Atlanta BeltLine Update

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“”A year from now, Atlantans will walk, jog and bike from Piedmont Park to Freedom Park, connecting to what will be the first new Atlanta BeltLine park to open – Historic Fourth Ward Park.””

John Somerhalder, Chairman of the Board of the BeltLine Partnership. June 19, 2010

So, by now you’ve probably heard the news- the Atlanta BeltLine just brought in another $5 Million to their campaign, courtesy of Sarah and Jim Kennedy/PATH Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.  The money is going to be put towards the East Side trail–  as Creative Loafing puts it:

Nearly two years in the making, the trail project will connect the city’s most iconic greenspace and the Morningside, Ansley Park, Midtown, Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods before ending at DeKalb Avenue. (A Beltline spokesman said plans call for the trail to continue, but the $5 million contribution will only cover the proposed portion.) Work-out stations will be along the trail, so you can finally challenge Councilman Kwanza Hall to a push-up contest.

Good stuff indeed.  And speaking of Councilman Hall, his zoning changes to City Hall East– one of the potential redevelopment linchpins for this particular stretch of the BeltLine- were just passed unanimously by the Atlanta City Council.  Per the AJC:

The project, which is in his district, has concerned residents, who are both eager to see the hulking space redeveloped but with existing homes and businesses in mind. On Monday, the council voted 14-0 to approve the zoning changes, which will allow for more retail space and fewer residential units than previously proposed — options residents endorsed.

So for those of you BeltLine cynics… it’s time to jump on the bandwagon.  Train (and tracks) have already left the station…

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