NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Two Towers
Today's bloggerThe ARC has approved plans for the first major development along the proposed Beltline. God help us all for those of us who live in the midtown area! Because this development is going to change the way we view Piedmont Park as a Central Park without the skyscrapers. The plans that the evil Wayne Mason has for the development is one 38 story condo tower and one 39 story tower. These things are bascially going to sit right on the back end of the park near Park Tavern restaurant. The two towers will be located on the corner of 10th and Monroe Dr. I have a very hard time picturing these things sitting there right off of Piedmont Park. How can anyone think this will fit into the rest of the neighborhood? Its like them building The Mix right there on the corner of Highland and Briarcliff and think its alright to do that. My mind can't get wrapped around the concept of having these giant towers sitting there on the park's edge. What value does it add other then to Wayne Mason's bank account. If we allow these two towers to go up then what is next for Piedmont Park? We already have the parking deck as well. Good grief when will the madness end? Because I think Wayne Mason's idea and my idea of fitting into the neighborhood are totally different. I don't think having these two towers sitting on the Park is fitting into the neighborhood. What can we do about the two towers you ask?

Well this part is easy enough. The city of Atlanta now has to determine whether to rezone the property to allow the development to go through. The Atlanta City council is expected to vote on the rezoning by October. My plan is to call and write every city council person say ask them not to rezone the property. I honestly think it would be the worst thing that can happen to Piedmont Park and to the City of Atlanta to have these towers sitting on the edge.

Wayne Mason if you by some slim chance you are reading my entry today how about lowering your towers by like I don't know let's say by 30 stories each or something to that effect. Let's not become another Central Park with skyscrapers and huge condo buildings surrounding our Park. Atlanta should be different and the skyline around Piedmont should be low and unobtrusive to those who use the Park on a daily bases. Let's keep the natural beauty of the park Wayne.

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posted by Melissa at 6/27/2006 02:39:00 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a liberal who hates the sprawl, mcmansions, etc., how can I oppose higher density development? Isn't that just another case of NIMBY? High density is great, but not in MY neighborhood. If you hate the sprawl around Atlanta, you have built higher density.

6/29/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous TransitAdvocate said...

Actually, while I understand where you are coming from Melissa, the only way Atlanta is going to have a livable urban community is to develop high density housing within reach of transit. They only way the Beltline is going to be sucessful is if high density housing is developed around it. If not, then it will be another experiment in failed transit in Atlanta.

If you are not in favor of the transit portion of the Beltline, then fine, but understand that by not supporting these types of housing developments along the Beltline, you are dooming the transit portion of the Beltline to failure. Otherwise, the only people who will use it will be living in single family houses, which will not be enough to support transit.

So is it these towers or no transit?

6/29/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I have no problem with High Density housing along the beltline. I also understand that we high density housing along the beltline in order to make it all work. I like mass tansit and I use when I can. My thing is I just don't think we need this high density housing on Piedmont Park. These two towers are planned to be right on the Park and in my opinion that's not the place for them. Why put them on the Park? Why does Wayne Mason feel the need to build up around Piedmont Park? There is a reason we made it a park in the first place and there is a reason why we zoned it the way we did so why do we want to change that now?

6/29/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that the beltline literally borders the park. It is actually rather obvious that the areas adjacent to the park would be popular for high rise development. Who would not want to have the largest park in the city for a back yard so to speak. How big a buffer do we need around the park? Is across a street from the park too close? A block away from the park? The problem is that the section of the beltline is precisely the most logical for high rise development due to the location in Midtown and on the park. It is far more desirable for high rise construction than say the Fourth Ward areas. There will still be areas of the park where you can "get away" from it all. Atlanta is changing and growing up. It will not be the same forever. People want to live in town now, and more change is coming.

6/29/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous TransitAdvocate said...

"Why does Wayne Mason feel the need to build up around Piedmont Park?"

Because people want to be there, obviously. You admit that in order for transit to work, there needs to be high density. As the above commmenter states, the Beltline runs right by the Park. Where else on the Beltline could currently support the kind of density that is in this project? Maybe on the site of what is currently Ansley Mall or Amsterdam Walk (which are both slated for redevelopment as well), but you don't think those neighbors would say "not in my backyard" as well?

Have you been to the corner of 10th and Piedmont lately? If is traffic choked, not pedestrian friendly, there's a strip mall, abandoned RR tracks, and other underused and unsightly properties. This project is the opportunity to change all of that and provide a pro-smart growth development to this area.

6/29/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

transitadvocate,in your personal opinion do you want to see two 39 story towers sit on the Park?

6/29/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous TransitAdvocate said...

