Published on May 27th, 2015 |7
CID presented 1st vision for ‘park out of thin air’ over GA 400
Introducing the presentation by Jacobs consulting firm and GreenRock Partners urban design and landscape architecture firm, BCID Executive Director Jim Durrett referred the proposed project as “creating a park out of thin air.”
Jacobs Principal and Planning Director Monte Wilson, who was the chief presenter of the vision to the CID board, spoke of leveraging linkages with transit, the surrounding office and residential developments and the shopping opportunities in the central business district of Buckhead.
Wilson spoke of a similar park (the Klyde Warren Park) that was created over an interstate highway in Dallas at a cost of $110 million (46 percent from private contributions and 54 percent from other sources) and has attracted 2 million visitors in just two years and increased the value of office space surrounding it by three times.
He told the CID board that his firm’s initial analysis had found no fatal flaws in the proposed park plan and they are now in the process of defining a vision for that park—benchmarking the visual plan with renderings and graphics before moving into the more precise feasibility study. That would be the next step if approved and funded by the CID board.
The vision as presented Tuesday shows the one-third-mile-long park skipping across Peachtree Road to the front door of the Atlanta Financial Center
and creating an active green plaza space there at the Buckhead MARTA rail station main entrance.
“The active MARTA plaza next to the Buckhead Station is the more urban component of the plan,” GreenRock Partners President Jay Scott told the BCID board members as he described the present vision for elements within the entire length of the proposed park.
Scott described the central area of the park as a series of gardens where people could gather for quiet activities and the new MARTA bridge portal as including a food truck area and being made more graphically dramatic.
Scott said the vision for the northern most part of the park (linking to Lenox Road loop) is as a performance area that would hold 4,000 to 7,000 people and would include a small stage for performances. He also described a vision for some sort of public art beacon to anchor the northern end of the park.
The plan showed a crossover ramp suggestion as to how PATH400 might link to the park for bikers and walkers by crossing over Lenox Road to connect to the park.
Mark Banta, president of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, was the man who was hired in Dallas to create the Klyde Warren Park and told the CID
board that such a venture requires a public/private partnership to become a reality.
Banta said $22 million per acre is a reasonable figure to consider for developing such a park. That would place the cost for the Buckhead park at $198 million or more.
In Dallas, Banta said it was a foundation that was formed “to build the park out of fresh air and make sure it is maintained and is clean, safe and active.”
Banta was questioned about the lack of additional parking in the Dallas park plan and also in the proposed park plan for Buckhead and he said the peak use for the park is in evenings and weekends, which works well with bank schedules, because they are closed and parking spaces become available.
He said the main difference between the situation in Dallas and in Buckhead is that Dallas had virtually no residential developments around the park—virtually all high-rise office towers—where Buckhead has several residential developments almost adjacent to the proposed park.
CID Chairman David Allman wrapped up the presentation by saying, “this obviously leads to further discussion of a feasibility study, which does not have to take place today but should be taken up in the near future.”
To view the Power Point presentation made to the CID board on May 26, click here.