Big changes are afoot for Piedmont Heights and surrounding communities, as the Atlanta Beltline gets closer to its neighborhood debut.
The Northeast Beltline Trail, an arc of the 22-mile loop to-be, will snake north from Piedmont Park, through neighborhoods Ansley Park, Sherwood Forest, and Piedmont Heights, all the way up to the Lindbergh MARTA station.
Beltline officials are currently designing the trail—and its promised transit counterpart—while electric utility Georgia Power finishes up a power line rebuild project adjacent part of the coming pathway.
Georgia Power is currently in the process of replacing its outdated transmission lines, although the company plans to cease operations during the summertime—its busiest season.
The uprooting and replacing of those massive poles will recommence in the Fall, after which the Beltline’s designs will begin to be realized in concrete form.
Because of the utility’s project, the Northeast Trail’s development will be split into three fragments. The middle piece, stretching from the north side of Piedmont Park to Mayson Street, will be the first part developed—after Georgia Power is out of the way.
The segments from Monroe Drive to Westminster Drive, the eastern border of Piedmont Park, and from Mayson to Lindbergh are still in the procurement process.
During an April 25 meeting hosted by the Greater Piedmont Heights Business Alliance, Beltline officials and developers discussed the wave of business interest that has been sweeping though the area as the new trail nears construction.
Selig Enterprises, for instance, plans to breathe new life—bringing in new tenants and (hopefully) easy Beltline access—into the Ansley Mall complex, which abuts the middle portion of the Northeast Trail project.
Meantime, on Monroe Drive, Paces Properties is working with hospitality company Bunkhouse to turn a decades-old extended-stay motel into a boutique lodging for businesspeople.
But it’s not all been smooth sailing for the Northeast Beltline’s neighbors. In March 2016, Atlanta Beltline, Inc. sued a group of residents on Piedmont Heights’s Flagler Avenue, claiming it controlled some of the land behind their homes, according to Atlanta Loop.
The Flagler residents fought back, claiming the disputed land was part of their backyards. After a two-plus-year legal battle, they ultimately settled the lawsuit, essentially agreeing they’d encroached on project property.
That debacle set the trail’s development plan off course, delaying ABI and Georgia Power’s progress by a few months.
Still, assuming ABI can timely secure funding for this part of the path, the Northeast Trail could be complete by 2020, according to project officials.
Until then, check out this drone footage of the dirt track that will become the Northeast Trail between Montgomery Ferry Road and Interstate 85, courtesy of Piedmont Heights Civic Association President Gary Dresser.