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Three metro Atlanta projects recognized as redevelopment all-stars

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Additionally, Buckhead leaders hailed for vision, pushing limits

Earlier this month, more than 200 municipal and development leaders met in Gwinnett County for a daylong summit on smart growth. Kind of ironic, but anyway ...

The Metro Atlanta Redevelopment Summit featured talks by planners, developers, and others who are shaping growth throughout the metro area. Also, three redevelopment projects from around the city were recognized for their successes.

Coming in at under one acre, Parsons Alley in Duluth took the Neighborhood Redevelopment Award. Featuring an array of restaurants and shops in the historic core of Duluth, the project has successfully enlivened the town center. Or at least it will, when finished.

Taking the Community Redevelopment Award for projects from one to 10 acres was the still under-construction City Springs in Sandy Springs. Slated to open at the end of next year, the development includes a new city hall, performing arts venue, retail, and residences, surrounding a large public park, all topping an 800-car underground parking deck.

Finally, the redevelopment of Decatur’s Suburban Plaza took the Regional Redevelopment Award for large projects. The project, while controversial, transformed a dated shopping center into a more modernized development, sparking the construction of mixed-use developments on parking lots and other land in the area.

Additionally, two civic leaders were recognized as redevelopment champions of the year for the "significant impact in metro Atlanta through their work and dedication to revitalizing the region through redevelopment."

Denise Starling, the executive director of Livable Buckhead, and Jim Durrett, the executive director of the Buckhead CID — both Field Note Fridays alums — beat out former mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin and Chris McGahee, the economic development manager of Duluth, for the prize.

Starling and Durrett have been pushing in recent years to make Buckhead a more walkable, livable, mixed-use neighborhood. The two are instrumental in both PATH 400 and the Ga. Highway 400-topping park, respectively, underway in Buckhead.