The Atlanta BeltLine connects people in new ways, and no better was this seen than at the BeltLine MarketPlace Block Party on August 20, 2022. Hosted on the Westside Trail at the newly completed Westside BeltLine MarketPlace on Allene Avenue, SW, the community came out en masse to celebrate the inaugural BeltLine MarketPlace Day.
BeltLine MarketPlace is a pilot program that provides new, affordable commercial space for local, minority-, Black-, and women-owned businesses. Six businesses were selected from a pool of over 200 applicants to participate in the pilot, which includes customized container storefronts on the Westside and Eastside Trails, access to some 2 million potential customers, and wrap-around business service support.
Droves of neighborhood residents and community members came out to support the newly opened businesses and celebrate with them at the BeltLine MarketPlace Day Block Party. The festivities kicked off with a drumline by Atlanta Ol Skool Drummers, inviting trail users, passersby, and residents to gather and lean in to the fun.
As the Westside BeltLine MarketPlace deck welcomed customers to check out products, chat with the owners, or enjoy the ambiance, families meandered around the blocked-off street, enjoying the activities. Among the happenings were a facepainting with SkinzartKids, children’s craft table presented by The Happy Black Parent, an interactive breakdancing demonstration presented by Burn Unit, and a community activation from V103.
Fresh Radio also did a live radio broadcast on site and added to the atmosphere with a great selection of music and table-side chats with BeltLine MarketPlace partners Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, CEO of The Village Market; Kelvin Collins, Vice President of Economic Development at Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.; Michael Davis, Deputy Executive Director at Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; and Tony Pope, Founder and design principal for Atelier 7 Architects, the mastermind behind the Marketplace’s customized containers.
The BeltLine MarketPlace Day Block Party was a beautiful example of what’s possible when communities come together. For those who missed in the fun, the BeltLine MarketPlace businesses are beginning to settle into their new spaces on the Eastside and Westside Trails. At the Eastside BeltLine MarketPlace, be on the look out for delicious cakes from Cococakes by Coco, unbelievably vegan sloppy joes from Good As Burgers, and fun, Atlanta-minded t-shirts from Grady Baby Company & Apparel. The Westside BeltLine Marketplace will offer melt-in-your-mouth cookies from Not As Famous Cookie Company, beautiful potted plants from PinkPothos, and fresh specialty coffee and pastries from Urban Grind.
The shops are open Wednesday-Sunday. Check hours of operation at beltline.org/marketplace.
BeltLine MarketPlace is a joint initiative of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and The Village Market. It is organized in alliance with Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and Atelier 7 Architects and made possible with the generous support of the Kendeda Fund.