Woodruff Park's proposed vendors to help pay to maintain park, fountains

By David Pendered

Woodruff Park is soon to have vendors selling the food and tourist knickknacks now available from vendors on Atlanta streets. It’s part of a pending deal between Atlanta and an affiliate of Central Atlanta Progress to raise money to maintain the city-owned park and its fountains.

Woodruff Park, fountain, 1

The fountains at Woodruff Park, in Downtown Atlanta, are to be maintained by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District with an annual payment of $20,000 from Atlanta. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Proposed terms of the deal call for a 50-50 split of all net proceeds between Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Inc. Terms also authorize ADID to provide programming in the park.

ADID asked the city to enter into the agreement. It carries a five-year initial term and one five-year renewal option concerning vending in the 6-acre park.

In addition, Atlanta is to pay $20,000 a year to ADID to help pay to maintain two fountains, according to a proposed memorandum of understanding between the city and ADID.

The city is to waive the vendors’ fee and to allow vendors in Woodruff Park. The park is now off-limit to the city’s vending program. There does not appear to be an avenue for vendors to apply for a site in Woodruff Park because terms describe ADID as operating the program.

Atlanta’s vending code now requires vendors to apply for a location, and permits are awarded by a lottery-type of selection process.

The ADID is to use its portion of the revenue-sharing agreement to maintain Woodruff Park. ADID is to continue its other fund-raising efforts to maintain and enhance the park that’s located at Five Points, which is the green crossroads of Downtown Atlanta’s business, academic, residential and cultural communities.

Atlanta is to use its share of the proceeds to maintain and improve those parks throughout the city that don’t have a conservancy that helps maintain them.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ administration presented the plan to the Atlanta City Council. The plan emanated Feb. 1 from the office of Amy Phuong, Atlanta’s parks commissioner and was approved by the mayor’s office on Feb. 5.

The timeline calls for the council to vote on the legislation as early as Feb. 19. That presumes passage Tuesday by the council’s Community Development/Human Services Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Natalyn Archibong.

Woodruff Park fountain

Woodruff Park, the green crossroads of Downtown Atlanta, and its fountains are to be maintained through an agreement that includes the addition of street vendors to the park, with proceeds to be split equally by Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and an annual $20,000 from Atlanta to ADID. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Vendors at Woodruff Park are to be authorized to sells and the food and merchandise allowed under the city’s ordinance titled, Vending in Public Right of Way (Public Property Vending).

Here are some highlights of items that may be sold by a street vendor:

  • “Items permissible for sale means items which may be offered for sale by and are limited to tourist/traveler convenience items; third party published (non-adult) materials; non-alcoholic pre-packaged beverages; pre-packaged food; prepared food; prepared non-alcoholic beverages; spirit merchandise; and cut single stem or bunched flowers. Items permissible for sale shall not include any tobacco products.
  • “Spirit merchandise means licensed branded merchandise or generic ‘Atlanta’ branded merchandise. Merchandise shall be limited to shirts, hats, scarves and gloves.
  • “Non-alcoholic pre-packaged beverages means beverages sealed in plastic or aluminum single serving containers excluding all beverages in glass containers, and excluding all alcoholic beverages as defined in section 10-1, including but not limited to malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits.
  • “Pre-packaged food means single serving sealed packaged foods including but not limited to candy, popsicles, chips/bagged snacks which do not require any heating or powered refrigeration, and the service of which does not require authorization by the Fulton or DeKalb County Departments of Health.
  • “Prepared non-alcoholic beverages means beverages prepared on site and which are not served in glass containers, and excluding all alcoholic beverages as defined in section 10-1, including but not limited to malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits.”


David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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