An upbeat website for a downtown school

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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

The new Murphy Crossing MARTA Station located in southwest Atlanta will be developed jointly by real estate development company Culdesac, Inc. in partnership with Urban Oasis Development.
New MARTA Stations announced, establish rail and BeltLine connection
Shalin BhatiaMay 27, 2024

In his State of the City address, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new MARTA rail station in southwest Atlanta adjacent to the Atlanta...

New storage center set for development on BeltLine

As+part+of+a+land+swap+deal+with+the+Atlanta+Botanical+Gardens%2C+a+new+Public+Storage+building+is+being+constructed+on+Monroe+Drive+near+the+Eastside+BeltLine+Trail+entrance%2C+a+street+away+from+Midtown%2C+with+its+previous+location+on+Piedmont+Avenue.
Aerin Jones
As part of a land swap deal with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, a new Public Storage building is being constructed on Monroe Drive near the Eastside BeltLine Trail entrance, a street away from Midtown, with its previous location on Piedmont Avenue.

As part of a land swap deal with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, a new Public Storage building is being constructed on Monroe Drive near the Eastside BeltLine Trail entrance, a street away from Midtown, with its previous location on Piedmont Avenue.

The Gardens plan to have their expansion finished by 2026, just in time for the FIFA World Cup, but Virginia-Highland residents have expressed discontent with the construction of a storage unit built in the neighborhood.

John Horn, a Virginia-Highland resident, said the facility is a poor use of space for valuable land near the BeltLine. “It won’t improve [the area] because another giant storage unit [Extra Space Storage] is right is beside it,” Horn said. “What I would like to see is more mixed-use development or retail space. It just seems like putting a giant warehouse next to the school.”

According to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, mixed-use developments are used to revitalize areas, aiming to reduce dependency on automobiles, roadway congestion and air pollution, as well as promote a sense of community.

These types of developments are common along the BeltLine, contributing to a vibrant, mixed-use community.

“What we’re seeing going up and down the BeltLine are mixed-use spaces or condos, but I really like the mixed-use idea where you can put in some interesting retail space on the bottom floor,” Horn said. “It makes it more economical when you have living space above that versus just the one-story retail. That’s what I would have rather seen go in there.”

Virginia-Highlands has historic architectural styles woven within the neighborhood: Craftsman, English Vernacular Revival and Colonial Revival. Jennifer Graham Johnson, a resident of the adjacent road to the proposal, has been a part of the Virginia Highlands community advocating for modifications to the development. She said that if the building has to be a storage facility, she wants one that fits with the neighborhood’s style.

“It’s all about the exterior,” Johnson said “We want it all red brick and [fitting] with the neighborhood. We do not want the unattractive orange Public Storage brand color. We don’t want any modern look to it at all. We want 100% brick. We would like some sort of [small] retail activation on the ground floor which could be a
small coffee shop.”

Horn is concerned about the architectural continuity of the neighborhood if another storage unit is constructed.

“As I understand, the Virginia-Highland Civic Association is not in favor of [the storage unit]; there’s been a lot of negative response.” Horn said. “There was some backlash towards the Botanical Gardens for making that deal.”

Other concerns are directed towards the safety of pedestrians and Midtown students crossing on such a busy street with a new storage addition.

“The traffic is going to get so much worse and I think it’ll make crossing the street – and just driving through that area in general – a pain to Midtown students trying to get home,” sophomore Evelyn McLaughlin said. “I think it’ll have a huge impact on the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood and the Midtown community in the future.”

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Aerin Jones
Aerin Jones, Comment Section Editor
Aerin Jones is a sophomore and her first year on the paper. Outside of school she does club swimming and she is very excited to write for the Southerner.

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