A walk along Auburn Avenue can be described as inspirational, even spiritual. Soon the words educational and attractive may be added. A highlight of a pending beautification project is a huge mural and 10 big light boxes that are to tell the corridor’s history.
The rejuvenation of Auburn Avenue is expanding, this time in the preservation of five houses on the same block as the Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home, through a grant provided by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Historic sites along a portion of the Atlanta Streetcar’s route will be better marked if the plan to install wayfinding signs wins expected approval from Atlanta’s Urban Design Commission.
The UDC is slated to consider the application to install the signs at its Sept. 24 meeting. The proposal calls for new signs to be installed at a series of addresses along Auburn Avenue.
The start date for the streetcar’s operation has not been finalized. Mayor Kasim Reed has said he expects the system to begin before Dec. 31. The system still is being tested and evaluated by the appropriate governmental entities.
The effort to spur businesses that could be served by the future Atlanta Streetcar along Auburn Avenue got a lift Tuesday in the form of a state program that provides tax credits for new jobs.
A section of Auburn Avenue now is an Opportunity Zone. The designation will provide a tax credit of $3,500 for one new job to companies that create two net jobs. The tax credit lasts five years, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, which approved the new zone.
The designation is particularly important, coming as it does amidst a whirlwind of activity – both planned and halted – along the street that once was the center of black commerce in the south.