In recent years, Atlanta leaders have stirred up a lot of hullabaloo by renaming roads around town.
Some streets have been rechristened for Atlanta natives that helped create the city’s civic and structural identities, such as John Lewis Freedom Parkway and John Portman Boulevard. Another renaming paid homage to longtime local Ted Turner, the media mogul and global philanthropist.
Now, according to WSB-TV, Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd is lobbying to adorn another stretch of city roadways with a celebrity title: Tyler Perry Studio Way.
The streets Sheperd wants to see renamed—Desheler Street and Hardee Avenue—lead up to the movie mogul’s studio at Fort McPherson. That’s a few miles southwest of downtown, near the Lakewood-Fort McPherson MARTA Station.
Still, some Atlantans were reportedly up in arms about the lack of community engagement prior to Sheperd’s pitch, and the proposal was tabled until December 20, after a public input session can be held.
I was just starting to get over the fact that Tyler Perry received close to 400 acres of prime property for pennies, didnt create close to the number of jobs he promised, along w/ the fact that the area surrounding the base is as blighted as it was b4 he bought it. Now this smh.— Alan Holmes (@oh_HOLMES) November 28, 2018
In 2014, Perry—who also built Georgia’s most expensive home—purchased 330 acres of Fort McPherson, a former U.S. Army base, and situated one of his film studios there.
Since then, little more than rumblings have materialized about a jobs-creating megaproject at the site. The development of a mixed-use, Fort McPherson mini-city could one day boast restaurants, retail, apartments, and arts venues, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Perry has done wonders for putting Atlanta on the map as an entertainment powerhouse. And in recent years, the studios have emerged as one of the country’s largest television and movie production compounds, with 12 cutting-edge sound stages, per Tyler Perry Studios’s website.
But the venture has drawn criticism as being a walled-off fortress that does little for communities beyond.
Which begs the question: Does Perry’s track record warrant the renaming of city streets? It’s time for a poll.
Should Southwest Atlanta streets be renamed to honor Tyler Perry?
This poll is closed
Maybe "Madea Way" would be better?