BY ADHITI BANDLAMUDI, WABE
Construction is almost finished on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail, but residents in that historic West End neighborhood have mixed feelings about it..
A public meeting was held Monday night to give construction updates about the trail.
“That’s when I got really excited when I started to understand what was going on. I was like ‘Hey, I want to buy a house now,'” says Kisean Smith, a new homeowner in the West End who was at that meeting.
Smith says he expects the West End to grow just like the Eastside has been growing for the past five years.
But some residents are worried about gentrification.
“I think there needs to be more attention to the people who are already there instead of about the new developments,” says Leslie Canty, who has lived in the West End for almost a decade.
BeltLine officials say they are tackling that concern by holding workshops to help homeowners stay in the West End. But Canty says, now that the trail is almost complete, there’s nothing he can do to stop new people, with higher incomes, from moving in.
“A lot of things they’re adding to English Avenue, Vine City, and Ashview Heights are really not there for the residents. They’re there for the people coming in,” Canty says.
The BeltLine’s Westside Trail runs 3 miles from Washington Park to Adair Park in southwest Atlanta. It’s expected to open in mid-September.
This story was provided by WABE.