Decatur Moves Forward with Redevelopment Projects

UPDATE: OK, so the whole premise of my original post was wrong, as noted to CSD’s Bruce Roaden in the comments.  A new Public Works building would actually serve as a joint MAINTENANCE facility with the city.  Not an administration building. Oy.

My apologies.  So here’s my revised – and much shorter – post.


Tonight, the Decatur city commissioners took quite a few steps forward towards finalizing the bond projects that will finance the city’s Rec Center, Fire Station #1 and Public Works facility.  They designated the “Redevelopment Area”, finalized the Urban Redevelopment Plan, “activated the Redevelopment Agency”, and  agreed to lease-purchase the property adjacent to the current Public Works facility for $1.1 million.

And as for that public hearing: well, only one resident spoke up.

The only remaining step – accepting the bonds and the bond rate – will take place on December 15th.

Renovating and Recognizing Decatur’s Lost Neighborhood

The AJC had a nice story over the weekend about Decatur’s master plan to renovate the Beacon Hill Complex – once Beacon Elementary and Trinity High School for the city’s black community – to serve as the city’s arts hub and provide the Decatur Police with an upgraded facility.

Here are a couple snippets from the article that I found particularly interesting…

[Former Decatur Mayor Elizabeth Wilson] can drive around the former Beacon Hill and map out a verbal grid of the district’s halcyon days, including at least a dozen streets that no longer exist. She points out where the Ritz Movie Theater stood, and where other businesses were, including Rogers Cab Co. , Mossman’s Grocery, Kilgore and Anderson’s Barbershop, Spates Barbecue Stand, LC’s Rib Shack, the Cox Brothers Funeral Home, Tom Steel’s Cafe (known for its sausage “splits” that cost 10 cents), George Sterling’s Cafe (whose splits were 15 cents because they had lettuce, tomato and, Wilson said, “real meat”) and Thankful Baptist Church, where Jackie Robinson spoke in the early 1960s.

…No matter the cost, [architectural historian Steven] Moffson believes the project’s more than worth it.

“I’ve visited a lot of these equalization schools throughout the state,” he said. “If they haven’t been torn down, then they’ve been abandoned, or they’re in very bad shape. That’s what’s so great about this project. They’re not only saving the schools, they’re preserving the memory of an entire community.”

Atlanta Rules!

Will this have a tangible impact on the direction of our state government?

I wish I could read this full article from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, but even the first two paragraphs are pretty intriguing.

Atlanta region poised to control legislature

Georgia’s General Assembly is about to be taken over by metro Atlanta, launching a new political era that will have ramifications for key issues facing state government.

For the first time, the post-census redrawing of legislative districts set for next year will put a majority of House and Senate seats inside the 28-county metro region, according to estimates.