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Investors aren’t giddy about dropping big bucks for Buckhead park over Ga. 400

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Some have raised eyebrows about spending $250 million to build a park in a well-developed neighborhood

A view of a proposed plaza at Buckhead’s highway-capping park.
Potential investors reportedly aren’t quite sure this is the best use of their cash.
Renderings: Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, via Buckhead Community Improvement District

Investors seem reticent to fork over the big bucks to help build a $250 million park over Ga. Highway 400 in Buckhead, according to Reporter Newspapers.

Preliminary plans for the functional green space—tentatively called Park Over GA 400—call for $75 million of the grand total to be funded via private philanthropic investments.

The project would ultimately cap Ga. Highway 400 between Peachtree and Lenox roads, bringing needed park space, as well as a renovated Buckhead MARTA station, to the area.

But a new study conducted by fundraising consultant Coxe Curry & Associates analyzed the feasibility of the philanthropic efforts, and suggested development officials dampen their expectations for donations, according to Reporter Newspapers.

Coxe Curry & Associates’s report studied interviews with 21 “potential donors”—17 of which said they’d consider writing a check, even though they take issue with some aspects of the park plans.

Interviewees also largely said they had a positive outlook on the park design overall, although they were skeptical about the project’s capacity to help Buckhead’s biggest issue, traffic congestion.

Many prospective investors interviewed told the company the projected $250 million price tag entails a “huge investment.” Some also inquired as to whether other infrastructure improvements were more deserving of their cash, the publication reported.

In central Buckhead, a highway-capping park concept revealed as part of a study in September.
Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, via Buckhead Community Improvement District

In other instances of philanthropy-funded parks, it was noted, people invested when they believed the green space could be a boon to the economy. But in Buckhead, the local economy is already very stable, so some feel the money would be better spent elsewhere.

The Buckhead Community Improvement District, which initially pitched the park idea and remains a driving force, said it doesn’t aim to use tax cash to fund the project, according to the newspaper.

Project officials plan to ask for grants and other investments from the likes of the City of Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and MARTA, the publication reported.