From the desk of Clyde Higgs, Chief Executive Officer of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Next week, more Atlanta BeltLine history will be made as we break ground on the first section of the Southside Trail to go into construction. For the first time, the Atlanta BeltLine will have three segments of the corridor under construction at the same time. Atlanta, this is huge!
This first phase, known as Southside Trail West, runs about a mile from the southern terminus (near Capitol View Apartments) of the Westside Trail to Pittsburgh Yards on University Avenue. Southside Trail-West was selected as the first segment in a phased approach to construction because of its connection between four emerging job centers—Pittsburgh Yards, Murphy Crossing, and Lee + White and the Metropolitan.
As ABI delivers transformative public infrastructure, the question of affordability is a top priority. We cannot have affordable housing in a city or a neighborhood without also taking into consideration employment and mobility opportunities in that area. On the southside, we have a tremendous opportunity to work with strategic partners and the community to cultivate a community-centric approach to economic development that is grounded in workforce development and job creation. Parallel to economic development are concerted efforts to preserve and create affordable housing. By taking this multi-faceted approach to development, legacy residents will be greater equipped to not only stay in their homes and their neighborhoods, but to enjoy and take advantage of the Atlanta BeltLine.
While the Southside Trail-West construction is underway, the BeltLine team will continue to advance design, real estate acquisition, and funding sources necessary to construct the full length of the paved Southside Trail. Our goal is be shovel-ready by the end of 2020.
When historians memorialize the next wave of Atlanta BeltLine progress, they will talk about this moment, when we connected the east and west sides of Atlanta. We hope that you will join us as we celebrate the first step towards that reality with the groundbreaking of Southside Trail-West.
The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. Full details can be found at beltline.org.
— Clyde Higgs