Community Design Notice

Plans are underway to redesign Findley Plaza in Little Five Points and your input matters! The Little Five Points Community Improvement District’s (L5PCID) Findley Plaza Redevelopment Committee will conduct two community input meetings on the following days, times, and location:

Saturday, August 12th from 10:00 am to noon in the Sevenanda Community Room (the downstairs of 467 Moreland Ave)

 Wednesday, August 16th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Sevenanda Community Room (the downstairs of 467 Moreland Ave)

The L5PCID/Findley Plaza Redevelopment Committee will display draft concept plans and seek input to improve the plan and prepare for its approval by the City and the L5PCID Board.  This project is being funded through the Renew Atlanta Bond program with additional funding to be provided through private fund-raising efforts led by the L5PCID and other community groups. Improvements are projected to be complete by the fall of 2018.

Video – Panel Discusses the Future of Bass Field

At an April 18 Open House panel discussion, three expert opinions were focused on the future of Little Five Points and Bass Field*.  The Open House, hosted by the Little Five Points CID provided observations from and recommendations for the Moreland corridor LCI 10-Year Update.  The panel members responded with ideas important to the study’s chapter on Bass Field as a catalytic site for improvements in Little Five Points.

The panel was part of a larger Open House sponsored by the Little Five Points CID and the Moreland Avenue Corridor Livable Centers Initiative Plan 10 year Update.   The Open House presented observations and recommendations for the larger study area, extending from Freedom Park to I-20, and along DeKalb Avenue between the closest MARTA stations. (45 minutes)

The Panel included:

Andrew Somoza is President of UBack, a charitable-giving transactions business.  He is a technology entrepreneur with 20-plus years of experience in leading successful early-stage organizations. Mr. Somosa also maintains a portfolio of investments reflecting his broad interests, including a partnership now operating the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta and the Georgia Theater in Athens, among other venues. He holds a bachelor’s in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Aileen Almassy is Managing Director of Cushman Wakefield in Atlanta. As a 19-year veteran in commercial real estate, she has extensive experience in the leasing and management of Class A Office properties. Ms. Almassy specializes in landlord representation, and as Leasing Director she is responsible for leading Cushman & Wakefield Atlanta’s agency leasing practice for office buildings throughout the metro area.  Among her recent responsibilities was the office lease-up of Ponce City Market.

Michael Alexander, AICP  is Director of the Center for Livable Communities at the Atlanta Regional Commission.  The Center integrates various aspects of physical planning and data resources to lead Regional Planning in Metro Atlanta. Center activities include the Region’s long-range development plan and other functional plans. Mr. Alexander has worked on numerous planning efforts for ARC including Envision6 and the ARC’s latest adopted plan, Plan2040. Mr. Alexander earned dual master’s degrees in Public Administration and Community Planning from Auburn University. He’s also served as a Marine Infantryman in Desert Storm.

 

 

*             Bass Field lies in the triangle between Euclid, Austin, and Moreland Avenues. The undeveloped tract is more than five acres, but is largely invisible, lying below Moreland and above Euclid.  Consequently, it must remained secured, and is managed by a private soccer club.

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LCI Study Open House

Please join the Livable Centers Initiative Study Team to review findings of the 10-Year update of the Moreland Corridor Livable Centers Initiative Plan.

When: Tuesday, April 18th, Doors will open at 6:00, presentation at 6:30

Where: Horizon Theater, 1083 Austin Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

What: The presentation is part of a Livable Centers Initiative Plan Update and will review:

  • Transportation issues in the corridor.
  • Future land use recommendations such as allowing more office uses along Moreland.
  • Potential catalytic projects such as reclaiming, maintaining, and perhaps opening the Sugar Creek flood plain to recreational uses.

The Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a program of the Atlanta Regional Commission that awards planning grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to prepare and implement plans for neighborhood enhancement .

Download the current version of the Study Report by clicking here

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Arkwright Intersection Improvement will improve traffic flow, provide pedestrian refuge

In February, 2016, GDOT approved a concept plan for improvements to the Arkwright Place/Moreland Ave. Intersection.  The intersection, just notth of Memorial Drive was the historic location of a streetcar line that connected Atlanta to Decatur along a dedicated right of way, which continues to run parallel to the main alignment of Arkwright and provides access to buildings facing the street.  The proposed design converts the northern parallel streetcar alignment to an access-way, replacing its intersection with Moreland Ave .   with green space.  A paved median is installed in Moreland Ave. to prevent vehicular turning or through movements on Arkwright with a pedestrian refuge and a hybrid pedestrian beacon installed to assist pedestrians crossing Moreland Ave.  Total cost of design, right of way acquisition and construction is estimated at $2,322,720, with an programmed construction date of 2018.  The full Concept Report is available at

https://gtas.dot.ga.gov/0012596/Concept%20Reports/0012596_CR_FEB2016.pdf

County Line Road

 

The south end of the Moreland Corridor Study Area was originally anchored by a sizable hill: the high point between Decatur and City of Atlanta. The hill was removed in total for the construction of the Moreland/ I-20 interchange in the 1950’s. 800px-Mortimer_Dormer_Leggett_-_Brady-HandyInterestingly the hill was known as Leggett’s Hill until it was hauled away, one of the few places in Atlanta ever to be named for a Union Leader. Brigadier General Mortimer D. Leggett captured the hill in the Battle for Atlanta and used its vantage point to defeat the confederate troops. Leggett’s legacy was quite impressive after the war as well, first appointed as the US Commissioner of Patents and later drew on his patents expertise to help organize a collection of innovative companies into General Electric. His son, also named Mortimer, achieved a brief moment in history while a student at Cornell in 1873, when he became the first person known to die in a college fraternity initiation. Today Leggett and his hill are remembered only in the Cyclorama, and the deep ravine of I-20 occupies one of the lowest spots between Decatur and Atlanta.

