summary of upper westside LCI application kick-off workshop


October 4, 2003

 

Sponsored by:
Marietta Street Artery Association
Home Park Community Improvement Association
Georgia Institute of Technology
King Plow Arts Center
Puritan Mill
Winter Properties
Midtown West
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center                      

What are the challenges for the area?

Physical blight

  • visual blight
  • brownfield sites
  • many uses turn away from the corridor
  • becomes an “alley,” instead of a premier public space

Social issues

  • perception of disinvestment and crime
  • homelessness
  • uses that impede redevelopment - nightclubs
  • increasing, but still relatively low housing base
  • lack of home ownership
  • economically distressed communities near the corridor
  • low nighttime population

Identity

§         corridor lacks an identity and sense of place

§         suffers the neglected fate of many railroad/industrial areas - “ no man’s land”

§         the area can be disorientating; lacks wayfinding in form of signs or recognizable destination sites

§         artery is used mostly as a traffic cut-through; a route to elsewhere instead of a destination

Land Use

§         much of the land is zoned industrial, but is transitioning to mixed use

§         industrial use of property create large “super blocks” that inhibit movement and smaller-scale uses

§         get disparate uses to mesh

§         lacks green space

Connectivity

§         the artery forms an edge for many points of interest in Atlanta; it must be treated as a seam that joins parts of the city, not as a division

§         the corridor lacks physical connections

§         unfriendly to pedestrians

§         numerous transportation plans/studies may affect the corridor and its function: Northwest Connectivity Study; Atlanta BeltLine Transit Project; GT plans

Stakeholders

§         likelihood of significant change among major institutions in or near the area: Georgia Tech, aquarium, Atlantic Station

§         need to promote collaborative planning among diverse institutions, neighborhoods and community stakeholders

§         need to maintain diversity of both people and uses along the corridor

What are the assets of the area?

Character 

§         unique, eclectic character

History

§         architectural diversity and historic buildings; Howell Station Historic District , Howell Interlocking District and Means Street District

§         link to Atlanta’s rail, industrial and commerce history and rich African-American heritage; early area referred to as “Bellwood”

§         create public space along the corridor and reinforce its historic role as a place of commerce

§         Civil War sites and historical markers; Surrender of Atlanta sign

Identity

§         identity rooted in creative industries, interior design and emerging grass-roots arts; King Plow Arts Center; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and numerous galleries

§         create a major northern gateway for artery at 14th and Northside Drive

Transportation

§         BeltLine concept for re-use of rail lines and a showcase for cultural sites

§         opportunities to re-create historic transportation routes; trolley, pedestrian paths

Development Opportunities

§         adaptive re-use and rehabilitation of structures; historic warehouse spaces

§         large tracts of land under single control facilitates development

§         opportunities for infill development and denser, alternative housing choices

§         opportunities for workforce housing

Regional Role

§         physically connects many key parts of the city

§         links to other LCI study areas: Bolton, City Center and JSA

§         presence of major institutions near the artery: GT, Coke, Mead, CNN, Georgia World Congress Center

Who are the stakeholders in the area?

  • City of Atlanta
  • City of Atlanta school district
  • GT
  • Coke
  • Mead Corp.
  • CNN
  • Georgia World Congress Center
  • Home Park Community Improvement Association
  • CSX
  • MARTA
  • Midtown West
  • Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
  • Salvation Army
  • Atlanta Union Mission
  • five Neighborhood Planning Units (M, L, K, D, F)
  • English Avenue neighborhood
  • Blandtown
  • Atlantic Station
  • Huff Road Business Association
  • Condominium Associations

What are emerging trends in growth/re-development in the area?

  • increase in residential base: Alta West, LeCraw Development; new mixed-income community at West Highlands
  • adaptive re-use and mixed use: King Plow Arts Center, Puritan Mill, West Side Market, Midtown West, Northyards
  • emerging home for creative professionals
  • growth/expansion of existing and new institutions: GT, aquarium
  • grass-roots arts movement
  • emerging retail and entertainment uses

What are goals for the area?

Organization

§         create a structure and full-time support for planning in the area; like Midtown Alliance

§         promote collaborative planning among institutions and neighborhoods

Identity

§         enhance and create sense of place

§         support the grass-roots arts community and build a creative identity

§         build an identity rooted in history

Housing

§         promote workforce housing, including denser, affordable housing in the corridor and single-family housing in other areas

§         target the arts community to create affordable live-work space

Transportation/Connectivity

§         create more connectivity among the many pieces of the corridor and to other areas of the city

§         promote alternative transportation choices: biking, walking, rail

§         create a vision for transportation that maintains connectivity and cohesiveness throughout the corridor

Land Use 

§         re-define land use in the area and find the means to shape it; recognize and promote new mixed use character; find opportunities to implement City of Atlanta quality of life zoning ordinances

§         promote sustainable development, building, and land use practices

§         find usable, large scale, quality open spaces

§         promote diversity of function along the corridor

Community

§         promote strong schools for families

§         fully integrate GT and its students 

§         promote diversity of people, including mixed income living opportunities; make an inclusive community

§         create broader community support for a vision

Next Steps

Arrange for letters of support from community stakeholders and partner with the City of Atlanta

Next workshop to discuss specifics of the application is tentatively set for Saturday, October 25 from 9AM to 1PM