A New Plan for a Park Over Georgia 400

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Discussions are in the works for a new public park over a section of Georgia 400 in Buckhead. The park would develop an underutilized area, with hopes of creating an urban community gathering spot, increasing market value of the surrounding properties and improving the quality of life of residents and workers in the area.

In April 2015, the Buckhead CID hired Jacobs Engineering Group, an international technical professional services firm, to develop early-stage conceptual plans. It may be close to a decade before a park is realized, but plans for the park include easy access to MARTA and a variety of potential uses, such as a restaurant, food market, dog park, a stage for performances and plenty of lawn space for informal play, relaxation or other interesting programs.

The park could also connect to the PATH400 Greenway, which is currently in development. The first phase of PATH400 is complete, connecting Old Ivy Road to Tower Place. When the entire project is finished, it will be a five-mile-long multi-use trail connecting Buckhead’s parks, trails, schools, neighborhoods and urban center to the Atlanta BeltLine trail and two trails under development along the north and south forks of Peachtree Creek.

According to the famed Chicago architect and city planner Daniel J. Burnham, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.” Burnham penned those words in the early 1900s and they are often quoted by modern city and regional planners and those with an interest in planning.  The rest of the famous quote is just as important to recall:  “Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.  Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.  Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.”

It is in the spirit of Burnham’s words that the Buckhead CID will be soliciting proposals to take the concept of a park over GA 400 and the Buckhead MARTA station and further evaluate planning, design, engineering, costs and funding models to create nine acres of open space out of thin air in the heart of Buckhead’s commercial core.  The RFP should be released in October.  In addition to the obvious benefits of creating a central and beautiful gathering spot in the heart of Buckhead, the park may have added benefits of decreasing the effects of urban heat islands by breaking up continuous urban development.  WABE recently did a brief news story on heat islands – click here to listen.

The Buckhead CID is still in the beginning stages of developing a clear vision for the park, but we now know that it can be done. We continue on our way to realizing our vision of providing yet another community enhancing public space! Stay tuned for more news about the park over Georgia 400.

Tell us what you think. What would you like included in this new park?

overheadrendering2_resizedImage courtesy of Jacobs.

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