The Atlanta Beltline has frequently been talked about in recent years and it has gained grounds. It is said to be one of the largest urban redevelopment programs in the United States. In fact, it has proven to be a strong catalyst for new development within the city; hence this means that the potentials underway are very great. This is because the city will grow significantly both socially and economically through job creation, improved transportation systems, and affordable housing. The Southside Trail is so essential because it connects the Westside and Eastside Trails at the southernmost part of the Atlanta BeltLine loop. Looking at the potentials, it is for a fact that it will one day be critical transportation serving as a conduit through the south side of Atlanta.
The Southside Trail which is a 63-acre slice of former railroad property continues to show potency ever since it was acquired by BeltLine. The property which was acquired from CSX in March for about $26 million extends from University Avenue to Glenwood Avenue. The completion of the section of the BeltLine which has the 3-mile concrete from Washington Park to Adair shows that all focus is on the Southwest. Clyde Higgs, the BeltLine’s chief operating officer, “This is the largest investment in Southwest Atlanta since MARTA. This is a $43 million project”. According to him, the Southside trail is next, once they finish the design and find the money. Beltline reps had previously stated that additions would be made and may include trails, a playground, public art, expanded playfields, and the city’s fifth splash pad.
In a Press Release by BeltLine, Inc., at the Second phase of park planning and design to kick off summer 2019 it stated that “it will be entering the design stage this summer for the second phase of Boulevard Crossing Park.” The BeltLine official stated that the project will be lead by Atlanta-based Perkins+Will. This firm has been involved in the BeltLine development. The project is meant to expand recreational opportunities, neighborhood connectivity, and ecological health for park users.
In a Press Release by Valdis Zusmanis, he said “It represents a unique opportunity to re-envision this part of Atlanta,” he reiterated that “in a way that will engage the surrounding community and welcome visitors alike.” Zusmanis of Perkin+Will has led previous work carried out on the Eastside and Westside trails. It
Reports have it that the Southside Trail is being transformed into an interim hiking trail, Beltline leaders. Community meetings have been held and blueprints which have been shared and it show plans for transit and public art along the paved path-to-be. It also includes sculptural retaining walls and “architectural groups of columnar trees.” Even though efforts have been put to secure a $16 million Federal grant to help fund construction without success, there seems to be no desire to relent in the move. However, the ABI has assured that it will continue to report back to the community about public engagements related to the Southside trail.