Livable Centers Initiative Awards Include Doraville GM Plant
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded 5 local Atlanta governments $440,000 in grants for their Livable Centers Initiative. The communities include Dunwoody, Hampton , Morrow, Dekalb County and Doraville, where the massive shuttered GM plant awaits redevelopment. The break down of the grants are:
- Dunwoody - $80,000 - The newly incorporated City of Dunwoody will use the grant to study Dunwoody Village. This study will develop strategies for transforming Dunwoody Village into a vibrant town center, including a mix of uses and improved traffic circulation throughout the area. This is a historic area with several buildings that belonged to the original families that once owned the land.
- Hampton - $80,000 - The City of Hampton will use the LCI planning process along with its current plans and projects to create an economically feasible strategy to achieve mixed use, higher density and diverse transportation related development. (Whew...that was mouthful!) Two development opportunities the city will focus on include the re-location of the city public works facility currently located two blocks from Main Street and the proposed location of the only commuter rail stop in Henry County being in Hampton.
- Morrow - $100,000 - The Southlake Mall LCI study area is a location that has traditionally been a significant economic district for the City of Morrow and the greater Clayton County community. This area is still important to the local economy, but recent disinvestment and commercial/industrial vacancies remain high, resulting in greyfield and brown field sites primed for redevelopment. Redevelopment of this area will become a thriving regional employment generator and shopping destination with varied entertainment and recreation options.
- Dekalb County - $80,000 - The Wesley Chapel Activity Center area was once a thriving area of commercial and residential development, but has experienced a significant amount of disinvestment over the past 20 years. The area has a number of big box retail spaces and strip malls that have remained vacant. These, along with significant home foreclosures, have served to further exacerbate the financial problems in the area. The LCI study will guide the transformation of the Wesley Chapel Activity Center area from its current state as a predominantly greyfield area into a mixed use district with improved corridor mobility that encourages economic development, establishes a foundation for transit development and offers a safe pedestrian experience. This planned center will encourage walkable communities and provide employment, housing and recreation choices for a mix of residents.
The last award went to the City of Doraville. They will focus on the redevelopment of the now shuttered General Motors Assembly Plant, the adjacent MARTA station and the ripple effect on existing businesses within the area. This 160-some acre parcel of land is the largest single piece of land located inside the I-285 corridor. It is bordered by I-285, nearby I-85 and the end of the North Line for MARTA.This redevelopment potential provides opportunities to repair the community fabric (Doraville was chopped into pieces by the GM plant, I-285 and the expansion of Peachtree Industrial Blvd), fill housing and economic voids, foster quality growth concepts and add needed green space.
If the GM site is redeveloped properly, it could make Doraville much more prosperous than it was even when the GM plant WAS in operation. Doraville already has a huge concentration of Asian and Hispanic businesses, and this cultural base, along with an exciting new development of retail, restaurants and housing, coupled with the access of a MARTA station can only mean big things for the little town of Doraville.
We will be watching this development closely!