An unassuming basement bike shop in Adair Park could soon expand its footprint and bolster programming options alongside the Beltline’s Westside Trail.
Since 2010, Bearings Bike Shop has been operating out of a basement at 982 Murphy Avenue, beneath old warehouse space along the MARTA line that runs between West End and Oakland City Stations.
Now, the organization, which provides a student-led program for kids to earn bikes they build from scratch, has taken over the whole property and is working with architects and developers to imagine the future of its aging metal buildings.
The makeover—expected to be carried out in two phases of construction—is being funded by a capital campaign that wooed donations from the likes of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Foundation.
The potentially $1.5 million Phase 1 “will renovate the double Quonset hut on the property”—previously an automotive shop—“and move our program space from the basement to this new light-filled 5,000-square-foot program space,” said Becky O’Mara, Bearings co-founder, in an email to Curbed Atlanta.
The space would feature upwards of 20 bike stands and classroom space “for in-depth teaching and training opportunities,” she added.
O’Mara said the organization just began the zoning review process with the City of Atlanta and hopes to launch construction this winter and open next summer.
The overhaul’s second phase, which could cost another $1 million—and require another fundraising effort—would entail the renovation of the two other buildings on the 0.8-acre site.
“We will expand our sales and service arm and open a dedicated retail bike shop space that sells refurbished bikes and offers full repair services to customers,” said O’Mara. “The primary purpose of the shop will be job training for teens and young adults moving through the program.”
That piece of the puzzle, she said, is expected to deliver in late 2021.