Avondale Estates, Georgia – Fences were put up last week around the grounds of the new green town of Avondale Estates. Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks, City Manager Patrick Bryant said.
The city and the development team are meeting on Wednesday, June 2 to discuss project details and set a date for the groundbreaking ceremony. Once construction begins, the project will be completed in about 270 days, Bryant said.
The green city project includes the construction of a four-acre park and an interim solution that replaces commercial development. The park will be located along Route 278 / North Avondale Road between Oak Street and Lake Street.
This project has been in the making for years. The city has been working on the city green for about five years. The project is a joint venture between the City Commission, the Downtown Development Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Agency.
Avondale Estates adopted a downtown master plan in 2014, which included converting the four-acre lot between Oak and Lake streets into a park.
Several years ago, the city bought the land that will be the Green City. In 2018, Avondale launched an open public process to determine the best use of land. “Entry number nine” was the favorite, DDA President Dave Deiters said in an article on the DDA website.
The design was based on a concept submitted by local architect Sheri Locke in May 2019. Locke’s design included commercial buildings next to the road and a public green space behind them, Decaturish reported previously.
The original scope of the project included mixed-use commercial development, but Bryant said at the Feb. 10 city commission meeting that the commercial element is not feasible at this time. In its place, the developers will create an outdoor green space that can be used for things like food trucks or event platforms.
The city reached an agreement and signed a memorandum of understanding with Fabric Developers in November 2019. Fabric then selected the design and construction companies. The City Commission approved a contract with Site Solutions to complete the city’s green design in December 2019.
The Urban Redevelopment Agency approved a contract in May 2021 with Reeves Young to build the project. The base offer was $ 5.7 million, which includes the construction of the park, storm water, construction of a new street and the interim solution. Additionally, Reeves Young will add a fountain to the park and more lighting along Lake Street.
City commissioners celebrated the progress of the project at the URA meeting on May 12 after approving the construction contract with Reeves Young.
“I think that maybe that was the topic of the very first meeting I attended in January 2016 and finally getting to this point is very humbling and it makes me proud,” Pro Mayor Tem Brian Fisher said. during the URA of May 12. meeting, adding that approving the contract was the vote he was most proud of.
Council members thanked everyone who participated in this project, from city staff and former city commissioners to Second Century Avondale, Fabric Developers and others.
“It’s a great day and I’m proud to be part of the team that put this in place,” Commissioner Lionel Laratte said during the meeting.
The park will help the city evolve into a walkable downtown, which is stipulated in the Avondale Downtown Master Plan. The city green will provide additional green space for residents and visitors and will be a great location for events and festivals, Deiters said in his article.
“We’re excited,” Bryant told Decaturish. “It’s a project that lasted several years. It is truly transformative and will act as a catalyst for the future development of the city center.
There are many new developments taking place in downtown Avondale, and the city is also working on other projects, like the US 278 Highway Regime and Complete Streets Project, which will improve the city. But the city cannot depend on these developments to achieve its goal of creating places, Deiters said.
“The Town Green is a major step towards this objective of“ creating places ”for our [commercial business district]”Said Deiters.” All of these exciting changes will not only provide a more enjoyable and viable downtown for our residents, but they will significantly increase the value of corresponding commercial properties, thus diversifying and balancing our taxation.
Mayor Jonathan Elmore said the city and the developers have worked hard to get there and he also hopes the commercial component will be defined soon.
“We’re all excited to start,” Elmore said. “We are about to go through a zoning overhaul [code], the [U.S.] Project 278 is underway, so these are three pretty important projects. We’ve worked really hard to get here and coming out of all the COVID restrictions, that’s just really great news that we need right now, I think, for everyone. “
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