On the last day of 2012, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) purchased a critical property from The Trust for Public Land that will connect the recently opened Eastside Trail with Historic Fourth Ward Park. Funding for the acquisition came from private donations to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Capital Campaign. This “Gateway” connection, when completed, will for the first time link this new park to the rest of the Atlanta BeltLine, which connects to Piedmont Park and the Freedom Park Trail leading to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library complex.
“This acquisition is another critical milestone for the Atlanta BeltLine that will connect two of the city’s newest and most inspiring public places,” Chief Operating Officer and interim leader of ABI Lisa Gordon said in a release. “We are grateful for the strong partnerships that have brought the Atlanta BeltLine so far along, and The Trust for Public Land has been integral to our efforts since the very beginning.”
The Trust for Public Land purchased the 0.76 acre property adjacent to The Masquerade, south of North Avenue, in 2005. A recent donation to The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Capital Campaign allowed Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. to complete the transaction with The Trust for Public Land and assume ownership.
“Small properties can have big impacts on connectivity, quality of life, and recreation in a city. This connector from Historic Fourth Ward Park to the Eastside Trail strengthens the entire Atlanta BeltLine,” said The Trust for Public Land’s Georgia state director Curt Soper said in the release. “We are grateful to our partners for their shared resilience with completing this important trail connection.”
Executive Director for The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Valarie Wilson, said in the release: “Philanthropic supporters encouraged by Atlanta BeltLine progress continue to invest in the project. We're pleased that their support is funding this crucial connection.”
Design is now underway for the Gateway connection between the Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. entered into a contract with Tunnell – Spangler – Walsh & Associates (TSW) for the design of the Gateway in December 2012. Construction is expected to begin later in 2013 with completion in 2014.
Since 2005, The Trust for Public Land has worked with Atlanta BeltLine project partners to acquire strategic properties to develop the Atlanta BeltLine's network of new public parks and multi-use trails circling Atlanta and connecting 45 neighborhoods. ABI and the City of Atlanta have purchased many of these properties, some of which are now new parks including Historic Fourth Ward Park and Boulevard Crossing Park.
- Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., contributed to this story