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In Grant Park, a 1,000-car parking deck is planned

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Deck would swallow a surface parking lot and old trees, but provide new green space at the top level

Grant Park is the oldest city park in Atlanta, covering 131 acres with key attractions including Zoo Atlanta. Laid out by the world-famous Olmstead Brothers — the sons of the man who designed Central Park in New York City — the park is a green oasis surrounded by Victorian homes.

While the park is big on green space, wild animals, and walking trails, the historic nature of the place means there isn’t much parking. However, that’s all about to change.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports the city will soon solicit bids from firms interested in constructing a massive parking deck on the eastern edge of the park. Plans call for a 1,030-car facility to replace an 8-acre surface parking lot that's dotted with lots of large oak trees.

But rather than be an eyesore from the street, the three-story deck would be embedded in a hill and topped by an amphitheater, athletic fields, and even a restaurant, accessed at street level from the surrounding neighborhood.

Officials hope the facility will serve the park, the zoo, and other attractions in the surrounding neighborhood (one of Atlanta's hottest) well into the future.

The news comes as Zoo Atlanta plows ahead with expansions and renovations that will likely draw more people to Grant Park.

No word on a timeline.

Zoo Atlanta

800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 404 624 9453 Visit Website