I grew up in this neighorhood. I walked home from Grady High School by this very intersection. I skipped class at Grady in this very park. I still walk my dog all over this neighborhood. A mid-rise building at this location would in no way ruin the feeling of the neighborhood. Perhaps folks who think this is a particularly charming intersection in need of saving are ignoring the ugly gray stadium surrounded by chain link fencing across the street. Or the ugly stip center where the Blockbuster used to be. This is not N. Highland and Virginia Ave, people.
The don't think this piece of land HAS to be greenspace, either. It is right across the street from some charming old storefronts, and a well designed project (i.e. not Mason's) could fit nicely with the area. So I (surprise) support the city's rezoning of the property. Please read Thomas Wheatley's entire article that I just linked to, but I particularly like this segment:
With smart development, officials say, the dysfunctional corner could serve as a “new gateway” to Piedmont Park and spur a nearby walkable village. They say the project also needs adjacent development to boost transit ridership, compete for federal funding, and fuel the tax allocation district that’s the chief funding source for the 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit.All of that sounds about right to me, and I think it is important to note that there is still a bit of reason left in the neighborhood.
The issue of density in the Beltline’s northeast segment has been a frequent topic of debate at recent planning meetings. (At last month’s presentation, the only topic neighbors wanted to discuss was the 10th and Monroe proposal.) Many in attendance were opposed to the concept for the same reasons outlined above. Others, such as Angel Poventud and Sally Flocks of pedestrian advocacy group PEDS, said that the Beltline plans outline a long-term vision for Atlanta, which is only expected to grow. Flocks said many of her friends’ children can’t afford to live in the city and that the Beltline might offer them an opportunity.
Also, Thomas linked to the most recent NE Study Group plans (pdf), which have some great plans for how the BeltLine looks to improve that area. The improved intersection at Virginia/1oth/Monroe is great, and they have a plan for finally connecting Ponce and Monroe through the Midtown Arts property. The neighborhood can blame themselves for the design for Sembler's Ponce property, too, fwiw. They fought denser proposals, so we all ended up with another strip center.
While we are at it, can we get a new fence surrounding Grady Stadium?