As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on February 22, 2019When Dan Cathy first began challenging the Atlanta business community to invest in Atlanta’s Westside, businessman Arthur Blank suggested to the CEO of Chick-fil-A Inc. that he should open a restaurant in the community.
Atlanta’s development authority board is thankful for the philanthropy behind a valuable tourist draw Downtown, but not everyone thinks the city should show its appreciation by spending that $7.5 million from a special tax fund on the aquarium.
Some at Atlanta’s development authority have recommended their colleagues spend $7.5 million from a special tax fund on the $108 million expansion of the private Georgia Aquarium. But the full board may ask whether a new shark exhibit request comes when there are more pressing public needs.
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.
A proposed mixed-use project by Brock Built Homes and partners has become a lightning rod in the already divided English Avenue community.
Despite a lack of consensus among key players on the Westside, the project has been sailing through the Atlanta City Council’s committee meetings. It was scheduled to go before the full Atlanta City Council on Monday, July 2, but it has been delayed for 30 days.
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 16, 2018
The Home Depot Foundation will be springing into spring with a $6.3 million commitment in Atlanta’s Westside communities.
The company foundation will hold its “Springing into Service” day on March 20 – the first day of Spring, when about 100 associates will be volunteering on community projects, including working at Vine City Park and making external home repairs at a couple of nearby houses with Westside residents.
In 2017, the Rev. Darrion Fletcher died during his campaign for the Atlanta City Council post held by Ivory Lee Young, Jr. On Tuesday, Young continued his effort to honor Fletcher by naming a playing field for him in Vine City Park. Young also proposes to rename the entire park for a well-regarded urban planner, June Mundy.
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 22, 2017
During a recent tour of English Avenue and Vine City, Frank Fernandez of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation highlighted numerous initiatives that have begun to take root on the Westside.
A former check-cashing business is being transformed into a restaurant. Several vacant lots have been turned into neighborhood parks. Police officers are moving into the neighborhood thanks to an initiative of the Atlanta Police Foundation. Westside Works has a new home where it is training residents in the fields of construction, heath care, culinary arts and soon childcare.
It’s a new day for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, which purchased three properties near the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside trail in Washington Park and Mozley Park.
The Georgia Trust closed on the purchases Thursday – two houses and a vacant lot – with the intent of renovating the two homes and developing a new house on the vacant lot – all while keeping the properties affordable.
The street frontage is less than 400 feet, but the transformational potential is enormous for a future townhouse development along Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. This is the first major private investment west of the Mercedes Benz Stadium that isn’t part of the redevelopment program for stadium neighborhoods.
The eve before the opening of the new Chick-fil-A restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was a night unlike any other in Atlanta’s history.
The “haves” and the “have nots” huddled indoors and ate dinner in the warmth of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant on the Westside of downtown on Wednesday night braving below-freezing temperatures and ice-covered streets.
Atlanta hopes to be included in the second round of cities in the world to pilot an innovative financial tool underwritten by the Rockefeller Foundation. The money would help pay to install green infrastructure to improve the Westside’s polluted Proctor Creek watershed.
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 almost surefire way to start an argument in Atlanta is to utter the “G-word” – as in “gentrification.” In the midst of a torrid development boom, the inflow of affluent newcomers to Atlanta – and the involuntary uprooting of low-income residents that inevitably follows – reveals the racial and economic fault lines running through city’s social bedrock.