MARTA station, Keswick Park and Chamblee Rail Trail. The redevelopment of the Doraville MARTA station area and Assembly CID will become a new anchor along I-285, which can provide a major connection to extending rail transit to Gwinnett County.
The mayors of Chamblee and Doraville as well as business and community leaders outlined the incredible assets and diversity in a video produced over the summer. While the area has substantial infrastructure and community assets the need for more pedestrian safety projects, transit access and multi-use trails throughout the community remains a high priority.
Chamblee has an existing Rail Trail, which is being expanded to become part of a new Town Center project led by Seven Oaks Development. Working with the cities and partner organizations, the CID could advance a connection of a multi-use trail from the MARTA rail station areas of Chamblee and Doraville as well as Buford Highway to the Peachtree Creek Greenway under construction by the City of Brookhaven. The connection of Peachtree Creek Greenway to the Atlanta BeltLine creates a continuous trail system eastward from Atlanta towards the Chamblee Doraville CID area.
When formed in 2019, the CID is to become a public-private assessment district to enable commercial property owners to undertake planning and construction of infrastructure projects needed in the community. The CID formation is being supported by the Peachtree Gateway Partnership, a not-for profit organization (it’s a 501-c-6) that was created in 2014 to focus on the issues of north DeKalb County.
The leadership of the CID will seek to unite the area’s diverse people and businesses to achieve economic prosperity, superior mobility, good health and safety. Through its projects, the CID will seek to celebrate the area’s existing assets, foster new businesses and sell the eclectic mix of people, uses and restaurants in the area. New investments will reflect the CID’s commitment to the community.
The Chamblee Doraville CID will advance a collective voice and advocate for commercial property owners and businesses in the area. It will fund, design and build projects to improve efficiency and connectivity in all modes of transportation and enhance access to amenities in the area. The CID will improve aesthetics and create a sense of place to improve community lifestyles and livability. The CID will apply for project and administrative funding and support from local, state, and federal government organizations. The CID will help create a sense of place and urgency for area improvements.
On Thursday, the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce Breakfast will feature a presentation on the Chamblee Doraville CID formation. More information on the 7:30 a.m. breakfast can be found on the chamber’s website. Special events and meetings of owners are encouraged and can be organized for groups to provide information on the CID formation. More information about the CID association and formation process can be found on its website.
Note to readers: During Dan Reuter’s 17-year career at the Atlanta Regional Commission, he was instrumental in creating programs including the Livable Centers Initiative. Since opening Reuter Strategy in 2016, Reuter, FAICP, has worked with governments and private-sector clients on projects including the formation of the Peachtree Gateway Partnership.