The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved plans on Monday for the Echo Street Communities development in English Avenue, one of the first large-scale developments in the area that has triggered strong alarm among many residents concerned about gentrification on the Westside. The affordable housing plans for the project, which also includes thousands of square feet in office space and retail, match the city’s guidelines, with 35 potential additional affordable units in the works.
For more than two years, residents of the Westside hashed out a land-use vision for their community with nationally-renowned planners.
Their vision – the Westside Land Use Framework Plan – was adopted by the Atlanta City Council in December giving residents and neighborhood advocates some comfort that their community was going to be developed in a way that would enhance the area yet not overwhelm it.
Official Atlanta got out the big blue scissors on Monday morning, this time to cut the ribbon on some three new miles of multiuse trail along Proctor Creek. It was a morning to celebrate a creek and trail as scenic as anything in North Georgia. But not far from the surface were worries about the flip side of fancy new public works in an area that’s long been bypassed by prosperity.
Voters in a big chunk of Atlanta from Old Fourth Ward to Adams Park to Bolton will get for a new Fulton County commissioner in this year’s election. Commission hopefuls are talking about a lot of things including topics literally close to home: gentrification and property taxes.
Four candidates want to be on City Council from a district that runs all the way from Atlantic Station highrises to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the westside bungalows of some of Atlanta’s most storied neighborhoods — and some of its most distressed.
By Lyle V. Harris In addition to the gleaming new stadium downtown bearing its famous logo, Mercedes-Benz is seeking to impact nearby neighborhoods by funding more than a dozen Atlanta-based non-profit groups that teach young people the power of playing with a purpose.
An Earth Day event that’s billed as, “one of the biggest clean-up efforts in Atlanta history” is being co-sponsored by the Captain Planet Foundation and a non-profit organization created to honor an elderly lady killed by police in her home in the English Avenue neighborhood. The event is Friday and Saturday.
That sentence, popularized by President Reagan, could well sum up the first challenge facing the effort to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods around the future Falcons stadium.
From the 2006 shooting death of Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta police during a botched drug raid, to the cheating scandal that touched Bethune Elementary School, to recurrent flooding problems – the neighborhoods of English Avenue and Vine City have seen plenty of efforts to help them either go no where or go awry.
Neighborhood residents have their own share of problems, as well.
The pending deal for a new Falcons stadium on Northside Drive ensures the road will be a busy corridor for years to come.
As that deal comes together, Georgia Tech graduate students are putting the finishing touches on recommendations that intend to transform Northside Drive into a grand transit boulevard. Tech’s study is to be complete in May.
One goal of Tech’s study is to improve east-west connectivity, from Midtown and Downtown into some forgotten neighborhoods to the west of Northside Drive. The study also calls for improving north-south connectivity to provide a strong spine for future development and mobility that will solidify Atlanta’s core center.