How can four abandoned railroad corridors looping through Atlanta be the key to tying the city together and providing affordable housing? The simple answer, transit! On today’s All About Real Estate episode, Atlanta BeltLine Communications and Media Manager Jenny Odom discusses the details of the $5 billion project that has already intertwined into residents’ hearts and the future development planned for the popular Atlanta BeltLine.
When completed, the BeltLine will cover 22 miles of light rail transit, 32 miles of trails and 1,300 acres of surrounding green space. Since the official groundbreaking in 2008, several parts of the trail have been developed, each with a unique style. The Eastside Trail connects Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland, Midtown, Poncey-Highland, Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park neighborhoods and features stops at Krog Street Market, Ponce City Market and Historic Fourth Ward Park. One of the ambitious goals is to surround the city’s core with a multi-use transit to ensure development for affordable housing.
The path is lined with the creativity of Atlanta’s local artists and has provided promising urban revitalization. When beginning the project, the city required Atlanta BeltLine Inc. to fund at least 5,600 affordable homes along the trail when it’s completed in 2030. “Density is critical to this project because we are a growing region,” explained Odom. “To preserve affordability, we are providing 2,600 units within walking distance of the beltline.” While the beauty and culture of the beltline are great, it is not about the physical connection to neighborhoods, but the ability to connect these communities to places, spaces and resources necessary for them to thrive.
This project began as post-industrial land and has converted to productive use. In 2017, the beltline attracted over 2 million people! “Atlanta doesn’t have a central waterfront like a river or lake,” stated Odom. “This product gives residents a beach-front property feel and we work hard to keep people in a place they want to be and give them something they do not currently have.”
Aside from transit creating density around neighborhoods and ultimately reducing the cost of living, Atlanta BeltLine also hosts some of the most popular events in the region. Art on the Atlanta BeltLine currently features the largest photography exhibition in the country, Atlanta and the Civil Rights Movement, 1944-1968, across four miles of the Eastside and Westside Trails. On September 22, the BeltLine Lantern Parade will lead thousands of marchers down the Eastside Trail while tons of homemade lanterns of all shapes and sizes light up the night sky.
According to beltline.org, The Atlanta BeltLine is the most comprehensive transportation and economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States. To learn more about this project, tune into the podcast with the link above. To learn more about where the development is at and to explore an interactive map of the beltline, visit https://beltline.org.
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