Commercial Real Estate Expert discusses what it'll take to make Buckhead a greener, more pedestrian friendly place.
Ever get a bird's eye view of Atlanta? -- Our city is truly amazing because, unlike many cities that are concrete jungles, trees stretch for miles and compliment the Atlanta skyline.
However, with the exception of a few small pockets (and of course Piedmont Park, which has truly flourished into an amazing attraction), Atlanta lacks any real park or central gathering spaces.
City of Atlanta's Project Greenspace identified Buckhead's District 7 as the lowest "parked" in the entire city. And why Buckhead is lacking in greener, pedestrian friendly areas is a catch 22: space costs money and parks don’t generate any.
Livable Buckhead, a new nonprofit initiative, hopes to changes this alongside the Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID).
Originally, the Buckhead CID had plans for the Lenox parking lot (facing Peachtree) to be converted into a beautiful park space with benches, fountains, flower beds, etc. Had those plans been seen through, it would have created a common green space for community gatherings, small concerts, lunches, or just a daily stroll as well as a bridge between community and commercial space.
Somewhere to walk the dogs, take the family on a picnic, toss the football or just relax under the sun in the heart of a bustling community is what Buckhead lacks (Other than Chastain Park, which is more of a small park tacked onto a walking trail around the golf course).
The Buckhead CID has completed Phase I of the Peachtree Boulevard Transformation and Phase II is underway.
The end result will be a continuation of improvement to the Buckhead/Peachtree corridor to reduce traffic congestion, add medians with flourishing trees and flowers as well as widen the sidewalks (add trees, flowers and benches) to create a more pedestrian friendly walking environment.
Similar to other projects, the Buckhead CID has been slowed by the recession-- their objectives still remain ambitious and hopefully their 10-year plan will be implemented.
I visited the $3 million renovated Morgan Falls Park in Sandy Springs recently and while not huge in size (and located outside the high-rise skyscrapers of the city), it reflects everything a park should represent and can hopefully be created one day in Buckhead: picnic tables, grills, creatively landscaped areas, a playground, water, porch swings with turf under them so that mud does not build up and two outdoor fireplaces. It's a wonderful secret and a beautiful park.
Yes, the core of Buckhead doesn’t have the benefit of being on the Chattahoochee or even in line with creeks, but even without the water, a properly designed park or multiple small green spaces along the corridor would do wonders for the area and the community.
Hopefully with the Buckhead CID and the numerous other green initiative formats focusing on Buckhead, a greener Atlanta can be created.
What are some of your other favorite parks in Atlanta? What are your thoughts on Buckhead and how it can be more green and pedestrian friendly? Where would you like to see these parks built?