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Understanding HUB404

By ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ, executive director of the HUB404 Conservancy

What is HUB404? Simply stated, it is a nine-acre, half-mile greenspace that will “cap” Georgia 400, adding additional park and recreation space in an area where it is scarce. Connecting to MARTA’s Buckhead station and PATH400, the nation’s first transit-oriented park will rejoin areas split by GA 400 and increase walkability in Buckhead. 

However, our vision for HUB404 is to be much more than that. As I’ve said in every interview, “HUB404 will be the largest art project I’ve ever worked on.” The design by awarding winning Rogers Partners Architects is not a flat “cap” park. HUB404 is designed to feel like Georgia with rolling hills and native flora, an urban escape unlike any other with a dense cover of native trees and beautiful gardens worth exploring. These greenspaces will create a lush horticultural experience that tells the natural story of our region while also supporting our local ecosystem’s functions by creating a pollinator habitat, reducing the urban heat island effect and capturing stormwater.

Anthony Rodriguez is the executive Director of the HUB404 Conservancy.

HUB404 will be an iconic gathering place for Atlanta, by Atlanta. Area residents, businesses, employees, and visitors will benefit from much-needed greenspace. Moreover, HUB404 will draw folks from across the country and world. As architect Daniel Burnham boldly explained, “Make no little plans, they have no magic in them to stir men’s blood.” Why? Because HUB404 will serve as a central connector of art, nature, and culture, all elevated by biophilic design elements focused on urban sustainability. Imagine art on the scale of Christo’s NYC “Gates,” one-of-a-kind installations that will draw the world to Atlanta. Events that bring the community together by showcasing the great diversity of cultures the city offers.

The pandemic forced separation and disconnection of our communities. Now more than ever, there is a need for spaces where people can connect. In my opinion, “social and cultural infrastructure” like HUB404 are crucial elements that help stimulate human interaction and build bridges of understanding to heal divisions in our community. To expand HUB404’s reach, we will create partnerships with Atlanta institutions to bring greater focus to all that our city offers.

I grew up in this area. Although I was born in New York City, I’ve been in Atlanta since the fifth grade. I attended Our Lady of the Assumption and Marist School. I graduated from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). When I was asked to serve as HUB404 Conservancy’s first Executive Director, I jumped at the opportunity. I was offered the chance to transform Atlanta in a significant and lasting way. How could I possibly say no?

Buckhead was the place we’d gather for food and fun. I saw “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Stars Wars” at Phipps Plaza. I found holiday gifts for family and friends at Lenox Mall. I’ve experienced the awesomeness of the world’s largest 10K — as participant and spectator — every July 4. At HUB404, I look forward to hosting post-Peachtree Road Race parties. My greatest childhood memories revolve around the Buckhead area, and HUB404 will provide a unique backdrop for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and every event in between, creating a memory that will last forever.

A project of this magnitude won’t be built overnight, and it won’t be built without inviting our community into the conversation. I have helped bring other large-scale projects to life, and in my experience, open and honest conversations about expectations are key to success. In the end, any obstacles will be worth the effort to reach opening day. A day when citizens of Atlanta and beyond will gather in a park where all are welcome, HUB404.

Would you like to write a guest column for SaportaReport? The SR team strives to uplift and amplify the diverse perspectives in our community, and we want to hear from you! Email Editor Derek Prall to discuss the specifics.

 

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