Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. (CAP), the Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC), and Sweet Auburn Works (SAW) have partnered in a request for statements of qualifications from interested consulting firms to coordinate the development of the Sweet Auburn Green and Equitable District (“AGE) Framework.
In early 2021, a core group of stakeholders identified a need for a unified strategy to create an equity-focused district that leverages the current conditions, assets, and opportunities in Sweet Auburn. These stakeholders have conducted initial visioning work and data collection but desire further evaluation to develop a tangible strategy.
Last week, the three partners published a request for qualifications which addresses, among other things, project management, documentation and analysis of current conditions, a visioning and facilitation process, the development of implementation strategies, a funding strategy, along with identifying a comprehensive list of key performance indicators which can measure the success of the Framework.
The Sweet Auburn Green and Equitable (SAGE) District Framework study area is just over one half of a square mile and includes both the “focus area” and the “impact area” and is generally bounded by John Lewis Freedom Parkway, the Atlanta Beltline, Decatur Street and Courtland Street. However, the qualifications require that the process consider plans, activities, and development activities immediately adjacent to the study boundary.
SAGE is envisioned as a coordinated strategy to guide desired investment outcomes and sustain Sweet Auburn’s re-emergence as an exceptionally diverse residential neighborhood and commercial center that demonstrates environmentally sustainable economic prosperity and preserves its unique African American heritage. Based on the published qualification statement, the core objective of SAGE is to create and implement a community development infrastructure that is:
- Developed with neighborhood residents to elevate the goals and indicators of success for this systematically disenfranchised community.
- Complete with an intentional investment strategy to concentrate and coordinate resources — including funding, public policy, programming, and partners
- An explicit and bold roadmap for economic inclusion in an era of climate change, income and asset inequality, and rapid urbanization and densification.
Sweet Auburn is Atlanta’s most historically significant neighborhood based on published documents. The district is notable as the home for many of the city’s first black-owned businesses and the bedrock of civil rights organizing decades later. However, desegregation, the construction of the Downtown Connector (I-75/85), and a lack of access to funding due to redlining ushered in an era of stark decline for Sweet Auburn through the 1970s and 80s.
The deadline for consultants to submit a statement of qualifications is on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.