Community News Peachtree-Roxboro1

Published on October 6th, 2016 |

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‘Buckhead REdeFINED’ project begins updating of community master plan

The Buckhead Community Improvement District Oct. 4 kicked off a program to produce a new master plan for the Buckhead community—focusing largely but not entirely on the areas within the CID boundaries—and dubbed the project “Buckhead REdeFINED.”

LBI Executive Director Denise Starling is heading up the months-long process of creating a new community master plan through the Buckhead REdeFINED project.

LBI Executive Director Denise Starling is heading up the months-long process of creating a new community master plan through the Buckhead REdeFINED project.

The master plan project is largely funded by the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Cities Initiative (LCI) through an $112,000 grant and is the first time in 12 years that Buckhead has been studied for an update of a community master plan.

“The changes in the Buckhead community since the last LCI study are dramatic,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead Inc. and the person heading up the “Buckhead REdeFINED” program. “So many big things are going on.”

Because there are so many large projects being studied right now by the BCID—the proposed park over GA 400 and the Lenox Loop and Gateway to Buckhead study for instance—the BCID has decided to include those studies into the larger LCI study as well.

The big question Starling told BCID board members Oct. 5 is “How do we harness this and move it forward?” She said this is now forcing all the various study teams to work together.

Starling said they have created a large steering committee to guide the group study and have created a 100-day action plan that includes numerous opportunities for the public to review activities and provide input, beginning Oct. 17 at 6-8 p.m. at the Atlanta International School.

Several members of the BCID board participated in the Oct. 4 meeting, which was the first for the large steering committee. CID Executive Director Jim Durrett, who attended the Oct. 4 meeting told the CID board, “I was impressed with the people participating and the way the information was presented.”

Starling asked for and was granted by the CID board an increase in the budget for the study of $29,950.

The calendar for the Buckhead REdeFINED study and master plan production includes a market analysis from October through November, concept plan from mid-November to early February 2017 and action plan development from February through April 2017. There will be an online survey that will be available for participation from early November through early April.

Starling told the CID board some interesting information had already come forth for the study, including the fact “place making” comes up as the major issue for people, not traffic.

She said 73 percent of the people who live in the CID’s market segment are millennials. Buckhead has 6 ½ jobs for every resident. “That is the cause of our traffic,” she said, people coming into Buckhead from elsewhere to fill those jobs.

The lowest average Buckhead CID household income by age are people under 24 and over 75, with the highest being among people 45-54. In 2016, the Buckhead CID’s median household income is $76,792. In comparison, the 2016 median household income for the city of Atlanta is $48,405, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Everybody seems concerned about the number of apartments being built in Buckhead, but according to data from CoStar the vacancy trend in Buckhead has dropped from a high of about 14.5 percent in 2015 to about 7.5 percent in 2016. And, the asking price per square foot has risen to almost $1.90.

Starling told everyone they can stay plugged into what is going on with “Buckhead REdeFINED” by going online to: www.buckheadredefined.com.

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