City wants input on Memorial Drive improvements

Posted by October 23, 2014

Memorial Drive Hand Drawn Sketch 2

By Kim Hutcherson, contributor

Kirkwood’s representative on the Atlanta City Council wants the community’s help writing a new chapter for Memorial Drive.

“Memorial Drive a major spine in eastern Atlanta,” Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong told Decaturish.  “It’s critically important to all the neighborhoods that touch it.  Given changes in areas all over eastern Atlanta, there seems to be a critical mass of activity that makes (this) the time right to re-imagine the Memorial corridor.”

Archibong is holding an informational meeting for the Imagine Memorial project at City Hall on Monday, Oct. 27.

Imagine Memorial is a collaboration between Georgia Tech students and regional development authorities. It focuses on Memorial Drive between downtown and Candler Road.

“We want as much input as possible,” Archibong said. “People have great ideas and their input is crucial.”

Professor and former City Planning Commissioner Mike Dobbins is overseeing the project. Students have conducted extensive research, examined previously-approved neighborhood plans and crafted proposals aimed at improving the corridor.

Dobbins’ classes have worked on several high-profile urban plans, including the Beltline, an Atlantic Station project and Imagine Northside Drive.

At the meeting Monday night, attendees will be able to speak one-on-one with students and take a closer look at materials supporting the proposals.

Representatives from MARTA, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and Invest Atlanta will be there. Developers and business owner will be there, too.

“This is an opportunity to have all the critical stakeholders together in one place to talk about our collective vision,” Archibong said.  “I think it would be great if we could just imagine the corridor together.  It’s a project of great significance.”

The Imagine Memorial public information meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 27, from 5 pm to 8 pm, in the City Hall Atrium at 55 Trinity Ave.  An open-house will be held both before and after the presentation, and participants can speak directly with the design team.  There will be a presentation of findings by the students who conducted the field work from 6 pm to 7 pm.


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  • Angela PM

    Cleanse it with fire. Start fresh. That stretch is so rundown and ghetto, there’s not much to do but demo all of it. Seriously. I’d say that pretty much goes for all of Memorial from downtown to Stone Mountain. I know, I lived off S Columbia for 10 years. I saw the “mixed use” that Walmart brought (read: NONE). Last time I checked, a BANK is not mixed use. What happened to the condos? The mall across from Walmart was vacated when Wally World opened and is still empty. It only gets worse as you drive West towards downtown.

    The reason every attempt to revitalise Memorial fails is the demographics of the whole area. There is no money (for the most part, gentrified areas notwithstanding) and no will to clean up the pawn shops and Section 8 apartments ridden with drug dealers. The area off of Line Street has lots of pricey infill housing, and it suffers with LOTS of crime – towards the NEW housing, of course. We looked to buy there and talked to the new house owners. None had anything good to say.

    Having lived in the S of Memorial corridor, I really don’t think it will ever be the “nice” area that developers would like it to be. But BRAVO for trying! Anything new would be an improvement.

  • Connie

    Angela, the area in the study ends at Candler road and is not full of strip malls and pawn shops. There are large swathes of residential blocks. Lofts, restaurants, an entry to the helpline, the beginnings of a restaurant district and Oakland Cemetery. Not something to burn down at all.

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