Memorial Drive Corridor initiative winds down after 4 years

In 2015, stakeholders created and funded a full-time planning position for the Memorial Drive Corridor from Downtown to East Lake. This effort grew out of the Georgia Tech Imagine Memorial study commissioned by Councilmember Natalyn Mosby Archibong in 2014 and builds on years of planning work by Councilmember Carla Smith and neighborhood leaders.

Central Atlanta Progress agreed to host the Corridor Executive position because it has a shared interest in quality redevelopment of Memorial Drive and experience with incubating similar organizations. Although CAP has been an enthusiastic partner, this effort has been entirely funded by donations from property owners, developers, neighborhood organizations, and other non-profits on the Corridor.

Four years later, we are proud to report that this role has been essential to guiding more than $1.5 billion in private development and tens of millions of dollars in public infrastructure to make the Corridor safer and more walkable for the future (see below for more details). The most significant project to date is the ongoing resurfacing and restriping of four miles of Memorial Drive from Reynoldstown to East Lake.

A view of the new lane configuration under construction on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown. Better sidewalks coming soon on both sides.

The long-term goal was always to spin this role into a new Community Improvement District. Unfortunately, we don’t have the support of key commercial property owners to do so at this time. The current fundraising model is not sustainable. Some donors have been incredibly generous and patient, while other stakeholders who benefit from the work haven’t contributed. An enormous amount of work remains for the Corridor to reach its full potential as the best urban street in Atlanta. The need for a permanent organization to advocate for limited public resources to be spent on Memorial Drive will only grow. It’s possible that a new coalition will form to continue this work in the future.

Greg Giuffrida has made the difficult decision to step down and pursue other opportunities in Atlanta. He will continue to collaborate on a limited volunteer basis with neighborhood and non-profit organizations on projects that improve safety and walkability on Memorial Drive.

We are deeply grateful for the support and encouragement of our elected officials, public servants, donors, neighborhood leaders and literally thousands of residents and business owners we have interacted with throughout this process. Thank you for everything you continue to do for Southeast Atlanta.
Continue reading “Memorial Drive Corridor initiative winds down after 4 years”

Imagine Memorial LCI plan kicks off with public design studio Sept. 27-29

ATLANTA _ Residents and business owners in the Memorial Drive neighborhoods will have the opportunity to help plan the future of the Corridor at a public design studio Sept. 27-29 for the Imagine Memorial LCI plan.

We’re trying a different approach with community engagement with this plan. Rather than hosting a handful of weeknight meetings over a few months, we’re hosting a design studio over three days, including day and evening hours and a Saturday. Some people can’t attend weeknight meetings, so we want to give more options for stakeholders to participate.

A team of planners and urban designers from Lord Aeck Sargent will be available the entire time to listen to your ideas, and actually sit down with you to sketch out designs in real-time. We hope it’s a more interactive and creative approach to planning that reflects the unique character of our part of the City.


  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 10 am to 8 pm
  • Friday, Sept. 28, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 am to 2 pm


Media Center at Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School, 256 Clifton St SE, Atlanta, GA 30317.

MARTA route #21 stops in front of the school on Memorial Drive. Bikes may be locked to the signs at the north end of the campus. Parking is available on the back (east side) of the campus. Enter the driveway on Clifton Street nearest to Memorial Drive and follow the signs for “Public Meeting.”  

You may drop by any time that’s convenient for you, but we are also seeking groups to schedule specific blocks of time to focus on certain areas. For example, leaders from the East Lake neighborhood may schedule a time to visit together for a work session to focus on their specific concerns. Any group can schedule a time by contacting Eboni Brown at 470-234-5323 or

To learn more about the LCI program and what topics it covers, please keep reading.

Continue reading “Imagine Memorial LCI plan kicks off with public design studio Sept. 27-29”

Answers to questions on Imagine Memorial Plan RFP released

Answers to questions from consultants who are considering proposals for the Imagine Memorial LCI Plan have been answered. The questions and answers are available in PDF form here and after the jump.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is available here. More background on the LCI program and Imagine Memorial is available here.

Final proposals are due by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, June 9, 2017. 