You have not answered any of our questions about density and transit, other than that you support both, so long as it is nowhere near the park, but no, I would not mind seeing this development. I think it would improve the area around the park, would improve the park itself, and would cut down on traffic around the park because it would force improved transit in the area which everyone in the region could use to get to the park.

Plus, there is already high density development around the park. What is Midtown?

6/29/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a resident of Midtown who uses the park, it will not affect my enjoyment of the park. You can see high rises from the park already. It is an oasis in the middle of a city. If I want to get away from the city completely, I head for the mountains. I would much rather have high rises along the park than continued sprawl creeping further north and ruining the north Georgia mountains.

6/29/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous TransitAdvocate said...

That is true, this project is actually environmentally friendly. We need higher density housing, we need to stop sprawl across our region that is destroying the physical environment and the air we breathe. In order to do that we need to provide housing intown in places where people are willing to live.

6/29/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

My favorite thing about the park is the view of the Midtown skyline (even, grudgingly, that weird-ass new one that looks like they never quite finished the top of it...'supwitdat?) over the trees beyond the meadow, watching the sun go down with a beer at Park Tavern. That makes me feel like I really live in a city. When I look in the other direction, I feel like the park is unfinished. I don't think I want to look east across the park directly at the parking circle for a couple of high rises, so hopefully there will be a healthy dose of trees planted in front to kinda put a skirt on those things. But still, one thing I like about Central Park in Manhattan is the way the surrounding skyscrapers in places make it feel even more enclave-like. Melissa, I think people on your side of the park might think of it as Central Park without the skyscrapers only because you're looking east; from my neck of the woods, it looks a lot more like Central Park, just without the architectural Viagra of Manhattan.

6/29/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

Oh, BUT! One thing that DOES raise the hair on the back of my neck, far more than any personal preference the residents might have about skyline or even traffic (what traffic? We'll have the Beltline! Ha) is the prospect of there being 3100 more toilets trying to discharge their duties (yeah I said it) through the sewer lines of a neighborhood that already smells like crap. I mean literally smells like crap, it's coming out of every grating down Charles Allen Drive. Isn't Shirley supposed to be the Sewer Mayor? That would certainly make her Mayor of my neighborhood -- we live in the sewer.

6/29/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to add one more point. I think we should not attack Wayne Mason in this case. Here is a guy who mastered paving over Gwinnett County with "cut-down-every-tree-in-sight", "cookie-cutter", totally automobile-oriented, sprawl-style subdivisions of mcmansions. The fact that he is now actually interested in doing high density and new urbanists developments in the city (and perhaps the suburbs later) is NOT a bad thing. It is in fact a huge improvement. The fact that pro-sprawl developers are coming around to something other than sprawl is great news. It is a progressive victory folks. And I to not care if it just to make a buck if it has the desired effect. I care about results not motives. At any rate, I somehow do not think characterizing him as "evil" is particularly productive.

6/29/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous erin said...

I'm a big proponent of the Beltline in it's original form, but then again I am a big-city girl. This project is one that I get really excited about, and I've attended several Sierra club events to learn more/help with execution. This project is going to amazingly help Atlanta reach true-city status. Skyscrapers are not the end of the world; strip malls, in my opinion, are. Building up is the only way Atlanta is going to start becoming a city and less of an urban sprawl monstrosity. I really fail to see how tall buildings will take away anyting from the park or the atmosphere. It's not hurting the environment, and it's crucial to have the support of urban planners and (horrors) developers in order to get the most important portion of the beltline, the transportation, executed. That's the part that the City is trying to 'modify', and the environmentalists need all the corporate backing we can get. It's not as if the condos will be built on wetlands or wildlife, afterall. If it blocks a few peoples' views, but provides better transit for most in-towners, I'm all for it. And the skyline here could definitely use a little work...(although from roofs on W Peachtree it's fabulous). I think for Atlanta to get the respect it deserves it needs to start thinking, big, original, modern, unorthodox, and inspiring... the beltline is all those things.

6/29/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a resident of midtown (i live in a house on 8th street), and i LOVE the idea of this project. atlanta's big problem is a lack of density, walkability, and mass transit. here is a person who is willing to donate lands to the city- as a gift - and people are just complaining! the whole stretch of monroe he wants to develop is in desperate need of revitalization - why not let him? if you want to live amongst the trees away from the view of buildings, move to the suburbs and let the city become what it should be.

7/16/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Creative Loafing: Protecting the Beltline

It's been three weeks since the mega-developers who proposed two condo towers overlooking Piedmont Park decided to walk away from the deal, throwing a serious wrench in Atlanta's ambition to build a loop of transit and trails circling the city.

Did the Beltline negotiations actually fall apart because the city screwed up? Or did the city have no choice but to turn the Masons down?

Find out at atlanta.creativeloafing.com : Protecting the Beltline

10/12/2006 03:02:00 PM  

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