As Atlanta’s population grows, the city’s green space stock—among other things—will need to swell as well, and newly passed legislation is headed to the mayor’s desk that should help expand one of our most popular parks.
During one of his last press conferences as Atlanta mayor, ex-Hizzoner Kasim Reed announced Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden would eventually undergo a $100 million expansion, bringing the green space all the way to the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive.
The idea was essentially to create a new park gateway to the north, beside the Beltline’s future route, largely made possible by $80 million in donor funding, chipped in by some of Atlanta’s largest corporations and others.
On Monday, the Atlanta City Council elected to drop the remaining amount needed—just over $20 million—to tack on three acres of Midtown property to the already massive (185 acres) Piedmont Park and the adjoining botanical garden, according to Saporta Report.
Luckily, the shops and restaurants on the Piedmont and Monroe block would remain open; they’d just have to start paying rent to the city.
That could change, however, after the city develops that corner of the land. Plans call for a new front entryway to the park and garden to be built around there, Saporta Report reports.
Councilwoman Jennifer Ide said during the meeting that Piedmont Park is one of the busiest—if not the busiest—parks in town, and its growth will be crucial to accommodate the influx of new residents expected to flood Atlanta in coming years.
Additionally, $10 million in TSPLOST funds would be used for this project, and the lone “No”-voter of the council Monday was Natalyn Archibong, who noted this green space expansion wasn’t what voters in the 2016 referendum were asking for.
The rest of the bill will be covered by the Beltline and park impact fees.