According to an impassioned emailer named Eric, if metro Atlanta’s development landscape was an NBA basketball game, places like Buckhead and Old Fourth Ward would be ball-hogging Kobe Bryants and Carmelo Anthonys, while a sizable eastside swath of the region where ITP meets OTP is a Pippen-esque All-Star who can’t get off the bench.
Eric, whose email avatar is notably the Garbage Pail Kid “Eerie Eric,” poses some interesting questions:
“I want to know why I see little to no stories on Atlanta's East side (Clarkston, Avondale Estates, Stone Mountain, Pine Lake, etc.),” he writes today. “These locations are SO CLOSE to The Perimeter and not only do I see no stories, I see little to no development happening on this side of town.”
Additionally, he wonders if it’s an issue of demographics or traditional Atlanta development trends.
“Why is everything expanding north and west?” Eric writes. “What about the south and east sides? ... I think it's about time we get our share of all of the development that's going on around the city.”
This comes on the heels of a similar complaint from the same area last year, when reader Elgin Pritchett sung the praises of Scottdale, a DeKalb community between Decatur and Interstate 285 that’s home to Your DeKalb Farmers Market, a 55-acre residential project called Reserve at Mill Creek, and “numerous infill residential developments taking place with new construction in the mid-$400,000 price range," per the emailer. Pritchett opined that Scottdale was also getting zero love.
What is it with the far eastside (or inner western ‘burbs) feeling slighted? Is there some underlying injustice to these gripes?
In any case, to be fair, the areas in question haven’t been entirely overlooked.
Clarkston has been all over the pages of the AJC and Atlanta magazine lately, among other places, in positive refugee tales and other stories noting the city’s progressive stance on pot decriminalization.
Last month, news emerged about MARTA breaking ground on its second transit-oriented development — a whopping 378 market-rate apartments and 92 senior housing units are in the offing — around the Avondale station, as seen below:
In Scottdale, you may have seen news on developments large and small on these pages, including adaptive-reuse plans for this intersection.
Last summer, we checked in with the massive expansion site planned for Your DeKalb Famers Market and found little more than crickets (below). Two years since site-clearing had begun, officials with the international market said plans are still moving forward, albeit it slowly and carefully.
In any case, the email (and passion) is appreciated, and the question is a complex one there may be no single answer to.
- ATL Reader: Can Scottdale Get a Little Love or What? [Curbed Atlanta]