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Like Gorbachev, Tyler Perry Will Tear Down That Wall!

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It makes sense that forts are fortified — after all, it has the frickin' word fort in it — but when a fort is no longer a fort, what's to be done with the barricades? A lot has been said about Fort Tyler Perry McPherson and its conversion into a movie production studio by media mogul Tyler Perry. A few weeks back, Matt Garbett, a resident of Adair Park and blogger at Unplanned Atlanta, wrote a piece for Creative Loafing criticizing Perry's plans and voicing concern that the site, long closed off from the community, would continue to be an isolated compound surrounded by a fence. In response, the executive director of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA), Brian Hooker, sat down with Creative Loafing to assuage fears. And it turns out, he's pretty good at damage control...

Question number one on everyone's mind: "What's going to happen with the wall?" While Hooker leaves readers in suspense for the first few paragraphs, it turns out that plans call for the removal of the wall around the perimeter, with hopes of engaging Campbellton Road to the north of the fort and Lee Street to the east. Encompassing 144 acres of the site, the street-frontage will have amenities to support both the studio and the neighborhood, including housing, hotels, restaurants and building supply stores. Overall, that sounds pretty good and not fort-like at all.

As an added bonus — and a move that seems almost un-Atlantan — the redevelopment will renovate and repurpose "all historically-protected buildings" at the fort, according to Hooker. Though knowing how metro Atlantans treat protected buildings, this promise will be something to monitor as the redevelopment unfolds.

· MILRA head: Fort McPherson walls will come down [Creative Loafing]