 

 

GDOT Bike/Ped Concept Report is now available

The Concept Report for GDOT Bike/Ped improvements to Moreland Avenue between Mansfield Ave. and DeKalb Ave. has been approved by GDOT.  It includes bike lanes and other improvements, medians, and a mid-block pedestrian crossing with a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon midway between Mansfield and Euclid.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019.Moreland Ave Safety Improvements Approved Concept Report 04 27 2016

Introducing L5PCID

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The Little 5 Points Community Improvement District represents a natural step along the path that L5P has trod for four decades. The CID reflects the district it grew out of. It’s intown, very grassroots (composed of small businesses and engaged neighbors), artsy and … definitely unique. It’s unlike any other CID in Georgia, because it represents a relatively small commercial district, dominated by community advocates and oriented toward improving public, walkable spaces more than commerce. It’s more about community than business.

Over the last 45 years, L5P has helped to birth a uniquely Southern counterculture — a spirit that is central to the region’s current urban reinvention.

Just consider how much has happened near the intersection of Moreland, McLendon and Euclid avenues. Among many other things, the district has been home to several of the metro area’s premier music venues, three theater companies, Atlanta’s most prominent record-swap shops, the metro area’s defining health food coop and its first true espresso bar. The culture of iconoclastic disruption spawned in Little Five Points is a foundation for Atlanta’s intown revival.

If the Atlanta of tomorrow will be built on entrepreneurship and innovation, it owes a great deal to the spirit of cultural creativity for which Little Five Points has served as a Mecca. L5P leaders — many of whom were involved in the district’s earlier establishment as the Southeast’s counterculture capital — are now committed to figuring out how the district can play the kind of defining role in Atlanta’s future that it has in the recent past and as it does in the present.

Quite appropriately, it was established through the work of a non-profit planning firm — Commons Planning — and that non-profit firm continues to support the CID’s initiative.
As a small organization, the CID has limited resources. So it relies on strong strain of volunteerism. And it turns out that that volunteerism also strengthens the CID by building broad grassroots support for the district’s activities.
The CID provides a framework to help L5P deal with challenging issues. Its formal role is very similar to that of other CIDs — albeit on a smaller scale: How to deal, for example, with traffic and parking. How to encourage biking and walking. How to ensure that public spaces are safe and attractive. How to encourage a mix of development that will strengthen the district, as a whole.

The CID is a bit like Little Five Points: Its participants are contributing to a broader reinvention of a form of governmental agency much as Little Five Points has contributed to the broadening of Southern culture.

The Weave of The East Side of Atlanta

The weave of the urban fabric east of Atlanta’s city center has always had a predominate grain running in the east/west direction. The few north/south streets that existed were primarily used for local traffic rather than through put. Steep ridges, low lying bogs, and/or rail lines posed significant challenges to north and south traffic. Until the 1960’s residents of the east side of Atlanta simply did not circulate north and south much: the eastside neighborhoods related to downtown, but little to each other. As late as 1959, the DeKalb Avenue and train tracks formed a substantial hurdle for north south traffic, requiring steep climbs over 40 foot high berms and crossing multiple train tracks. The north and south side of DeKalb Avenue in the Moreland Corridor had very little in common.

Atlanta_streetcars_1924
Atlanta Streetcar Map 1924. Linear routes project out from the city center, forming a hub and spoke system rather than a woven network. The street car system was the main transportation mode for the east side neighborhoods.
Moreland Viaduct
1946 proposal to build the Moreland Viaduct under DeKalb Ave and the Rail Road. The white road in plan are proposed new construction, and the section diagram shows the 1946 existing grade in a faint line and the proposed grade in a dark line. A 30 foot grade separation prevented access between North and South Moreland.
Boulevard Viaduct
1946 proposal to build the Boulevard Viaduct under DeKalb Ave and the Rail Road. The white road in plan are proposed new construction, and the section diagram shows the 1946 existing grade in a faint line and the proposed grade in a dark line. A 45 foot grade separation prevented access between North and South Boulevard
Moreland underpass 1959
Moreland Underpass being dug in 1959.  The view is from in front of where the Edgewood retail district is today looking north. The Seaboard transformer station on the left is still there today.
Moreland_North_Avenue_and_Fairview (1)
Moreland Avenue North of DeKalb before it connected through to South Moreland. It served as a grand boulevard for prominent Atlanta families. The Druid Hills park system along Ponce served as a latter extension to the Moreland high society neighborhood.