The Bellwood Quarry. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Last week Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms along with other city officials broke ground on the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry. At nearly double the size of Piedmont Park, Bellwood will become Atlanta’s premiere green space when construction is complete.
“The Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry will change the surrounding landscape far beyond just being the largest green space in the city,” Mayor Bottoms said in a statement. “The park will become ground zero for some of the biggest economic investments ever seen on the Westside of Atlanta. It will help neighborhoods here thrive and return to their former glory, as well as be the home of an important backup water source for the entire city.”
The initial phase of the $26.5 million project will include a park gateway entrance where Johnson road and Grove Park Place intersect at the north end of the park and will provide lighting and signage to promote both pedestrian and bicycle traffic, according to city materials.
Atlanta Loop partners at WABE report the park will be built out in phases over the next 15 years. One of the original Beltline planners, Alex Garvin, told the station he expects the park will have a major impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
“I think that when the Bellwood Quarry finally opens as a real park, there’s going to be an awful lot of housing construction around there,” Garvin told WABE. “People will want to live around that park.”
One such development is already in the works. Quarry Yards, a 70-acre mixed-use development with access to the Bankhead MARTA Station on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway aims to transform the Grove Park neighborhood, according to development materials. The 27-acre $400 million first phase is expected to break ground by the end of 2018. It will include 850 residential units, 575,000 square feet of office space, a 300-room hotel, and 75,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
“Since being appointed as Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner in 2015, it has been an honor and privilege to help increase access to green space and to help grow our programs and facilities in our recreation centers,” Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong said in a statement. “I am proud to be here today celebrating the beginning of this transformative project and to thank Mayor Bottoms and City leaders for their commitment to this park and our city.”