Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua has taken a third swing at blueprints for a huge retail center he wants to build along a future stretch of the Beltline, on the site of a former concrete facility neighboring Glenwood Park. Will this third version of the suburban-style shopping center signal a strikeout for Fuqua Development, which has twice been rejected (and rather harshly) by city planners and neighborhood residents? If neighbors have their way — yes, it will. Creative Loafing reports that Neighborhood Planning Unit-W — which includes East Atlanta, Grant Park, Ormewood Park, and other communities — is urging city planners to send Fuqua back to the drawing board, literally.
This third version isn't exactly a redux of earlier failed plans. The most recent blueprints, as CL notes, shrink the large anchor store envisioned for the site from 155,000 to 143,556 square feet. More noticeably, the plans don't include the extension of the Beltline trail that Fuqua had offered to build. Before you unleash the pitchforks, remember that NPU-W has called Fuqua's vow to extend the trail a conflict of interest. "The City of Atlanta is being offered, gratis, the costs of construction of this portion of the trail, ?plus some form of easement granting a public right of travel over the trail," NPU-W wrote in response to earlier plans. "It is unseemly and inappropriate for such a carrot to be dangled by a developer ..."
UPDATE: Creative Loafing has amended its earlier post; the revised plans will indeed include the Beltline trail extension, though it's difficult to tell in the above blueprints.
As you may recall, some residents around Glenwood Park and its surrounding patchwork of neighborhoods switched into hell-no activist mode when whispers that Walmart could anchor Fuqua's development turned to fact last fall.
·Fuqua submits third plan for retail complex along Glenwood Avenue [Creative Loafing]
· A Glenwood drama recap [Curbed Atlanta]