Neighborhood Highlight: Cabbagetown

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I figured that this might work where I highlight a very unique and well-planned out neighborhood that stuck in my mind as a staple of what Atlanta should look like.  Let’s start with a very unique (aren’t they all?) nook just east of Downtown.  Ladies and Gents, I give you: Cabbagetown

From walking through these sort of one-way streets, I felt like I was back down in Savannah from the one lone palmetto and the cottage-style homes.  It also had to do that the neighborhood sat next to the famed Oakland Cemetery.  It’s history is even more intriguing.  It was once a mill town before and after the Civil War, as noted by the large and hard-to-miss Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts, known as one of the largest loft communities in America.  The name association of “Cabbagetown” is debatable, but I will stick with the most reasonable of being that the residents planted Cabbages in the front yards to hide the foul odor of the neighborhood.  Yeah.   I grew up in a mill town in south Georgia, so I can relate. 

Today, the neighborhood boasts a mix of younger and older couples alike, a few unique spots like Little’s Food Store, which in my mind is the LAST REMAINING TRUE SOUTHERN GENERAL STORE IN ATLANTA!!!  They have great sliders, too.  Agave, the southwestern eatery at Boulevard and Carroll Street adds a high-class touch to the very laid-back ‘hood (expect long lines).  Also, 97 Estoria is a pretty hoppin’ pub near the famed Krog Street Tunnel, which connects the neighborhood with Inman Park with whom I’ve complimented both neighborhoods on their pride neighborhood conservation.  I love the feel of this neighborhood planning wise because it gives off the most close-knit family feel out of any neighborhood in the area.  It is small enough to walk from one side to the other, and the look of the neighborhood would give any guy looking to recreate the movie “Project X” a run for their money.  I mean, wouldn’t you rather walk through this neighborhood than have to hassle a vehicle around these alleyway streets? C’mon…

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Much Ado About Avondale

ImageGreetings, Loyal Followers!  Sorry that it’s been so long without a blog.  If it gets this way, I also blog on MARTA Rocks! from time to time.  However, I have soooo much to go on about!  Most recently, I attended the first meeting for the Atlanta Railvolutionaries meeting at the Avondale MARTA Station.  If you haven’t followed with this group, you should.  They are beginning their nonprofit group of advocating transit-oriented development around MARTA stations and encouraging residents and civic leaders alike to engage in conversations to enhance transit accessibility in various communities.  Thursday was the first meeting to discuss the comprehensive plan to surge mixed-use development around the Avondale MARTA station.  Joining us that day was Amanda Thompson, Planning Director with the City of Decatur, Patrick Sweeney, Senior Project Manager for Transit and Transportation from the Atlanta BeltLine, and a host of MARTA representatives.

The study was revived from a 2002 plan to bring life back into the busy commuter station.  If you haven’t been past Decatur, it doesn’t look anything worth traveling to. Local points of interest are the DeKalb Farmers Market (1/2 or so mile walk away), the Waffle House Museum (which opens every once in a while), the town of Avondale Estates, and a handful of buses that will take you anywhere but there. The plan is to redevelop 7 acres north of the station into mixed-use development, but the land is owned by DeVry University, who cleverly moved their campus to Downtown Decatur to better service MARTA commuters.  There is also plans to renovate the southern portion of the station (which is actually in the city of Decatur) to make the station more of a town center station like the Decatur MARTA station.  This would include: sharing half of MARTA’s parking lots with the “new development”, connecting nearby streets to enhance walkability, and adding restaurants and shops to entice residents and commuters to walk around instead of to their car.  

The plans are still being developed even more and the engineers and developers that attended the meeting, which ended with a formal presentation at Cakes and Ales in the Decatur Town Square, said that it would be possible but would have to go through many hoops to reach success.  I believe that it would be a wonderful gem for the Blue Line as this station does not get the love that it should.  Come to think of it, has anyone visited the nearby breweries that are over there? Keyword: cashcow.

You’re Goin’ Downtown, Bub.

Name the last time you have ever went Downtown for anything. Falcons’ Game? Convention at the World Congress Center? Did you and your crew post up at Underground (when it was worth something), or do you happen to be one of those sheltered types that choose not to bother with it because it seems “scary”?  Contrary to popular belief, Downtown Atlanta is thriving as an community and as an amenity, according to Saporta Report columnist Saba Long.  As a Downtown resident for 4 years, I can attest to the growth that Downtown is seeing as a community and not just a 9-5 business district.  Most of this growth is attributed to Georgia State University, my now alma matter, who fuels most of the growth to supplement the 30,000 plus student body and staff that scatter around Downtown.  Downtown also sees growth from being the heavy tourist bubble of Atlanta, containing the Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena, World of Coke, etc. Conventioneers respect Atlanta in the aspect that all of these attractions are within walking distance and transit accessible to their hotels.  Downtown is also the regional headquarters for Federal, State, and Local offices, all situated in sort of the “no-mans land” south of Five Points.  I personally would love to see that area thrive more to attract people to stay instead of leave once the sun goes down.  Maybe it would be Downtown’s chance at snagging the only thing missing that would make it totally livable: A GROCERY STORE!!!! All in all, I love Downtown.  It makes Atlanta a true blue city and I hope to see Downtown blossom into bigger and better visions. Image

Greetings from the ‘Ward

Greetings, earthlings!  This is TheATLplanner, and I would like to personally welcome you to the BLOG.  I am currently a Graduate student at Georgia Tech getting my Master’s in City and Regional Planning. I live in the Old Fourth Ward, am a avid cyclist, and a HUUUGE MARTA nut.  I have a passion for smart growth and public transit because I believe those are the two things that can turn a plain city into a progressive city.  I am glad to call Atlanta my playground to study and influence other’s into sharing my vision for this dynamic metro area.  On this blog, you will read about many developments happening in the region, who’s doing what, and what we can do better based on other cities’ actions.  Feel free to leave comments where available or email me at mcihlafan_90@yahoo.com. Image