A developer is looking to rebuild part of a beloved — and Beltline-adjacent — stretch of Ponce De Leon Avenue, according to a property owner on the block.
Protestors of re-development of this area are overwrought.
It’s an economics thing.
Ben Brasch and J.D. Capelouto do an excellent job of capturing quotes from two Atlantans which tell the story succinctly:
Professor Dan Immergluck from GSU references “anything goes” real estate ethos which as a bad connotation. Atlanta communities have designated these areas for high-FAR zoning which allows density. Density means dollars for land owners. Communities could vote to change this, but they won’t because the policy (to have density next to the Beltline and other urban core areas) makes perfect sense.
Kevin Kerns, local business and (affected/enriched) land owner gets to the heart of the matter for sellers when he (and the writers say) many dollars and years of sweat equity have been invested to these properties by their owners and now the owners deserve to cash out. If the community wants to preserve 1-story businesses or make the whole area into a park, then the community should make a back-up offer to purchase the property.
I grew up in the suburbs and moved to the city in 1999. I can tell you 38 years is a long time to be in any service business on Ponce. I co-owned Blue Sky Coffee in Athens. It lasted about 10 years – which felt like a long time. Athens from 1995-2004 was paradise compared to Ponce during that time period.