September 22, 2014 | Spotlight

Institute Preparing Urban Redevelopment Plan for Three-City Partnership

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Leaders in three Georgia cities have formed an unprecedented alliance to promote growth and economic development along a blighted commercial corridor, and they engaged the Institute of Government to prepare an urban redevelopment plan to guide their endeavor.

The Clayton County communities of Forest Park, Lake City, and Morrow plan to establish a Tri-Cities Joint Development Authority to implement a detailed urban redevelopment plan the Institute prepared to help the communities encourage economic revitalization efforts along the 11-mile corridor. The corridor connects regionally significant landmarks like the Atlanta State Farmers Market, Clayton State University, and Southlake Mall.

"The redevelopment plan focuses on promoting economic growth along the primary commercial corridor in the Tri-Cities area. It provides these three cities with an 18-month work plan to implement redevelopment activities and an outline for exploring potential funding sources," said Langford Holbrook, a community development and strategic planning specialist with the Institute.

Redevelopment work will incorporate four activity areas to capitalize on a regional resurgence driven by projects such as the expansion of Clayton State and the privatization of the Fort Gillem property. The work will feature economic stimulus efforts to encourage new and existing businesses, housing revitalization, transportation redevelopment, and marketing the corridor as a vibrant destination located near Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The revitalization corridor encompasses 935 parcels on 2,350 acres of land along Forest Parkway, Main Street, and Jonesboro Road in the heart of the three cities.

"This project is unique because three communities formed a partnership to promote regional development in a corridor that's important to all three," Holbrook said.