Continue reading “Answers to questions on Imagine Memorial Plan RFP released”

Request for Proposals issued for Imagine Memorial LCI plan

ATLANTA _ Memorial Drive Atlanta, in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress, is seeking proposals from consultants to complete the Imagine Memorial Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan. The Request for Proposals (RFP) is available here.

All qualified parties are encouraged to review the RFP and consider making a submission. The deadline is 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, June 9, 2017. Stakeholders are also welcome to review the RFP and participate in community engagement later this summer.

UPDATE: Answers to questions submitted for the RFP are available here.

Continue reading “Request for Proposals issued for Imagine Memorial LCI plan”

Update on near-term safety projects for Memorial Drive

ATLANTA _ The Imagine Memorial Transportation Committee formed from the 2014 Imagine Memorial study has been working closely with Georgia Department of Transportation staff on advocating for long-term safety improvements to Memorial Drive. The death of pedestrian Barbara Crawford on March 20 and a rash of recent crashes give this work a new sense of urgency. Here is an update on projects that are being introduced in response:

1. Short-term: Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs)

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons are enhanced mid-block crosswalks activated by pedestrians that use flashing red lights to require all vehicles to stop. (See below for more details; a local example can be seen on North Avenue at Georgia Tech.) Georgia DOT’s District 7 and Traffic Safety and Operations teams are currently considering new PHBs at the following locations, in order of priority:

  • Kirkwood/Parkview: In the vicinity of Campbell/Eleanor/Howard Streets, near the site of the March 20 fatality. The exact location will be determined by engineering judgement based on topography, sightlines, and observations of current pedestrian and traffic patterns.

    A new Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon is being considering in the vicinity of Howard Street, near where Barbara Crawford was killed March 20.
  • East Lake: Existing crosswalk at Daniel Avenue, at the northeast corner of East Lake Park.

    GDOT staff installs a temporary pedestrian counter to collect data at the crosswalk near Daniel Avenue at East Lake Park.
  • Cabbagetown/Grant Park: In the vicinity between Boulevard and Pearl Street, likely near Berean Avenue.

    A boy crosses Memorial Drive through traffic at Berean Avenue from Cabbagetown south to Grant Park. Despite the sign, there is no painted crosswalk here. At right (not visible) is the Wilderness Works program for at-risk youth. At left (not visible) is The New School campus.
  • Oakland Cemetery/Grant Park: In the vicinity of the Cemetery’s pedestrian gate and the Grant Park commercial district.

    Pedestrians frequently cross Memorial Drive between Oakland Cemetery’s pedestrian gate and the popular Grant Park commercial district.

Funding: GDOT’s “Quick Response” program, which allows urgent safety projects to be designed and built on an accelerated schedule of 3-4 months. The upper limit is $200,000 each. The first two projects will likely be funded in Fiscal 2017, which ends June 30.

Timeline: Feasibility and design is in progress for the first two projects. It is possible for construction to finish by the end of Summer 2017. A potential delay could be the lead time required for procuring the equipment. Continue reading “Update on near-term safety projects for Memorial Drive”

Bids sought for next phase of Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for developers to submit proposals for Phase II of 890 Memorial Drive, known as the Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing.

This former warehouse was in the process of being renovated by a private developer when the combination of the economic downturn and damage from the 2008 tornado stalled the project. It was acquired in 2011 by Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., and work was completed on 29 condominium units and one commercial space. Twenty-eight of the units were sold as workforce housing in 2012 to families earning under $69,000.

The first phase of Lofts of Reynoldstown Crossing was a successful adaptive-reuse of a former warehouse into workforce housing. The project was a stop on the 2016 Phoenix Flies tour for Atlanta Preservation Center.

Following the successful development of Phase I, ABI is looking to begin the next phase of construction. There are several goals a developer must meet, including:

  1. Housing with a minimum of 40% of the units meeting the affordability requirements outlined
  2. A commitment and feasible approach towards long-term affordability exceeding 50 years with public or community control over the decision to convert affordable workforce units into unrestricted units
  3. Pedestrian-friendly design of all street and Atlanta BeltLine corridor frontages in keeping with the BeltLine Overlay District
  4. A project design and use of the site which activates the area through interactive Memorial Drive and/or Chester Avenue frontages

The complete RFP can be accessed at the Atlanta BeltLine website.