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Grant Park’s zoo parking deck redo moves forward with greenspace and restaurant

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The progressive deck concept will accomodate neighborhood growth while providing a new amenity, officials say

A terraced lawn with glassy restaurant beyond.
A rendering of the park and restaurant atop the deck.
Smith Dalia

Parking spaces and park spaces may be separated linguistically by only a syllable, but as urban features, the two are diametrically opposed.

Combining the two might seem incongruous, but a massive new parking deck is planned to incorporate loads of greenspace in Grant Park, offering the best of both worlds, officials say.

According to a City of Atlanta press release, the $48 million “Grant Park Gateway Project” will provide space for nearly 1,000 cars, while also creating a new park space and restaurant at the Boulevard side of Grant Park.

The deck’s development comes in response to a lack of parking in the booming neighborhood, coupled with the expansion of adjacent Zoo Atlanta.

Designed by local architecture firm Smith Dalia, the four-story deck will rise on an existing eight-acre parking lot, but it won’t be visible from the street, thanks to a large change in elevation.

Rather, the spacious new greenspace atop the deck will meet the street, while the 4,000-square-foot restaurant will cater to pedestrians and parkgoers.

Renderings indicate the Zoo Atlanta side of the deck will be masked by a screen of some kind.

Plans call for the project to be LEED-certified, with measures in place to reduce storm water runoff and improve air quality.

But improving the environment isn’t the only good the deck will do: According to the project’s master planner and landscape architect HGOR, funds from the restaurant will be going back into the park, creating a more self-sustaining Grant Park.

An aerial overview of the park.
Smith Dalia

Zoo Atlanta

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