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Visions for Vacancies: Former Loring Heights Starship

What do you want to see in this vacant space?

It’s time for another "Visions for Vacancies" feature as we ask you what you'd like to see go in a local vacant commercial space.

This week, we visit the Loring Heights neighborhood.

At Tuesday’s Neighborhood Planning Unit-E meeting, the Loring Heights Neighborhood Association Master Plan is on the agenda for a vote. Also up for vote is the Beltline Subarea 8 Plan: Upper Westside-Northside Plan, as well as the Beltline Subarea 8 Land Use amendments.

The meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at located at 1580 Peachtree Street. See here for more information.

The master plan, which was prepared by Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates, indicates that the intersection of Northside Drive and Deering Road is a “poor gateway to Loring Heights and fails to provide any amenities for nearby residents.”

It calls for a redevelopment with high-quality architecture along Deering Dr. that could one day feature neighborhood shops, wide sidewalks and mixed-use buildings that step down in height near existing single-family houses. Along Northside Dr., “all redevelopment should incorporate contextual, pedestrian-friendly design and lasting building materials.”

The plan should also meet the goals of the 2005 City of Atlanta conducted Northside Drive Corridor Study, which recommended a number of land use changes including amendments to the city’s Future Land Use map to show mixed use and low-density commercial along Northside Dr. with an open space buffer adjacent to existing single-family houses.

The goals of this master plan are to define what Loring Heights should be in 25, or even 50 years. More information can be found here.

Of course this stretch of Northside for years served home cooking food from Old Hickory House and then later Oga’s. Both are long gone, as is the next-door former Starship Adult Novelties and Gifts, which a few years back had its building permit revoked.

For many years prior, the Starship space had been a seedy massage business with a "Girls, Girls, Girls'' marquee straddling Northside. The convenience store next door at 1545 Northside Dr., is currenty an E Z Mart, and has been run by a variety of owners through the years who have struggled to keep the property clean. Overall, not exactly a pristine area.

So, what would you like to see in the former Starship space and for this area’s overall development in the coming years?

About this column: In highlighting vacant buildings in Midtown, we aim to help residents take a proactive role in planning and building their community. We'll take your feedback to public officials and property owners, to inform their decisions about future uses. Know of a vacant building we should highlight? Email hunt.archbold@patch.com.

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