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.
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”