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.
It was a big crowd for 7:15 on a Friday morning — probably about 300 people eventually squeezed their way into the meeting room. That shows the hunger of the west side’s most committed partisans to hear what Atlanta’s still-new mayor would say about their neighborhoods and its struggles.
The pair of parks set to open in English Avenue and Vine City next year will mean more than acres of places to play, exercise or relax. They’re also meant to bring benefits that won’t be obvious by looking.